Today, I want to talk about how you can improve your clinic’s phone conversion rates.
A few years ago it was talking to one of my patients and he said: Mostafa, we're spending all this money and we're not getting enough business!
In my head, I'm going: you've got to be kidding me!
We have so much going on; a few thousand people on the site, hundreds of phone calls coming in on a monthly basis, and on a daily basis. How could you not get business?
So we looked into it.
Lucky for us, at the time, we were recording the incoming phone conversations.
This system was tracking all the marketing campaigns, where the calls are coming from, and they were recording the calls as well.
After reviewing a few phone calls, we found the bottleneck. It was the front desk office staff who were answering the calls.
The people at the front were literally turning business away!
Here's a sample conversation:
A person calls and says, Hi, I have this problem. I want to come in today for a massage.
And the front office staff said: Oh, sorry, we're fully booked. (and she stopped talking)
That was the conversation. That’s it!
And the person goes: Okay, thank you. Bye.
There was no offer such as: Sorry, we're fully booked today; you can come tomorrow.
Or let me go check with the massage therapist and see if we can squeeze you in today.
None of that!
And that happened repeatedly.
Another problem was the attitude on the phone.
This is what it sounded like (in a low tone of voice and sounded like they didn’t care),
Dr. Joe's office, what can I do for you?
Patient thinking: I just need to get out of this conversation as fast as possible.
Because it sounded like she didn’t care and what the person on the phone hears is:
Dr. Joe's office, what do you want?
You couldn't be any ruder than that.
The attitude on the phone makes a huge difference.
They didn't have an enthusiastic conversation, they were not smiling on the phone, and it reflected the attitude to the Patients.
5 Step Process to Improve the Phone Conversion Rates
1- Analyze the phone calls
Track, record and analyze the phone using a call tracking service. We used Call Tracking Metrics for tracking the phone calls.
2- Create a script
We got the best person in the clinic, the one with the highest conversion rate and the best attitude, to create a script for the physiotherapy clinic. She did it because she seemed to be the best and she was converting calls to appointments for the clinic.
We gave her a couple of weeks to write the script.
3- Train your front staff on how to answer the phone properly
Then we asked that person to train the other staff on how to answer the phone.
By getting the person to write the script, she actually became better at answering the phone herself because she was more conscious of how she would answer the incoming phone calls.
4- Get them to listen to their own recording
Once we got them to listen to themselves on the calls, they could see how they sound.
Some of them were embarrassed.
Some of them were like: oh my God, I can't believe this is how I sound on the phone. So they started making improvements on their conversations right away.
5- Use the script with new staff for training and create consistency
We got the script and now we can give the script to the new hires.
There are only a few different cases that they have to be prepared and get training for.
General cases for phone call training:
- Inquire about a service
- Book an appointment
- Cancel an appointment
- Reschedule an appointment
Give them the scripts and they can now work on improving the scripts together, as a team. Put them in charge of it so they can own it and be proud of it.
You need to identify the problems and make sure that the people at the front are answering the phone properly so that they're converting phone calls to appointments and book new patients for your clinic.
Your responsibility as Owner or Manager
As the owner or manager, it is your job to make sure that they're NOT turning business away. It is also your job to train them, give them the scripts, and every other tool they need to do their job properly.
You have to listen to the calls once or twice a month, have your front desk staff listen to their own conversation and see what we could do to improve it and find areas of improvement and improve your clinic's phone conversion rates.
Hope this works for you.
If you have any questions about increasing your phone conversion rates, feel free to leave a comment or send me a private message.
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