Insight

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Marketing’s job is to make the phone ring…

The rest is up to you!

What is a patient’s first impression of your practice?

With increased competition amongst vein practices, providing excellent customer service is paramount not only to your practice success but practice survival. Recording and monitoring calls is the best way to train and coach staff on how to handle new patient inquiries and established patient calls effectively!

How much revenue is your practice losing due to staff difficulties converting patient inquiries into consultation appointments?

Based upon our 2015 & 2016 case study, 27% of new patient calls ended without the patient scheduling a consultation. If reimbursement for a typical consultation is $550, just one lost consultation per day could cost you $143,000 a year. With an average patient reimbursement of $2,650 per treatment cycle, that number exceeds $689,000.

“This Call May Be Recorded For Quality Assurance…”

Pretty much every call to a customer service help desk starts with this greeting. Are inbound marketing calls into your practice being recorded? Are you monitoring and coaching staff to increase conversion rates from patient inquiries into consultations?

Monitor Telephone Inquiry to Consultation Conversion Rates

Your website may initially attract patients to your practice, but what happens when a potential new patient picks up the phone and calls for an appointment? This is not an interaction to leave up to chance; instead, train your staff to handle all patient inquiries with the same level of professionalism and warmth that you do for your clinical staff.

Equally important is teaching your staff to ask the right questions to guide prospective patients to the procedures they might be most interested in. At the same time, collecting the correct patient information is essential to allow for patient follow-up at a later date. Finally, you want your staff to know how to schedule the consultation and get off the phone, leaving the clinical questions for the doctor during the consultation.

Most practices would love to definitively say they are highly skilled at turning first-time telephone inquiries into new patient consultations. How satisfying would it be for your practice to confidently say it converts 70%, 80% or better of patient inquiries into revenue producing patients? While some practices obviously are better than others at getting potential patients to commit to a consultation over the telephone, even the best of the best would probably admit to letting far too many telephone inquiries slip away.

Practices that convert a high percentage of initial patient inquiries into consultations likely invest a significant amount of time and resources into properly training staff to master the components required to identify and meet the needs of first-time callers and get them to request that elusive initial consultation. It is essential that practices know if their staff is being properly trained in conversion techniques and components and is effectively executing that training “live” on the phone.

What are Your Priorities?

If you want your staff to make patient conversion a priority, you need to convey that importance to your employees on a regular basis. Ongoing training and support from Vein Specialists of America shows your staff that you value patient conversion and that you are willing to provide your staff with the education and support needed to achieve your desired results!

In addition to training, your staff will need the time to provide the kind of assistance prospective patients are looking for. If the same staff member that handles new patient inquiries … sets appointments … answers patient questions at checkout … and handles established patients that come into your office, you are not doing that staff member or the patients that visit your practice justice. Give patient inquiries the time and attention they deserve.

Locate and Correct Listening Gaps

Many times receptionists and appointment schedulers think they are great listeners, although a review of recorded calls may prove otherwise! Active listening is one of the most important skills for appointment schedulers to master, and patients are typically adept at knowing when a staff member is proceeding with his or her own preconceived agenda rather than remaining intently engaged in the conversation. It can be hard to teach the fundamentals of active listening without real-world examples to fall back on … so a recording demonstrating where your staff are lacking in this regard is extremely beneficial.

Build a Foundation for a Solid Training program

You can internally develop a library of real-world experiences that you can use to demonstrate both the best and worst ways to handle patient interactions. These calls will provide staff with relevant information about your practice, vein disease and treatment options, so they can immediately get a sense of the common hurdles they face when speaking with patients.

Inbound call recordings make for great instructional tools for new hires. But they also provide a refresher course for established employees to gain new insights well after their initial training has been completed.

What Is Call Recording and Call Monitoring?

Call Recording. The #1 goal of call recording should be talent development. New hires listen to calls so they have a very clear understanding of expectations. Training includes listening to examples of outstanding customer service, as well as those that provide some room for improvement. Recorded calls can be useful if you need to listen back to or review a call. By incorporating pre-recorded patient calls into new hire training, you can provide them with clear and concise examples of “what” and “what not” to do, allowing for more knowledge retention through efficient hands-on application.

Call Monitoring. Call monitoring offers the ability to listen to incoming phone calls. This feature provides reassurance for doctors and office managers that support staff can ably handle incoming callers. This is especially effective for monitoring employee performance and patient satisfaction levels.

Winning Call Components

Create a positive first impression with the patient

Establish rapport with the patient

Engage the patient

Offer a value proposition (credentials, outcomes, patient satisfaction, etc.)

Educate (vein disease / treatment options)

Schedule the Consultation and conclude the call

Summary

Having a strategy to handle inbound marketing calls and providing your staff with the appropriate level of training and support, you can dramatically increase your inquiry to consultation conversion rates and your practice’s profitability. With no plan in place, you are leaving too much to chance and throwing precious dollars down the drain!

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