Call Handling & Responding

The picking up the phone to book an appointment is the most important part of the process so why don’t people take it more seriously?

What does a missed call cost?

One of my clients, a specialist dentist, recently admitted that they miss 2-3 calls per day. By missed they mean someone who called but didn’t feel like leaving a message on their clinic answerphone.

Most of these calls would be new clients and given that the lifetime value of one of their clients can be in the thousands of pounds this was an expensive gap in their operation.

Along they way they had forgotten the often herculean effort that comes with picking up the phone to book an appointment for a medical procedure with a stranger. The call often comes after a long period of research or saving up money. From the clinic perspective a call is routine, from the patients perspective it is a rare and far from usual event. To be presented with a answerphone is quite frankly a heartbreaking lost opportunity.

Professional clinics cannot be run by mobile phones or answer machine. The first interaction with your clinic needs to be with a happy, efficient, welcoming person who understands what you do and wants to get them booked in for a consultation.

The 30/7 Rule

This is a simple concept: speak with clients within 30 minutes of them leaving a message and see them for a consultation within 7 days.

With my clients I urge them to respond to enquiries immediately on the phone or if it’s an email or social media enquiry then within 30 minutes. Once you have spoken to them and have assessed suitability then you should be seeing them within 7 days.

They’ve taken the step to call you, they’re motivated. Seize that opportunity!

Also our experience tells us that many patients contact multiple practices for information and consultations – there’s a very high chance that your competitors are using the 30/7 rule!

Engage in Espionage

The implementation of the 30/7 rule to a practice can be a game changer. It can seriously increase conversions. If you ever wonder why other clinics are busier than you then why not get a friend to call them up and go through their enquiry process.

I have done this numerous times to see how industry leaders perform. Have a go, it will open your eyes!

Let us do it for you

A full time secretary to handle incoming calls can be expensive. You need a permanent office location, provision for holiday, sick pay, pensions and temporary cover and it can add an extra burden in management time.

Our cost effective call answering and appointment booking service specialises in healthcare. Read here for more details on our Call Answering service.