Dos and don'ts for communication: Turn first-time callers into patients

2016 08 12 10 54 04 370 Practice Success 400

New patients can now learn about your practice and make an initial appointment online. But many people will still connect with you the old-fashioned way -- by phone. When they do, your front desk staff should be prepared to create an excellent first impression, gather important patient information, build value for the doctor and practice, and, of course, schedule an appointment (within seven days). It's a lot to ask of this vital team member, but you can make it much easier with proper training.

Do

Develop scripting to shape the conversation. Script training enables your practice to make the most of every new patient call. First, it gives you the opportunity to think about what the conversation should accomplish -- what points should be made, what questions asked, what attitude projected, etc. Once a script has been developed, you can then train your front desk staff via role-playing. While mastering the steps that need to be covered, your team members will also learn how to put everything in their own words. The result will be a productive yet personable conversation, every time.

Don

Don't allow "drift" to occur. Because there are so many elements in the proper handling of a new patient call, there's always the risk of staff forgetting or skipping steps. Eliminate this risk by routinely role-playing the script as a refresher.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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