How do I...
Perfecting patient phone calls
Channel manager at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny, Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, shares her expertise on how to craft the perfect phone call with patients
We have countless ways to communicate with our clients, and them with us.
But despite this, speaking over the phone is still one of the preferred methods by patients and practitioners alike. It’s more personal, and you can cover more ground in a few minutes than you would in an hour of emailing.
Furthermore, for new and prospective patients, it’s a great way to show you and the practice off.
So how can you ensure you deliver the best phone call possible? Often the most obvious answer is the simplest, but no less effective.
Make sure calls are answered
Not answering a ringing phone is like ignoring a patient when they walk into your practice. But of course, no one would do that. The person on the other end of the phone will be wondering why you don’t want their business, or don’t even care.
"The easiest way to improve your phone calls is to smile when speaking to your patient, even if you don't feel like it"
You’ll always create a connection with a patient if you answer the phone, so make sure this happens every time it rings.
Practices can be busy places, and answering the phone can slip down the list of priorities, especially when you have people to take care of. When this happens, make sure you have a back-up system in place to answer the calls that you can’t get to.
Have your say on the AOP's community forums
What are your practice's top telephone tips? Share your methods on the AOP's forums
Speak with a smile
Can you imagine welcoming a patient with a sour face and monotone greeting? No. You would smile and make them feel that they belonged right there in your practice. The same applies when greeting patients on the phone. The easiest way to improve your phone calls is to smile when speaking to your patient, even if you don’t feel like it. You will avoid mumbling and will sound much friendlier to the caller because you really can hear a smile. The chances are that you will have a much more productive phone call than if you are wearing a neutral face.
Each call is your most valuable client
If you knew that caller was going to spend £1 million with you, how would you treat them? Probably as if they were the most important person in the world. You would most likely give them more care and attention than the average person. But that’s how you should treat every patient you speak to. Before they have even stepped foot in the branch, they should feel that they are your most important patient. The same goes for long-standing patients. Not only will they keep coming back, but they are more likely to recommend an impressive and friendly service to their friends and family.
Three steps to success
1. Always answer a patient’s phone call
2. Smile and speak in a friendly manner
3. Make the caller feel they are your most important patient.
Image credit: Pixabay