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Q&A: How do I get my reception to turn new callers into appointments?

Q&A: How do I get my reception to turn new callers into appointments?

Q: How can reception turn new callers into appointments?

A: Your reception staff can either make the right impression or turn potential new patients (and existing ones) away.

To ensure your staff are good at keeping existing patients and turning new patients into long-term ones, they will need a wide skill set – including making the right impression. Anyone answering the phone needs to do so in a courteous, professional and unhurried manner. 

Callers should not feel like they are calling a fast food place. The practice name must be clearly stated, as well as the name of the person answering the phone. Try something like “Hello, welcome to The Practice. This is Alex speaking, and I can help you”, instead of “How can I help you?” It adds a courteous and confident touch. Below are various skills required by that special person at the forefront of your practice:

  • Excellent verbal skills to enable them to convert enquiries into bookings.
  • Ability to gain the patient’s trust.
  • Extra training in communication skills.
  • Ability to listen to patients.
  • Skills to empathise with patients.
  • Exceptional organisational skills.
  • High standard of customer care.
  • Tone of voice that’s warm, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
  • Able to concentrate on that phone call, making it a priority.

It is very important for patients to know who they’re talking to. The person on the end of the phone needs to know your intentions before they’ll trust you.  People want to know if you will truly help them. Since this is very difficult to achieve without face-to-face contact, your practice receptionist (who represents you) must be fully trained to answer that call.

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