Imagine this. You’re sitting at the front desk of your aesthetic medical practice and the phone rings. Like you’ve done a thousand times, you pick up the phone and state your name and the name of the practice. The person on the other end of the line asks you a series of questions about coming in for an injectable procedure and suddenly the phone cuts out.
During your brief conversation did you ever think to get the person’s name and contact information? If not, are you going to rely on the possibility that they might contact you again? If this is representative of one call per hour, or roughly eight calls per day, imagine that you’re missing out on eight new patients (or bookings) daily. You know how much a new patient is worth to your business. Now multiply that dollar amount by your number of missed opportunities and that is how much money you could be losing every day from calls like these!
For all business types, the way employees communicate over the phone plays a major role in the daily operations of that business. It is important for your aesthetic practice to know the different between poor telephone etiquette and the kind that turns prospects into patients!
- When answering the phone, wait for the phone to ring more than once, but not more than three times. You don’t want the caller to be caught off guard if you answer too early.
- Answer the phone with a positive greeting along with your name AND the name of your practice. Too many times I have called practices where the front desk answers the phone with only the practice name. Patients want to know who they’re speaking with (just like you want to know who is calling)!
- Ask for information. When a prospective patient calls your office, ask for their name and contact information in case you’re disconnected. Once you’ve captured this information, you’re never at risk of losing that prospect forever. Don’t forget to ask “How did you hear about us?” If you don’t track where your business is coming from, how do you expect to measure ROI on your marketing efforts?
- If you must place a potential patient on hold, only do so for 45 second increments. If you need more time on the other line or with a patient, come back to the phone after 45 seconds and politely ask them to hold for a bit longer. When returning back to the call, thank the caller to show that their time is respected. It’s also important to call your own office and wait on hold—what do your patients hear when you place them on hold? Would your hold music or messaging keep you on the line?
- You might not know, but someone else does. If a patient asks you a specific question and you are unsure of the answer, don’t respond with, “I don’t know”. The ideal response would be, “Let me speak to ___ and I will get back to you”. Then do just that!
- Show gratitude and end with a positive note when finishing a phone call. “Thank you for calling, enjoy the rest of your day!” This is your last chance to make an impression on the caller—make the RIGHT one!