I’m sure most of you do your best to start cases TODAY for all the reasons we have discussed in the past. That being said there will always be a few patients who need treatment and want treatment who leave your office without it. This is where the dreaded “recall” comes into play. Dreaded by the TCs who are supposed to do it and dreaded more by the owner-doctors who must follow up and make sure it is done… constantly. For patients who do not start today, each office MUST have a recall system and follow through on it daily. Google Docs are a great way of keeping track of them just FYI. Typically the TC will call the patient and try to schedule, leave a message if no one answers and after a few tries without success they give up on the patient. That’s typical but not terribly efficient. Remember two things – 1) the patient didn’t come to you because they don’t want braces and 2) you don’t get paid unless you help this patient get the smile they want. So what can we do if the patient won’t answer the phone?
Here are a few proven and simple options:
- Have an after hours day every month or two where you and the TCs, a few chair side assistants and the front desk folks sit and make phone calls to recall patients. Buy a couple pizzas and make it a fun thing.
- Instead of calling, get an office cell phone with a local number and text patients. You can copy and paste the same basic message to most patients so it’s very easy and you’ll be surprised by how effective texting can be. These days most people don’t answer the phone if they don’t know the number and almost no one likes to listen to a voicemail so a clear text saying who you are and why you’re calling is a great option.
- Reach out on Facebook – just like texting it’s simple and easy and a clear message saying who you are and how they can contact you can be very effective.
- Once a year offer some kind of special – a hook with a timeline for recall patients who have been lost over the last couple years. Send out a mailer and do an after hours recall party and text and Facebook them all! Something like a free set of backup retainers is very attractive to potential patients and may just push them over the edge and get them started.