News and Views

Inbound Calls

Inbound calls are one of the most important touch points for patients and successful phone management is a powerful tool to help your practice grow and thrive.

Patients often call with a desire to be assured they’re in good hands and that the services they are seeking are solutions to their “concern”. Staff need to understand that simply answering questions accurately is not their most important job. Their goal is to provide information while connecting with patients in a helpful, assuring manner that boosts confidence for the practice, and guiding the caller to the next step of scheduling. By the time a potential patient makes a phone call to your practice, they are usually ready — or very close to ready — to schedule. Having some key facts and encouraging information scripted and well-rehearsed will optimize results.

Some key areas of training should include setting goals for and monitoring:

  • Number of rings before a call is answered
  • How callers are greeted, put on hold, or transferred
  • Best practices for guiding patients onto the schedule
  • Closing a call and reiterating scheduling details
  • Dealing with an angry patient
  • Answering most common questions
  • How to take a message

It’s crucial that staff members who handle calls for your practice understand how vital their role is in retaining patients and securing new ones. Training needs to start with expressing the value of their role and practice leaders’ commitment to equipping them to succeed. Treating the process as a partnership in which everyone wins will help diffuse fear of blame or failure that your staff might initially experience.

Hiring a mystery shopper patient is another way to bring objective and concrete data about how your practice is doing. A patient experience expert can also help you set goals, train staff and provide feedback from the patient perspective that might be missed when the practice is self-assessing from recording tools.

We can work together based on a training module, specially designed for call handling in a medical aesthetics practice. Contact us if you want to find out more.

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