I used to just cringe when I would call my dental practice and MY call would go to voicemail.
(Has that ever happened to you? If not, you’ve not called enough!)
I’d shudder at the thought of just how many potential patients got the same welcome I did… an impersonal voicemail that I had no idea if it’d be responded to the right way.
The cost of such nonsense was horrendous.
It might be a huge cost you’re faced with right now. This very moment.
After all, every call that went to voicemail could have been a new patient (worth no less than $350 on average in the first 90 days), or as crucial, an existing patient that needed to reschedule their 8am appointment for the next day (a nightmare when you have just one patient scheduled, right?).
After some thought, I tried to solve that by having an office cell phone each team member shared responsibility for answering.
That worked. Much of the time. But not always.
(My office was directed to answer calls on the office cell phone 7am to 6pm, M-F, and on Sat., 9am-3pm and Sun., 10am-2pm.)
It was inevitable that we’d have important call go to voicemail. Every practice does. Period.
(Unless they have a 24-hour, 365-day live answering service, right?!)
The challenge then became solving the voicemail problem as best we could – which we did by recording the right kind of voicemail greeting. (HINT: We went from sterile, cold and boring to the exact opposite and saw voicemails left -- vs. hangups -- actually INCREASE, which was a positive.)
The next problem to crop up? When we tried to get an idea just how much money we were not making that we could have been. There was no way to tell!
Here’s why you want to know that…
You see, if I could affix some kind of cost (lost “opportunity” cost) to it, I could dedicate resources (even when they were scare or hard to scrounge up – cash and excellent human capital, btw) to both solve the problem and increase my practice’s profits.
After all, I was spending somewhere between $5,000 and $15,000 per month in marketing. When you’re anywhere near that level, you can’t afford to not know.
It was especially important, because, like you, I wasn’t there to watch or listen to see if the voicemail calls were returned on time (as in seconds to maybe a few minutes, tops), and dealt with effectively.
I was no less than 10 miles away (or more) 99.9% of the time my dental practice was open.
Just like you… 99.9% of the time, you’re not present because you’re doing dentistry.
You can’t do both.
Nor, should you want to.
But, wouldn’t it be cool if you knew, with absolute certainty, if you had the results of every incoming voicemail that was left for your practice?
Here’re some stats that’ll convince you that it’d’ be awesome:
Remember, the average patient is worth no less than $350 to your practice in the first 90 days they are with you.
That means for every patient your front office doesn’t book, it’s $350 OUT OF YOUR POCKET.
For every voicemail that does not get the attention it deserves (or if you are having TOO MANY voicemails – just as bad – which indicates you don’t have the resources dedicated to your front desk that are required), you lose at least $350, but worse, you lose the lifetime value of that patient, which could be worth $5,000 and up in collections.
Not to mention the referrals that patient may well have blessed you with. Right?
All just from a missed call that lands in your voicemail box vs. a live, excited, happy front desk person.
Let’s say that happens:
Ten times a week = $3500. (And I bet, frankly, it’s more than that!).
40-times a month = $14,000 (lost to you – and yes, I had to get out my calculator to do that math)
Back to my earlier question: Wouldn’t it be cool if you knew, with absolute certainty, if you had the results of every incoming voicemail that was left for your practice?
Not only would it be cooler than a New York Thanksgiving, it’d kick up your bottom line almost immediately.
But, how in the world do you get it done?
Simple. You start measuring it.
“But, Jerry, how in the world do I do that?”
That, too, is also simple.
Book a free, no-cost, no-obligation Discovery Session, right now, with Kevin Anderson in my office.
PS. What are you doing to do differently in ’19 that you didn’t do in ’18? Booking that “Disco” Session with Kevin is the perfect place to start. You’ll dance with joy at your practice’s new found potential and increasing income…