It’s not about you. Or is it? The key to keeping your patients coming back for recall appointments

When your patients don’t show up for their dental appointments, what is your first thought? A missed confirmation call or text? Think again; it’s not about your system. The key to keeping your patients coming back for their recall appointments starts with the letter R.

Ask yourself: What is the most important factor in ensuring patients keep their dental appointments? If your first thought is “confirmation calls or texts,” you would not be alone. But you would be wrong!

When we experience a no-show in our schedules, the first thing many of us look to is the confirmation list. “Did we speak to the patient or leave a message?” “Home or cell?” “Do we have a good phone number?”

Another element on which we rely heavily is the recall system the office uses. “Did the patient receive a reminder card in the mail?” “Were they properly entered into our continuing care system?”

Recall systems and confirmation calls are necessary components of a healthy hygiene department, of course. However, they are just that: components and complements to the real factor that helps ensure patients make and keep appointments.

Surprisingly, it’s not your system. It’s you.

Your relationship with your patients determines whether they make appointments and keep them. If you don’t agree with this, I challenge you to think about the appointments in your own life that you never want to miss. Do you have a friendly hair stylist you would never stand up? A personal trainer who gives you the push you need to be your best? A much-needed massage with the masseuse who knows where your muscle pain is located? These are all relationships. Not deep or complicated ones, but important ones in your life.