Reducing No-Shows & Cancellations in the Dental Practice with Carrie Webber

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In this episode, Dayna Johnson and her guest, Carrie Weber, discuss the topic of reducing no shows and cancellations in dental practices. They emphasize the importance of systems and skill sets in addressing this issue and building value and commitment with patients. They also highlight the need for proactive communication and the use of technology in patient communication. The role of customer service and patient experience in reducing no shows and cancellations is explored. The importance of repetition in communication and living intentionally in the practice is discussed. The episode concludes with information on how to contact Carrie Weber and a closing message.


  • Building value and commitment with patients is key to reducing no shows and cancellations.
  • Being proactive in communication and utilizing technology can help improve patient attendance.
  • Repetition is crucial in effective communication with patients.
  • Living intentionally in the practice and elevating communication skills can lead to better patient outcomes.
  • Utilizing practice management software and refining verbal skills are important strategies for reducing no shows and cancellations.


00:00 Introduction and Background
01:03 Podcasting Live from the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention
03:51 Topic: Reducing No Shows and Cancellations
04:17 The Importance of Systems and Skill Sets
05:15 Building Value and Commitment with Patients
06:25 Being Proactive Instead of Reactive
07:13 Blending Technology and One-on-One Communication
09:32 Customer Service and Patient Experience
10:31 Reducing No Shows and Cancellations
11:28 The Key Role of Repetition in Communication
13:23 Living Intentionally in the Practice
14:20 Elevating Communication Skills
15:18 Utilizing Practice Management Software
16:10 Practicing and Refining Verbal Skills
17:41 Contact Information and Closing

Full Transcript provided by Riverside AI:

Dayna Johnson (00:04.622)

Welcome to the High Performing Dental Team podcast. And we are podcasting live this week from the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention. We are on the show floor today. So if you hear a little bit of background noise, that’s probably where it’s coming from. And I have a special guest with us today, my good friend and dental industry leader.

author, speaker, consultant, oh, and owner of Jameson Management, my good friend Carrie Webber, welcome.

Carrie Webber:

Thanks, Dayna. It’s so good to see you. Thank you for inviting me to be on. I know. It’s so fun when I get to see my dental friends at conventions, and we get to just sit and have a chat about what we are experts in. And so thank you so much for spending a little bit of your time with us today. It’s my pleasure. We have.

You know, it’s funny because a lot in dental practices and dental teams go to committees meetings so that they can socialize and connect and, you know, dentists see their colleagues and team members see their colleagues and it’s the same for the speakers really. All people may not know is that.

Dayna Johnson (02:12.654)

Those of us that are on the road in the profession of educating, we really look forward to seeing our road Warriors do as much as they enjoy seeing their classmates and colleagues at these meetings. You know last night, I know you had some dinner with some of your…

your friends in the industry and we get to have dinner with some friends tonight and it’s always so good to see you. And I remember when I was in a practice going to conferences was always a thrill because it was kind of a team building event as well. Yes, absolutely. It’s team building. You get access to such a breadth of speakers and topics and then not only that, but you get to be, you know, we’re sitting in the exhibit hall and you get to see all of these great companies and all of the tools that they are.

to the table and see him firsthand and learn more about him. I think it’s just a really, really great way to grow and develop and bond, yes, in our profession. So I’m, you know, I know I’m biased. I am very proud of going to the Leading. I am too. I love it. I absolutely love it. Ellen, this is my hon show. I know. You know, in Denver, I just got to get in the car and drive down here. It was back yard. I know.

And I know you’re gonna fly home tonight to those beautiful, sweet boys. All right, well, let’s dive into our topic for today because I know that you are presenting at the convention. Yes. And your topic is reducing no shows and cancellations. Yes. Which is such an important topic for all of our dental teams.

And so if I was sitting in your audience, so I’m an attendee, I’m sitting in your audience, and I’m taking really good notes, what would be like the top three things that I’m going to be able to take back to my practice on Monday morning and really like implement right away? Yeah, I think it’s such a great question. So yes, this morning was on being plagued by cancellations in no -shows, how to reduce out of practices.

Carrie Webber (04:17.486)

And this afternoon I’m actually speaking on what I call the five energy and productivity vampires in a practice. Ooh, that sounds great too. Honestly, they browse together because really how it comes down to systems and skill sets. And broader skills are really what is the big takeaway. If I could pick one from the Broken Appointments and No -Show course, which is really building and improving and committing to improving.

your verbal skills. Oh yeah. So on how not only just having good global skills in general, but blending those into a patient experience process. You know, the hand halves, the checkouts, the protocols are in that place such a big role. Yes. So, interestingly, I started the meeting while I do this a lot where I ask the big audience to tell me why are they in my class? And what do they have we talk about?

And for the most part, our role revolves around how do we build strong those values and the patient’s mares and perception of what we are asking them to commit to. They’re really helping to build that commitment to those appointments. I think that is such a, I mean, it’s almost like a really deep question.

Yes. Do you get that question a lot from your audience? It was a good one. Actually, there are a couple of people that shared that same sentiment, and so I was impressed by that. Obviously, that they had that deal of act as a dental professionals. We have an awareness, an urban awareness, and I think we even give ourselves credit for. We are really stuck here. Yeah.

When it’s something that you feel like you don’t have control of because it’s the patient’s behavior, right? Yeah. And that feels, it can be very frustrating and it can feel very stuck. But the truth of the matter is, we as the dental teams are being more reactive. Yes. Nobody are being proactive. Oh, I love that. I was very happy in this class that they were asking about that. How do we build value instead of how much would you recommend that we charge if they cancel?

Carrie Webber (06:25.902)

And I was like, those are two completely different mindsets. Of course, I am. You know, so that’s, I think, it really does. It comes down to some processes. We talk about processes that can help. We talk about ways that they can maximize tools they probably already have access to, and be more effective and successful for them. But really, when it comes down to it, it’s how are you communicating to strengthen that huge pillar in that relationship with that patient at their value.

for what they’re committing. So it sounds like they’re really interested in growing their relationship with the patient so much more than doing the charging cancellation fee or an actual fee. It sounds like teams are really more interested in building those relationships. Yeah. So how do you help them do that?

Now, it’s a lot of talking through scenarios. It’s a lot of giving some recommended verbal skills. It’s a lot of, let’s look at how you lead a patient through a checkout process today. How often are you supporting why they’re there today, what the value is of that appointment, and then how are you supporting the value of the appointment that’s to come? And how are you asking for that commitment next. . . Just like in case presentation, when I do lectures, or case presentation. Yeah.

It’s added the little yeses of permission from the patient that we’re getting along the way, those conversations that lead to the ultimate yes to treatment. And for this, it’s really that patient speaking their commitment, you know, yes, I want to do this. Yes, I understand what the plate will be. Yes, you can count on me to be there.

and taking it to that proactive place. Yeah, I loved what you said about being more proactive instead of reactive. So are you thinking that teams should communicate more one -on -one? Because so many of our teams are using automated text, emails, things like that to communicate. Do you still find that that’s really helpful and worthwhile for the practices?

Carrie Webber (08:34.03)

Or and then should they also add more like just one -on -one conversations? I think it’s a blend. I am very pro using the technology you have on hand. And we talk a lot about that. Do the text to confer with processes work better? Does calling for confirmations work better? And really, you have to take responsibility of knowing the demographic of your patient family. Yes. Do your patients prefer to text? Do you have patients that…

don’t like to type. And really being that next level of a professional. What I tell people in my classes is all of these systems and skills, even though we’re talking about a specific obstacle and practices in this particular topic, it all ends up falling back to customer service and the patient experience. And what I always tell people is that great customer service answers the question.

how easy are we making it for a patient to get what they want or need in our practice? And I think it’s imperative for the time that we’re in, you mean, that you incorporate the technology, like, practice management software, patient communication software. We’ve had to do it well, and you can’t just set it and forget it. You have to be measuring, is this successful? Yeah. Is this not working for us? Do we have a really big issue in cancellations in those shows, or are you just frustrated by the…

the occasional time that happens, which we can’t fully eliminate. It’s really more about reducing them and having more consistency in our schedule and having not only was proactive processes that get a stronger commitment and confirmation to appointments, but then also your fallback plan, your safety net, when those no shows and cancellations actually are. Yeah, because we know we can’t eliminate them completely. Things happen. We have people that, you know, have

a disease and we want to reduce them as much as possible. And so earlier you just you talked a lot about how much verbal skills play such a neutral in reducing cancellations and no shows. And so talk a little bit more about some of the verbal skills that we might be able to just make the tweaks in how we’re talking to patients. Absolutely. So one of the things that I am very

Carrie Webber (11:01.398)

passionate about is that we come to terms with repetition being the key. So, okay. My mother, Cathy Jameson, always said, her, that repetition is the key to lowering. And if we want our patients to understand, to process, to commit to, and retain what it is we’re saying to them, we can’t say it just one time.

And this goes, this actually crosses a lot of thresholds of number one, this particular situation and the patient and it’s appointments, scheduling appointments, sentencing them. It also goes into doctors trying to implement change in their practice, doctors trying to agree, team members to actually dive in and learn the practice.

And you don’t get to just say it once. You have to say it multiple times until the white men goes off the list for that person. I agree. And so it’s not just the business team’s member’s responsibility to get that commitment into that next appointment. It doesn’t simply fall on the hygienist when he or she’s reappointing that next Continuing Care appointment. It’s the repetition throughout all the team members that, here’s why you’re here today. Here’s what you’re committed to for the next appointment.

Yeah, and do you see any reason why you won’t be able to keep that appointment? Can we count on you to be here? You can count on us to be ready. Dr. Jameson has reserved this much time for you to be ready and looking forward to taking care of you on that day.

Dayna Johnson (13:23.694)

OK, you just said some of the most amazing things that us then. And so if you’re listening right now, I want you to just rewind because Carrie just said some amazing one liners. She said about three or four of them just right there so.

Just rewind right there and get your pen and paper out and write down what she just said because I just loved a few of those one -liners that you just said. They were brilliant. And they all had intention in mind.

Carrie Webber

Yes. That’s the thing, the proactive versus reactive. I really like a book and I talk about it a lot in my lectures. It’s called The Five Gears. It’s by Jeremy Kubitschek and Steve Cochran. And the reason I like this book…

is there’s a portion in the book where they talk about, and there’s a much broader scope, like where in your life, and these different layers of your life, personal, professional, family, relationships, your health, your 3D, all that. Are you living intentionally, and where are you living accidentally? Oh, interesting. The question I spin it on is, in the practice, where are we practicing and working intentionally, and where are we working accidentally?

And when you really make a point to practice and refine your vocal skills and elevate them, that is a sign of an intentional profession. So if you want to go from good to great, Jim Collins, if you want to go from good to great, just personally, on a personal level, professionally, work on your communication skills.

Because if we can elevate how you communicate with your patients, with your customers, with your clients, with your potential patients, with potential clients, whoever’s listening, wherever you fall on that spectrum of your career, you’re going to be a difference maker. I love that. I love that. What was that book called again? The Five Gears. The Five Gears. By Jeremy Kubitschek and Steve Kotler. OK, I’m going to have to write that one down to you. Because I haven’t read that book. It’s good. Yeah, it sounds really good. It’s a good book. Oh my gosh, this was so fantastic.

Dayna Johnson

Oh my gosh, anything, any last words you’d like to share with us?

Carrie Webber

This was a… I would be remiss. I feel like if I didn’t also point in the direction of what you focus on, Dayna, in terms of, you know, there are tools in your practices that time and they have created and they have invested in the development of these tools to help practices and teams accomplish exactly what we’re talking about. Yeah. To support you in these efforts, make it easier for you, a real…

to make it more efficient and to make it more successful and consistent for you. Your Dentrix software is a proper example. I even said it in my courses where I said, how many of you would agree with me that you have the practice measure software in your practice that you utilize, that you only utilize at like 20 %? They’re under -utilizing. So, it can only be better if you’re on a better result. You have to treat.

Carrie Webber (15:44.622)

You have to get training in your software and your tools to use those more successfully. And you have to train in your verbal skills and your communication skills to become more successful and effective in that. The problem is that’s more difficult for Pico to do because it feels awkward. Verbal skills are so much harder. It’s awkward. And you are so brilliant at verbal skills. And did you know why I’m here? Because I practice. Yes.

Dayna Johnson

And I think that was so important, like what you said, about repetition. You know, just practicing over and over, you know, and practicing with your teammates. Yes. Having a meeting and having, creating those, I mean, I hate to say scripted, but you do have to put your own personality on them. Yes. But it is important that the team is all saying the same thing over and over again. Yes. And everyone’s saying the same thing.

from the height, like you said earlier, from the hygienist all the way to the front desk. We don’t want to sound like robots. Right. We certainly all need to sound like we’re members of the same band.

You know, I mean, it’s a… I’ll assume the same. Something under a tenor, some over a soprano. Exactly. You know, the bass is playing different notes than the guitar, but they all go well together. Exactly. And so, yeah, it’s practice. I mean, that’s why you’re in business, that’s why I’m in business. Yeah, because people recognize, I think we can take this to another level if we need help in determining how to do that and do it well and have support in that.

Dayna Johnson

And when they commit to that, they can’t help but grow and improve. I love that. Thank you so much. It was so fun. And I’m so excited that we got to spend some time together. And if anybody wanted to reach out to you directly, we will put Carrie’s contact info in the show notes, but let everybody know verbally how we can reach you. It’s the best way. Actually, I love it. You can find us on the Jameson website. It is So Jameson with no vowels.

Dayna Johnson (17:41.902)

Oh, okay. And or you can find me on Instagram at Carrie Weber Speaks. You can find Jameson on Instagram, on Facebook, all of the social media and also the Jameson Biles podcast. I need to have you be a guest. We’d love it. So you can find us wherever you listed the podcast at the Jameson Files as well. We’d love it. Thank you so much. Consider this your invitation. Okay.

Accepted. Perfect. Consider this accepted. I can’t wait. Alright, thank you my friend. Thank you. Alright, alright my friends. Coming to you from Rocky Mountain Donald Convention. I am gonna close out today because I’m getting that we need to wrap up. And so thank you so much for spending some time, your valuable time with us today. And I look forward to watching your journey of becoming a High Performing Dental Team.

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