7 Phone Skills Every Front Desk Staffer Should Have
Ophthalmology practice management has changed (check out this article for more details), but a phone call is usually still a patient’s first contact with your practice. The level of customer service expressed over the phone sets the bar. Your receptionist should have the phone skills to handle inquiries effectively, converting them into appointments and eventually, paying patients who will return again and again.
Unfortunately, your receptionist may not have the phone skills to do so, and each caller who decides not to visit your practice is money down the drain. Missing out on even one conversion opportunity each week could mean thousands of dollars of lost revenue over the course of a year.
Physicians should conduct a phone-skills assessment by calling their own office, just as a patient would, advised practice consultant Mary E. Schmidt at a previous SECO conference. Many physicians are surprised at what they hear, she reports.
Top Telephone Tips
In addition to emphasizing the use of scripted responses, Schmidt gave attendees these tips for taking their telephone game up a notch:
- When the phone rings, take a time out. Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, sit up, and have a pen and pad of paper nearby. These actions take just a few seconds and will help you keep your cool on the phone while slowing down your thoughts so that you can focus on the caller.
- Answer promptly—on the first two rings.
- Use a courteous, friendly voice. Nothing turns off a customer more than a phone conversation with a cold receptionist.
- Use plain language. Avoid using technical terms, such as “toric” and “refraction.” Ex. Instead of “refractive test,” say, “vision test.”
- Apologize for all errors and delays, i.e. putting a caller on hold.
- Write down patients’ questions, concerns, and requests. This makes it easier to follow up, and avoids you having to ask the patient to repeat themselves.
- Keep your promises. If you say you’re going to call a patient back at a certain time with specific information, do it.
Drop a line for our sales representative to get in touch with you
Building a Culture of Patient Safety with Eye Care Leaders
- 12 Nov 2020
You might be a patient’s ophthalmologist, but it’s highly unlikely that you’re the only provider he or she is seeing. Patients often consult several providers at the same time, and every provider m...
3 Ways Healthcare Technology is Facilitating Integrated Care
- 12 Oct 2020
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The recent shift to value-based care is forcing healthcare practices to improve care quality and efficiency while cutting costs. Indeed a daunting task, but lever...
4 Reasons Eye Care Practices Switch EHR Software
- 01 Oct 2020
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Many factors are involved when an eye care practice decides to switch electronic health record (EHR) software. Some of the potential reasons that lead to switchin...