You might think I'm being a bit over-the-top here.
Let me explain: if your phone isn't handled properly, you're losing business.
Take yesterday for instance. I called a large chunk of my clients' offices.
Some of the staff did very well handling my call. Others, I could tell I was not a priority and was fully interrupting play time on the other end.
I also did a quick phone audit for a new client. (I do that for all new clients - I'll call and pose as a patient to see just how good my potential new client's staff is doing handling inbound phone calls.)
I gave 'em an 8 out of 10.
Here's feedback I gave him, and, perhaps, something that's a take-away for you, too?
First impression [of Mary - not her real name]...
On scale of 10, 10 being highest, she's at an 8 or so.
Where can it be improved?
It's fine tuning, practice and scripting. Listening closely to the caller and what they're saying.
She asked the right questions. And, she was pleasant, which is not often the case in most offices.
Also, I'd suggest she get perhaps, a bit more personal with the caller. What I mean is this: I told her I was new to the area, looking for a new dentist for my family and I found you online. That's an opening for her to ask, "Where y'all from? How'd you pick Dallas?" You know...building rapport.
MOST offices on the phone, fall flat on their face. But, [Mary] did a good job.
Big Idea from this call: Have front office work/focus on building rapport with the caller...
Lastly, I mentioned my two kiddos, and their ages. She was going to refer me to a local pediatric office for my youngest, and my oldest would be OK [to be seen by you].
My name and wife's name are showing up on your schedule for August 30th at 1:30 or 1:45. Please delete them so those slots stay open and you're able to fill 'em!
Talk to you soon, Jerry
The big take-away here: Rapport. If your staff can't or won't or refuses to build rapport with the caller, you'll book about 50% fewer patient appointments than you might otherwise.
Putting that in terms of bottom line dollars: If each patient you see is worth $792 in the first 30 days (as they are at the dental office I manage and run), and you fail to book a patient because Broom Hilda chased 'em away, that just cost you not only the $792 in lost production, but future production, referrals, and money to run the ad that drove 'em to you in the first place.
Before you spend a DIME on advertising, get that front office sharp as a tack. Test 'em. Listen. Work with them on improvement. Your bottom line WILL blow up.
Those who build rapport the best, fastest and truest (not fake, but made from real sincerity) will beat the other guy every time.