By ERNIE WRIGHT
If you’re lucky, your receptionist is irreplaceable and oils your business by seamlessly coordinating diaries, managing office admin and handling all inbound calls.
But no matter what you think about your receptionist’s abilities in these areas, you’re probably losing money somewhere on the phones. It’s likely you, along with the majority of practices everywhere, are paying a significant opportunity cost for failing to get a potential patient to book a consultation.
This is very easy and cheap to remedy. First, listen in to a call and you will be shocked that people calling about treatment are often not asked to come in for an appointment (or even for their name or phone number).
This is the scenario where receptionists who haven’t been trained properly will often let the opportunity slip through their fingers: the prospective patient says, “I’m going to look into my options at other practices and give you a call back,” the receptionist responds with, “Okay, call us back when you’re ready to make an appointment.”
This is a bona fide missed opportunity, because the chances of them calling back to make an appointment on their own are very slim.
The receptionist did their best to cater to the customer’s needs, but they also didn’t want to be too pushy because they may not have felt they’d been given the mandate to push (even gently) for an appointment, and may have been lacking the necessary target to hit, say a goal of 30 booked New Patient Consultations per month.
Is it worth investing in a day’s training so that your receptionist consistently recognises opportunities and works them to get new patients in the appointment book?
If you consider the opportunity cost of every failure to turn an inbound call into a prospective patient on the books, it’s a no brainer. Say your practice receives 40 inbound calls a week and the average new patient value is £800, and you have a five per cent appointment cancellation rate, that’s potentially a £15,200 boost in revenue if 19 convert in a single week – £729,600 in a 48 week year – for a very small outlay in training costs and time.
Has your receptionist been trained and briefed on their responsibility to convert this ready stream of calls into revenue?
I’d like to hear from principals who feel they need help bringing focus and results to bear on a vital component of your business: your front desk team. Call me on 07990 568909, connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss further or have your practice mystery shopped.