By Jim DuMolin
This week, I’d like to review telephone etiquette.
This is important stuff! Up to 50% of the new patients calling your office may be lost due to poor call handling. The initial phone call between a new patient and your office is critical.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution… follow the advice below!
ELEVEN RULES FOR TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE
(1.) Have an adequate number of phone lines.
A busy practice typically requires 4-5 phone lines. Don’t let incoming calls get busy signals! Have lines 1-3 be dedicated solely to incoming calls, with line 4 for the dentist’s calls and line 5 for the fax. To get your practice started, you might want to consider looking at this phone line from EATEL or you could look around for a different provider.
(2.) Have enough people.
You cannot afford to invest marketing dollars to attract patients and then have them turned off before they even meet you because you don’t have enough people to answer the phones correctly. When you do get to the stage of marketing your dentistry, you can find more marketing ideas here that could help you to drive more clients your way.
(3.) Give training to everyone who will be answering the phone.
There is no role in the office that is more important, and proper training makes all the difference. Practice and perfect verbal skills by role-playing.
(4.) Answer the phone by the third ring.
(5.) Answer with a smile!
Project a high level of enthusiasm with a sense of warm, caring concern. Take a deep breath, slow down and smile before you pick up the phone.
(6.) Greet the caller, thank them for calling, introduce yourself, and offer your help.
For example: “Thank you for calling Silverado Dentistry. This is Sharon. May I help you?”
(7.) Actively listen to the patient.
Get their name the first time they say it, and use the patient’s name during the conversation (patients love to hear it!).
(8.) Give the caller your full attention!
Avoid impatience. Do not interrupt the caller.
(9.) Avoid putting people on hold.
Never put a patient on hold if at all possible. If you must put them on hold, ask for their permission. Don’t leave them on hold for more than 20 seconds.
(10.) Never interrupt the patient you are scheduling face-to-face to answer the phone.
Have a daytime message on an answering machine that lets patients know that you are working with other patients and will return their call within 3-7 minutes. (Do not forget to return their call!)
(11.) Use a phone slip.
Predetermine the information you will need. The reason for scripting and checklists is so that the information is gathered the same way every time and nothing is forgotten. Have your information slip nearby so you won’t have to put the patient on hold to get it.
We want to thank Jim Du Molin for providing today’s blogpost
|Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques. Contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit him at www.InternetDentalAlliance.com.|