Stressed About Employee Salaries?

Coaching dentists to become confident leaders of a profitable practice
ask sharyn

I Hate Late Cancellations


Dear Sharyn

Our office is overwhelmed with patients cancelling their appointments. Most of the patients give reasons related to COVID. We don’t know if that is true but we are running out of patients to fill the schedule and the front desk team and I are frustrated. We don’t necessarily want to fine patients who are legitimately sick but we don’t know what else to do.

K.S.  California

Dear K.S.

Late cancellations have always been the bane of dental practices but the problem has now exploded due to Covid, the usual illnesses and bad weather. I offer extensive training on this issue but it boils down to retraining your patients so that they only cancel when it is absolutely an emergency and not when it is only inconvenient.

To start, change your verbiage when scheduling patients so that they hear your cancellation guidelines as well as how difficult it will be to reschedule. “Be sure to keep this appointment, John because we are so booked that I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to find another opening that will work for you.”

If patients do cancel, make it just a little bit more difficult; the front desk should not be saying, “Oh, no problem, we have an opening tomorrow,” even if you do.  And finally, there is an art to finding patients who can fill an opening. These calls/texts should be less transactional (Hi, can you come in tomorrow?) and more relationship-oriented (How are you? We’ve missed you. How has your health been since we last saw you?)

But the main focus for you and the team is to help patients value their dental appointments so highly, that they would not think of cancelling. This goal should permeate everything you do.

Subscribe to the Bite-Sized Practice Management Newsletter: Tips, Scripts and tools designed for dentists in a hurry.​

Download the Dental Wage Planner

View your current payroll costs at a glance and forecast the impact of potential raises. You will be able to see any compensation inequities, compare payroll costs to your production and calculate the costs of proposed raises against your production goals. 

DOWNLOAD: The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

Sign up below and we’ll send you the free guide straight to your inbox

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

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

You’ll learn how to