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This Week’s Question:
Is Your Receptionist Helping or Hurting?
I can hear my receptionist on the phones and I cringe. No matter how many times I tell her what to say, she will often say something random and loses the caller. Just today I heard her say, “No, we don’t do that.” and she hung up on the caller. When I asked her which procedure the caller was asking about, she told me…
…The caller wanted something called [brand name skin tightening device] and I told her we don’t do that.”
So I had to explain to my receptionist we don’t offer that particular name brand because we found something that works even better and THAT’S what she should have told the caller.
That one mistake costs us $4,500. Any suggestions for fixing my phones?
Dear Dr. T,
Your question is a good one. Every practice has experienced “bad phones” that are costing them patients and thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
Let’s do the math: If your receptionist loses that $4,500 caller just 1x/week, that adds up to $234,000 per year! Wow!
The solution to Fix Your Phones is simple but not easy. Here’s what it takes to get your phones in order:
- Get the right person in that position
- Give them the training and tools they need to represent you and your practice professionally
- Hold them accountable so they consistently perform well for you and BOOK Appointments
That’s how you prepare your receptionist to handle patient inquiries effectively and fill up your schedule. Otherwise, your new patients aren’t ever going to meet you if your receptionist can’t successfully convert these callers into appointments.
Frankly, your receptionist may be unknowingly sabotaging your best practice promotional efforts simply because they don’t have the tools they need. Think about how YOU feel when you call a business and your call is handled poorly.
Certainly, that’s not the way the owner would want you to be treated. Well, it’s the same in your practice. Most doctors don’t believe this happens in their office – until they hear it for themselves.
I assure you, in my consulting work, I have called hundreds of practices and have been amazed at what I’ve heard on the other end of the phone. Rather than me belaboring the point – test it for yourself. Call your office as any prospective patient would and then tell me what you think.
Every call affects your bottom line and either enhances your image or destroys it. Your staff can represent you as a true professional or not – but the choice is up to you.
During my staff training sessions, I often hear, “But, I don’t know what to say when the patient says that.” Or,
“What else could I have said that would have made a difference?” My answer is – plenty!
Prepare your receptionist for success. Equip them with effective responses, phrases and questions to help them not only bond
with and educate your patients but actually close. With the right words to say, your staff will be so comfortable with the process and so prepared that they’ll look forward to phone calls and patient interactions because they’re confident, trained and ready to close!
And that’s why I developed “Exceptional Receptionist Training” that will increase your conversions within days.
- Are YOUR phones set up for success or sabotage?
- How have you tackled your own phone frustrations?
- What has worked best for you to get the right staff answering your phones the right way?
Catherine Maley, MBA is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars. | View Author Profile | Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying