Although some people may think being a dental receptionist is easy, you and I know the role can have its challenges, especially since we're a vital part of a patient's experience. C'mon...dental receptionists interact with patients—and you know how important a patient's impression about a dental office is, right!?
Lean in, cause in this post, we're goin' over our top dental receptionist tips to help you deliver great customer care and turn strangers into regular patients!
Dental office managers may also find these tips helpful. So whether you're looking to become better at your job or just reaffirm that you know your stuff, we've got you covered...
Before we get into it, we know some people might be new. If that's you, read the next section. If not, skip to any of the tips below using the links in the ToC.
Table of Contents
What do Front Desk Receptionist Do?
For some of you who may be knew to this industry, dental receptionists play a vital role in every dental office or clinic.
At a dental office, a dental receptionist is a patient's potential first point of contact—making sure that every patient will be greeted and taken care of— and the last point of contact after their appointment, helping them pay, reschedule, and exit the dental office.
In addition, dental receptionists conduct a wide variety of tasks which can include:
- Appointment setting
- Managing patient issues (in-person, phone, and electronic communications like email)
- Organization of the office and reception area
1. Be Adaptable
Adaptability is the must-have skill.
You know you got it!
Whether it's learning how to adapt from using Eaglesoft to working in Dentrix, or hopping onto ClearDent without skipping a beat—you're the woman!
Yeah, my dentist doesn't know how good she's got it, cause I'm keeping everything running so smooth...
A dental receptionist can adapt to:
- New Technologies
- Organizational Systems
- Communication Methods
- Needs of Patients
When something isn't working the way it's supposed to, a dental receptionist rises to the challenge. From working with patients who have unique personalities (yeah, you know what I'm talking about...), or technical issues with the printer...adaptability means sometimes thinking outside the box for a solution.
2. Be Ready to Impress
We're not pointing any fingers, but we've all had that rude, snooty front desk receptionist who basically dismissed us when we walked in, and acted all put out that they had to actually help us.
Don't be that girl (or guy or person)!
Establishing a good first impression is that one-chance process to make the patient feel they are welcomed and valued.
Yeah, be that guy (or girl or person)!
According to this study, first impressions are unconsciously done within 1/10 of a second. What are people looking for?
Attractiveness - what you're wearing is important
Likeability - are you smiling?
Trustworthiness - hmmm, what makes a person trustworthy? Here are 15 signs.
Competence - oh, we know you know how to make yourself look like you know what you're doing. But if not, here are 9 tricks.
Aggressiveness - nope, don't do that!
A positive first impression is critical.
3. Be Aware
As a dental receptionist, we must be aware of the needs of different patients who walk through the door. Do they appear:
You could also try looking at body language.
Being aware of how patients enter the office will help you understand how to approach them while checking in for their appointments.
4. Be Organized
Being organized helps you use your time, energy, strength, and other resources effectively and efficiently.
Being organized will help:
- Meet deadlines
- Reduce stress
- Complete tasks
Stong organizational abilities help us perform better at work and allow us to finish all our assigned tasks successfully, which is not only beneficial to the clinic but will also help us not feel so worn out at the end of the day.
Need a few tips for a more organized desk? <-- Check those out.
5. Be Effective with Time
The bane of every front desk professional.
"Tell me, how the **** am I suppose to get all this **** done, doctor?"
OMG...did I say that outloud?
Dental receptionists are responsible for a variety of activities during the day, including:
- File management
- Document creation
- Patient assistance
- Seriously, I'm just gonna stop here because if I listed them all, it'd just be really annoying and you'd probably stop reading in disgust...
Balancing all our obligations while constantly being interrupted can be a real downer to your productivity. Well, these 5 polite ways of telling people to get out of your face while you're trying to do work...ahem...I mean...nvm...just go read the article and see it it helps.
Time management skills to the rescue!
Eliminate distractions, group tasks together, prioritize wisely—all great tips.
One of the best tips we read including "learning to say no."
Ha! Could you imagine saying no to your dentist? I didn't think so. I mean, I did, and then I just starting laughing hysterically. Maybe that one's not-so-helpful...
But you might find some helpful time management tips in this article.
6. Be Excellent
It may sound like something out of Bill and Ted's latest movie, but...
Excellent Customer Service = Regular Patients
Even if the dental receptionists are not working in the operating room or inside the dentist's clinic, they are making a big difference!
Many patients expect excellent service from their dentists, therefore having excellent customer service from a dental receptionist is another approach to acquire repeat customers or patients.
Customer service is one more must-have skills for any dental receptionist.
The manner in which a receptionist interacts with customers reflects on the entire clinic. An impolite receptionist may cause a patient to have a negative impression of the organization and share the impression through a review.
Be kind, accommodating, and attentive. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and the ability to respond appropriately!
Be excellent to each other (and...party on dudes!).
7. Be Detail Oriented
When working on a task or project, being detail-oriented implies paying special attention to all the minor details. This is vital since it ties to high-quality work with less supervision.
Detail-oriented dental receptionists complete each assignment as flawlessly as possible before moving to the next task. This indicates that the projects submitted are often of high quality, with few to no faults.
8. Be Passionate
Dental front office receptionists must have a passion for what they do!
Passion motivates us to keep studying and striving for mastery. It provides us a purpose to explore and, as a result, to have the fresh experiences that are so important to happiness.
In addition, having a passion for what we do gives us something in common with others, which strengthens social ties. It gives us purpose. It helps us succeed!
Not to mention, patients on the phone or those walking through the door experience our passion (or lack of it) in our voice and body language.
Sure, maybe you can't teach passion...but here are 10 habits of passionate people you can start adopting in your work.
What's your Top Tip?
Dental receptionists perform a wide range of duties that are critical in any dental office or facility. They assure every patient is welcomed from the minute they walk into the dental office until the end of their appointment.
What's your top tip for a dental front desk receptionist?
We gathered some useful articles to help you in your career:
Apply for and land your next dental job!
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- Dental front desk job in Los Angeles, CA