Front Desk Follies


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I recall a time when Bree handled the front desk for a very prominent physician. Bree was a very nice young women but rather introverted. I am fairly gregarious and each time I saw her I greeted her warmly. However she did not reciprocate. Rarely did Bree smile at the front desk and rarely was she empathetic to clients taking pragmatism over relations. Eventually patients either complained or simply went to another physician. Given concerns about revenue and future growth the physician terminated Bree.

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, is one of the most widely read books of all time. In 1946, Mr. Carnegie understood the importance of not what you say but how you say it so her are some Essential words and phrases that make a caller feel welcomed — and give a great impression of your company. After all, your patients will be taken with you or not from the moment that you answer or someone else answers your telephone to inquire about your practice or make an appointment.

According to research, psychologists many years ago researched that the average one year old has a vocabulary of three hundred words. At age two, children have working knowledge of 272 words. And by six the average child has a vocabulary of 2562 words. Don’t you wish your net worth grew at that rate?

Adult vocabulary accumulation continues to grow, yet effective use of the words does not necessarily follow. Even though the average adult speaks at a rate of 125 to 200 words per minute and over 18,000 per day, this does not mean that messages are clearly relayed. Words are like eyeglasses—they obscure everything that they do not make clear. Remember the movie “Jerry McGuire”? Your practice needs to be certain you have the prospective patient at Hello!

So let me provide you some quick tips for front desk assistance.

  • Always be smiling – this includes the telephone. No one wants Eye Or the donkey from Winnie the Poor answering the phone.
  • Always be in control – never allow the prospective patient to control the call, ask questions.
  • Watch your body language and posture – this includes the telephone. Ensure that all are open and inviting not closed and aloof.
  • Use a pleasant tone of voice.
  • Identify the practice and the person. Make sure to be understood.
  • Picture the other person. Focus on the caller – use the caller’s name frequently. The sweetest sound anyone ever hears in their own name.
  • Use active listening to understand the situation. Take accurate notes. And ask good questions.

When greeting someone for the first time:

  • The doctor and the front desk must state their name clearly and without rushing –
  • Check your baggage – keep personal issues and strife from the call, the only item of focus is the patient not your personal issues.
  • Ask them for their name first and last and repeat it to ensure you have it correctly.
  • Request them to spell it and pronounce it if unfamiliar – i.e. Christine for Chystine
  • Seek out the information they need and let them know to whom you are transferring and their telephone number (i.e. AT&T)

And finally use this simple script for your practice to allow for more efficiency.

Good day this is _______(State Practice)_______________ it is a great day and this is ____(State your name)______________ How might I assist you today?

Before I transfer you did I resolve all your questions?

Might I assist you with something else?

Thank you and I look forward to speaking to you again.

Have a pleasant day (State Clients Name)

Your practice is similar to the front door of a home or façade of a building. Patients will analyze it before walking in. They will look and listen like those in a museum reviewing the Mona Lisa. It is up to you to decide if you want them analyzing rubbish or a fine treasure.

Seeking a sample script to help you with your front desk skills? Then contact me today and I will email you five free samples.

© 2012. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

Drew Stevens Ph.D. is a world-renowned marketing mentor for chiropractors. Drew is one of those very rare chiropractic-marketing experts with not only 30 years of true experience but advanced degrees in marketing productivity. Not many can make such as claim. Drew works with chiropractors and professional services firms who struggle like crazy to create customer centric relationships that create new revenue. Dr. Drew has aided professionals to reach billions of dollars in new revenue by strategically implementing processes and methods that develop new relationships and new revenue.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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