“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” This quote from Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, begs the question: Who’s on your team?

When it comes to building a marketing team, look first at your front office staff. Do they have the skills to answer a call from a prospective patient and turn it into a scheduled appointment?

The key is training. Give employees insight into your ideal patients and teach the value of using a phone conversation as a marketing tool. Simply answering the phone is no longer enough.

Share these tips with your front office staff and use them as a springboard for more training:

  • Answer calls before the 4th ring. After three rings, your caller is thinking about contacting a different provider.
  • Create a script.  A written narrative provides consistency and teaches team members how to lead a conversation and convert the caller.
  • Use role-playing as a training tool. Have employees play the role of a new patient to fine tune their phone skills. The more comfortable they become, the more natural they will sound.
  • Answer calls with confidence and a smile. It makes a difference even if the caller can’t see you. A positive phone experience helps build customer loyalty.  
  • Minimize distractions. Callers deserve undivided attention. Demonstrate empathy and communicate concern for the reason behind their call. Assure prospective patients the practice can provide the care they need.
  • Ask new patients how they heard about you. Track calls against marketing tactics on a spreadsheet if you don’t have a sophisticated CRM tool. This is a great way to measure ROI (return on investment) and patient acquisition.
  • Encourage your staff to capture email addresses. Use email to respond to concerns and send timely, personalized messages.
  • Make follow-up calls a priority. Ask patients if they have any questions about their treatment plan, prescription drugs, or even, “How are you feeling?”
  • Return voicemail messages ASAP. Customers often choose the business that responds first.
  • Don’t keep a caller on hold too long. The longer they wait, the more likely they are to hang up and move on to the next provider on their list. Develop a system to keep callers on hold for the shortest time possible.

With the right training, your front office staff can become a powerful marketing team. Give us a call. We’re here to help you turn prospective patients into scheduled appointments.