Your front line team members are the first client/customer facing representatives anyone comes into contact with when they call or enter your dental practice. Hopefully you’ve trained them to be both empathetic and professional. Let’s say you’ve gone a step further and they are also well – versed on best practices surrounding customer care. That’s it, you’re done!
Not so fast.
What happens where they’re engaged with a real life customer and the phone rings? Is your answering system as good as your staff? If not, then you have a big hole that needs a filling.
First off, the phone should be answered within four rings. If staff are too busy to do so, let it go to the answering system. Nobody wants to hear, “this is Dr. Smith’s office. I’m going to have to put you on hold.”
If it isn’t possible for any member of your team to grab that phone call within four rings, your message has to be the next best thing to speaking to a real person.
First, the answering system should allow patients a choice. They should be allowed to leave their name and phone number along with a request or question. Alternately, the caller should be able to opt to stay on the line and wait. But if they do so, it is vitally important they are reminded every 30 seconds that you haven’t forgotten about them and that someone will be with them shortly. If, after two minutes, they are still waiting, they should have an additional option to leave a message. Here is where you differentiate yourself by promising to return the call within 15 minutes. Why is this important? That 15 minutes buys your time before they call another practice to set up an appointment.
Still not convinced about the importance of this seemingly minor issue? I’ve got a simple test for you. Do you remember the last time you were put on hold for a long time? Did you call back? I would guess you might have moved onto another provider.
We are all busy. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have time for clients. How you treat someone when you are busy speaks volumes about how much you would value them as a customer.
If you want to talk about how I can transform your dental practice into a customer service dynamo, please get in touch.
And he knows that once you “get it right,” it’s not a great leap to replicate that success over and over again.
Today, in addition to his work as an actual dentist, Dr. Coughlin coaches, consults and speaks to dentists across the country on how to build the practice of their dreams – based on proven processes and procedures.
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