I shake my head when I see, or rather hear, someone blow it over the phone from poor verbal skills when I am evaluating cosmetic surgery or cosmetic dentistry practice.
I imagine a business owner writing a check for all his cosmetic marketing, meeting with consultants to plan it, and the hours he spends reviewing it all to get it just right. And then at the bottom of all his advertisements, he puts his call to action with his phone number waiting for the phone to ring and the cosmetic new patient to rush in.
All his efforts are shot when a new patient actually calls that number, and the team member on the other side of the phone picks it up and opens her mouth.
Everything the owner worked for was just lost because that employee didn’t have the proper phone skills and essentially “lost the patient”… sometimes forever.
It plays like a cartoon in my head.
A hunter all decked out in the latest expensive gear. In his right hand, he holds a shiny new gun and in his left, a handful of bullets. As he fumbles around to load the fancy firearm, he trips and shoots himself in the foot.
Just like our team member did in the phone example.
Why spend anything on cosmetic services marketing if you aren’t going to invest, monitor, and make your team accountable for their actions within your office?
The only purpose of a phone is to get the patient scheduled as nicely, professionally, and as quickly as possible.
During college I got a job working part time at a lumberyard. I was put into the entry-level position- answering phones. During my first 10 minutes of working, they had me answering calls. I had received zero training but that didn’t seem to matter.
I answered, “XYZ, may I help you?”
“WHO IS THIS?” the voice on the other side of the line barked.
I told him my name. And he proceeded to yell at me over the phone. “Is that how you answer the phone? You say ‘Good morning, thank you for calling XYZ Building Supplies. How may I direct your call?’ Do you know how much business you are costing me?”
Then he asked, “How long have you worked there?”
I reluctantly told him exactly 12 minutes at that point still not knowing who he was until he said he was the owner of the company!
My manager got an earful that was passed down to me later.
And even after that incidence, you would assume that someone would go back and tell me the right way they wanted their phones handled.
Nope. I got zero phone skills training. As important as it was, no one took the time to neither develop a script for the company nor make employees accountable for performing it.
Could this be happening in your cosmetic practice?
I advocate phone training for anyone that might answer the phone in the cosmetic practice. Automatically that is the front office staff but what about the times, they are busy and the cosmetic clinical staff might be helping out for a moment?
I work with some small cosmetic practices where the doctor might, although rarely, answer the phone if he is waiting for a call back or no one else is available. If that is the case, even the doctor should have proper phone training. Plus, if the doctor knows the correct way to answer the phone, he can also know when the team is properly answering it.
Cosmetic services rely heavily on the patient’s emotional desire to have treatment. And part of that decision to move forward is to “make a decision right at that moment.”
Cosmetic treatment new patients will remember how they are treatment and how they felt when they called for the first time when making the decision of who they select for treatment.