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Do We Really Need to “Recall” Patients?


Dear Sharyn

We’re texting and emailing patients who are overdue for their cleanings but not getting a great response.  My recall text messages begin with “You’re overdue for your cleaning.” How can I change that to a friendlier message that will get patients to call?

L.W., California

Dear L.W.

First, instead of naming these “recall” messages, upgrade your language to say these are “reconnecting” messages.  That will immediately influence your attitude on how these messages should be worded. Second, instead of beating up patients by telling them they are “overdue” like they are library books, phrase it like this:

We’re looking forward to seeing you at your next hygiene appointment! Because our availability is limited, we urge you to reserve a time now with your favorite hygienist. Call us at….or Click on this link to make an appointment.

This wording draws on the law of scarcity and FOMO (fear of missing out). If this is an email, you can go on to write:

Because your smile is one of your most important assets and good oral health is a cornerstone of your overall health, here is a partial list of all the things we will do at your next appointment:

  • Perform an oral health examination which includes assessments for oral cancer, blood pressure, bone loss, decay, and gum disease
  • Professionally clean your teeth, removing dental plaque, tarter and deposits beneath your gum line
  • Examine crowns, bridges, implants or dentures for fit and durability
  • Answer your questions about your oral health and improving your home hygiene routine.

Your health and safety is our number one priority. Click here to learn about how we’re keeping you safe. To keep your smile healthy and attractive call us now to schedule this crucial appointment.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

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