Pick Up The Phone Even When It Is Not Ringing

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Most Medical Offices are busy in one way or another (excuse the cliché).

Having the phone ringing is a huge part of any successful Medical Office.

I have recently become concerned about what happens in the Medical Office when the phone is not ringing.

The Front Office Team will often respond in these ways.

  1.  Concern that no one is calling?
  2.  Relief that they now have time to do all the other things they need to do
  3.  Pick up the phone and contact patients, rather than waiting for the phone to ring

You really need to know which response is coming from your Front Office Team.

I am sure you have decided that you want your Front Office Team to respond with the first and third responses.

If the phone is not ringing always question why and look at ways to change this. When the phone is not ringing, make sure the phone is being picked up and calls are being made by your Front Office Team.

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What type of calls can your Office be making?

I am sure there are a few patients who need to be followed up, or called because you haven’t seen them for a while, or courtesy calls for upcoming appointments, or TLC calls to see how they are feeling after any Treatment or surgery. The list goes on….

Communicating with your existing patients is a big part of helping them to maintain their loyalty.

Many or msot Medical offices do not do this!!

We keep in touch with family and friends over the phone so it should be exactly the same in your business.

Your patients want you to keep in touch. It shows you care and increases the trust your patients have in you.

If the phone is not ringing in your Medical Office for a short period of time, use this time to keep in touch with your patients.

Don’t get sidetracked in your office so you then have no time to call your patients.

If you believe that the phone is only there to receive calls you are seriously missing out on growing your Medical Business and connecting more with your patients.

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

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Do You Have Clear Steps?

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On my latest family holiday it became obvious to me in the world of delivering excellent customer service that having procedures and steps is definitely the way to go.

Without clear steps in your business, chaos and disorder begins. When this happens, customer service cannot be achieved as efficiently as it should.

Having clearly defined steps when answering the phone in your Office is so important in achieving Excellent Customer Service.

Stepping stones

Without proper steps the phone call can become confused and appointments will not be made.

How many phone calls seem to go nowhere in your Office?

When the call comes in your mission is to follow specific steps to make an appointment for the caller.

Does your Office have these steps in place?

If you don’t then it is time to define the steps you need for your office to ensure more appointments are being made.

In my previous blogs I have covered a number of Phone Answering Skills that every  Office needs to be working on all the time if they want to run a successful business and help their patients.

The easiest and most effective way to start developing great Phone Answering is to evaluate the calls coming in right now and the number of appointments being made.

You will be surprised how many callers do not make appointments.

The next step is to have clear simple questions ready to ask your caller.

Be ready with the right questions so you are able to make them an appointment.

What a difference it will make if the whole team know the right questions to ask.

More calls will be converted to appointments and patients will return. This is what all Medical Offices need.

I always find it so sad to see the true potential of a Medical Office not being achieved. The Front Office Phone Answering can be a real failure.

I have seen Offices running around trying to fix things but overlooking the people answering the phones.

Have a good look at your front office and how calls are being handled. If you don’t already have steps in place when answering calls, start to develop them today.

It is not that hard!

The Front office will love having clear steps when answering calls.

I know this works. I have been part of these steps myself!

When your Front Office have clear steps to follow you will quickly see an improvement in your Patient numbers and Patient retention.

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

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Do You Call Your Patients Names Behind Their Backs?

Keep your cool

Do you call your Patients names behind their backs?

No, I don’t mean in a rude way. What I mean is you give them a name as to what type of patient you think they are before you really know them.

Let me explain.

Have you heard your Front Office Person hang up the phone and say:

“That person was a shopper.”

“They were not serious about their Health.”

“What a rude person.”

“They asked so many questions.”

“They think they know their mouth.”

“They sound like trouble.”

“They just won’t listen to what is best.”

Usually these comments are made after only a short time on the phone. And often before we get to know the caller.

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How do we get to know the caller and really find out what they need?

We ask questions.

We find out and listen to them.

Once you actually listen you may now start to understand why the patient has asked for the price or thinks they know what they need or was a bit rude and abrupt.

Don’t be quick to pre-judge your callers.

You don’t know them.

They don’t know you.

Take the time with each call to find out about your caller.

When you take the time to find out about your caller you will find that they are much more likely to make an appointment with you.

Instead of hanging up and calling them names, stay on the phone, find out what they need and make an appointment for them.

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

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Does Your Patient Want A Lime Or A Green Lemon?”

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Have you ever had a patient call your Practice enquiring about something that doesn’t seem to make sense or that you don’t understand?

Were you able to help the caller and find a solution for them as well as make an appointment?

In most Offices a call that begins with some confusion and misunderstanding usually ends the same way.

Having the skill on the phone to determine the needs of the caller is a skill that is needed to be developed in your Practice.

I recently had a similar experience while in Paris.

Now given English is not the first language of the French I did expect there to be moments on my trip where there could be some misunderstandings.

One example stands out in my mind.

I was looking forward to a Gin and Tonic before my dinner in a restaurant. I asked if I could please have a piece of lime instead of the usual lemon. The waiter, who could speak some English, looked at me in a baffled kind of way. I then tried to explain I didn’t want lemon but lime in some way that he would understand. After all lime makes a big difference to the taste of the drink.

I then thought about how to differentiate between the colours of the two fruits. Finally I asked for a “verte” (green) lemon not a “citron”. Suddenly the waiter nodded his head as he now knew exactly what I wanted.

Lime and lemons

The lime story is a lot like those of our callers and patients, and the confusion that can occur over the phone and in the dental Office on a daily basis. Once we eliminate the confusion there is trust, and a belief by the caller that you are going to be helping them with their Dental needs.

Think about your own Practice. How many callers end their conversation just as confused and often even more confused than before they called you. Why then would they want to make an appointment at your office?

The skill of the Front Office Person to cut through confusion over the phone is crucial to the success of your Practice.

Does your Office know how to ask the right questions to overcome confusion?

Think about how many potential patients have called your office and did not make an appointment because their problem was not addressed.

It’s probably a significant number.

Reducing that number, and increasing your conversions, is a way to a more successful Practice.

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

 

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The Difference Will Make All The Difference

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When New Patients call your Practice what do you say to them to set you apart from the other Offices they may have already called?

What do you think happens when the New Patient calls your Practice and is told the same generic information they only just heard on their last call?

When the calls come in, your Office needs to ask or let the caller know something they did not know or thought about before.

There are a number of ways to do this.

After speaking to a number of Practices over the years, the point of difference between one office and another can be as simple as one or two questions to create curiosity and concern in the caller’s mind.

For example:

“How long have you had this discomfort?”
“Have you had this before and then it went away?”
“Does it wake you up at night?” (even if it hasn’t, the caller will now begin to think this could actually happen. Often it does.)

Answering the phone

Most offices answer the phone in a pleasant and kind manner. It would be nice to think this is a point of difference but it really isn’t.

Simply listening to the needs of the caller can also be a big point of difference.

Listening and finding out is really the only way to provide the best advise to then make the correct appointment for the caller. You don’t want to waste the patient’s time and the doctor’s time by booking in the wrong appointment.

Most Offices will talk to the caller with generic questions and answers that don’t let the caller know anything different.

If your Office can start the caller thinking differently about their medical concern then you will send the message to the caller that your Office has more expertise and you really know what you are doing.

This is ultimately what you want.

Giving expert advice creates trust and confidence, which will make it very likely the caller will book an appointment with your Office, and not the office they previously called or the next office they were going to call.

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

Posted in Customer Service, Front Office, Medical, Medical Consultant, Phone Excellence Mastery, Phone Skills, Practice Management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“How Long Do I Need To Spend On The Phone?”

I was recently asked by a Practice Team Member:

“How long should I spend on the phone with a patient or New Patient enquiry?”

I thought about this question for a while thinking I needed to give an actual amount of time or there must be some sort of equation to work this out.

Then I answered.

“As long as it takes.”

As long as it takes to do what?

As long as it takes to help the caller make an appointment.

This is really the best way to help the caller.

As long as it takes means:

1. Have clear, precise questions for the type of call you are on

2. Stay in control of the conversation by asking those questions

3. Listen more than you speak

4. Ensure you stay on track during the conversation

5. End the call by making an appointment.

If you don’t have these steps in place when answering the phone you will end up with an extremely long call.

This will not work well for your busy Office Schedule or the caller’s day.

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Keep in mind my previous blog Handling The Shopper Call: “How Much Does It Cost?” where I mentioned being careful which questions you do and do not answer straight away.

Some questions will immediately cause the caller to say thank you and hang up.

Yes you know the dreaded question often asked:

“How much does it cost?”

Keep your questions to the point. And that point is to stay focused on helping the caller make an appointment.

This is how long it takes!

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

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How Do You Know If Your Office Phone Is Being Answered Correctly?

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Have you ever listened to how your Front Office people are answering your Office phone?

Which Doctor has time to be listening to calls coming into their Office?

In reality, don’t the patients come in to see the Doctor not the person taking the calls?

Ultimately they do need to see the Doctor but just imagine if someone is stopping them from coming in?

Have you ever thought that the person answering your phone in your Office could actually be STOPPING patients from seeing the Doctor?

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I don’t mean they would ever be doing it on purpose but even worse they may not even realise their words on the phone are stopping callers from making or keeping their appointments.

What we say to our patients on the phone makes the difference between them making an appointment and not making an appointment.

So that means, answering the phone must start with an outcome in mind.

Then, in the process, you find out everything you can to help meet the needs of the person calling so that you can make them an appointment.

The person calling has not really been helped if they make no appointment and never get to see your Doctor. When this happens the person answering the phone has actually stopped the caller from seeing your Doctor.

Before the patient sees the Doctor they speak to the person you have entrusted to answer the phone.

Who is the person you have chosen to do this?

Do they know what to say and ask?

Has anyone educated them to know what to say?

Is anyone checking that they are saying the right things on the phone?

Next time you have a chance, listen to what’s being said on your Office phone and see what you think.

If you don’t like what you hear or you believe the phone should be answered better, then do something about it today!

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This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

 

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