Academy Connection Volume 18 Issue 5 : Page 19
T HE T OP F IVE R EASONS TO L ISTEN IN ON Y OUR F RONT O FFICE a memorable brand, yet your new patient day, yet you never see new faces enter the office. The Top Five Reasons to Listen in on Your Front Office BY XAÑA WINANS Xaña Winans is the owner and presi-dent of Golden Proportions Marketing, a comprehensive dental marketing agency. In addition to helping her clients track, measure and improve their marketing with state of the art tracking software, GPM provides custom marketing solutions to attract the perfect patient. She can be reached at 866-590-4GPM or via firstname.lastname@example.org . GPM’s website can be found at www.goldenproportions.com . A CADEMY C ONNECTION V OLUME 18 I SSUE 5 19
The Top Five Reasons to Listen In On Your Front Office
by Xana Winans
You’ve invested money into marketing your practice and have created a memorable brand, yet your new patient
numbers remain stagnant. You hear the phone ringing throughout the day, yet you never see new faces enter the office.
What is going on?
The problem isn’t your reputation or your dental skills. It most likely has to do with the way your phone is being answered.
While you do your best to hire the best, sometimes more in-depth training is required to turn a phone call into a revenue-generating appointment. However, you wouldn’t know this area of your practice needs attention unless you listen in on your front office.
We aren’t trying to create the next big spin-off of Big Brother, but listening to your practice in-coming phone calls can provide insight as to why you aren’t seeing an influx of new patients or why patients may be leaving the practice.
Missed opportunity for patient conversion is a common reason to listen in. Your marketing materials are being received and are generating interest in your practice—until a caller picks up the phone. Whether someone is looking for a new dentist or is a newcomer to town, if your front office staff can’t convert an inquiry phone call into an appointment, the prospective patient is lost forever. You and I know that failure to schedule an appointment directly impacts your practice—and your production.
Is your front office creating a welcoming atmosphere? When prospective new or current patients call the practice, for any reason, they should sense a smile on the other end of the line. Listening to phone calls allows you to analyze whether your team is providing exceptional customer service or sounds as if they would rather not be there. If a team member isn’t excited about the practice, why should the patient be?
The insurance phone call is often handled incorrectly. When potential new patients call the office, the first question often asked is, “Do you take my insurance?” Typically many front office staff members reply with a simple “no” and ‘click,’ lost opportunity.
The word “no” should never come from a team member’s mouth.
Does your staff simply say, “no” then go about their day, or do they offer a more thorough explanation for how to help a patient take advantage of his/her maximum benefits? Do they explain financing
options for work not covered by insurance? You won’t know unless you listen.
Do your team members dig deeper to determine how the caller heard about you? Another beneficial aspect to listening in on the front office is whether they are accurately tracking how potential patients hear about your practice. Often a team member asks, “How did you hear about us?” and checks off the first response heard on the call log (if a call log is kept, that is!). This doesn’t provide an accurate picture of where your marketing dollars should be spent. For example, a caller’s first answer is he/she found you on your website. Digging deeper, you’ll hear, your website was found in a newspaper ad.
If these second tier questions aren’t asked, your office staff could be tracking wrong and therefore you may be investing valuable marketing dollars into the wrong mediums. Do you get calls from “shoppers”?
If you ask your front desk, they’ll say it’s not uncommon for prospective patients to inquire about fees for a root canal, whitening, an exam or other procedures. Often the initial assumption is “if these callers are price shopping, they can’t afford us in the first place,” and the callers are quickly dismissed. Or, your receptionist blurts out the cost requested without building any value for why your office is worth the investment. Regardless, those fee for service patients are gone (remember, if they had insurance, they wouldn’t be asking about your fee!). Instead, teach your team how to turn every answer into a benefit statement that positions you as the only choice for those who care about their dental health.
What’s most important for your practice is to get patients in the door and in the chair because if you can’t, you don’t have a practice. Market appropriately to get the attention of new patients and, an even better way to secure new patients is to be certain your front office staff is well trained and qualified to turn inquiries into appointments.
Are your team members qualified?
Listen in to find out.