Telephone Technique: The Window to Your Practice
By Dru Halverson
**Did you know that you have less than 15 seconds to make a great impression with someone?
**Did you know that the first words out of your mouth when answering the phone are judged not only on what you say but also how those words are spoken?
Jameson Management has worked with thousands of practices and we hear –
**We don’t have enough new patients!
**We can’t get our patients to be committed to coming into our practice for treatment or for their hygiene appointments!
Let me tell you – patients and potential patients have thought long and hard about calling you. They did not WAKE UP THAT MORNING and say to themselves, “OH, I LOVE the dentist – I think I will call them just to check in!!” They have researched your practice, they have been fretting about their next hygiene appointment or restorative appointment, they want to feel respected and cared about. And YOU have to make them FEEL that in approximately 15 seconds!!
If your introduction is bland, downtrodden, short, non-descriptive then I can tell you – you probably have more patients calling into your practice than you think. Track those calls – Listen to those calls – Elevate those skills – Get a better conversion!! If you have patients that don’t schedule for their next appointment or call and change appointments – get a better conversation going with them from the start, and you will see this change.
I always think of one practice that wanted the team members to answer the phone with – “We are having a great day at XYZ, this is Dru, how may I help you?” They did an awesome job with this – but what if they didn’t sound like they were having a great day? Every caller would be thinking – Are you really? Are you really having a GREAT DAY? I don’t want to go in today – they aren’t having a great day – I think I will call some other practice or call on another day… YIKES!
Let me give you some more examples:
Poor Introduction: Lake Pointe Dental… (imagine a voice that is monotoned/flat or even short sounding, in a hurry)
Poor Introduction: Dental Clinic… (imagine a voice that sounds short and like they are being interrupted from other work)
Poor Introduction: Lake Pointe Dental, please hold… (you don’t even give them a chance to get to know you and when people are put on hold without permission will not be thrilled and happy customers or patients.)
Poor Introduction: Lake Pointe Dental, can you please hold… (without waiting for an answer – music starts! Again, not a great way to start your call!)
Excellent Introduction: Lake Pointe Dental, this is Dru, how may I help you? (Imagine a smiling voice, one that sounds upbeat and the words are not too rushed)
The words are only a piece of the successful introduction and start of the call. Don’t look at caller ID and answer the phone differently for different people. Do think about this call as being the best call you will ever do! They are interviewing you to be their dentist or to come back to you.
Now for the really hard part – answer each call like this is the first and most important call you have answered all day – and it is 4:58pm. Every patient and potential patient deserves the best care – in the clinical area, business area and on the phone!!