You know that old saying about how you never get a second chance to make a first impression?
In the business world, no matter what industry you are in, the first impression you make to your customers happens over the telephone. This is why your telephone technique is arguably the most important aspect of training for each and every member of your staff.
Just how important is telephone technique? Let’s just look at the facts …
- Fact 1: You have less than 15 seconds to make that first impression.
- Fact 2: When you answer the phone, the first words out of your mouth are subject to double judgment. First, the words you say are judged. Then, the caller scrutinizes the way the words are spoken.
Now, consider the two major complaints of dental practices: not having the desired influx of new patients, and dealing with patients who are not committed to coming in for their next appointment. These two factors can be linked directly to the telephone technique of your staff—or their lack of technique!
Many people who go to the dentist already are nervous. You need to make them feel at ease, self-assured, respected and that your team cares… and you have to do it all in 15 seconds.
Sound tough? It really isn’t… not with the proper training, anyway.
Ask yourself: How do your team members answer the phone?
Is their introduction short? Is it bland? Is it non-descriptive? If so, this needs to change. Having better conversations with your patients starts from the very first word that is spoken.
Follow these tips to make a great first impression on the phone with customers and clients.
Is the office phone answered with a flat or monotone tone of voice? Does your team member sound rushed, as if they are being interrupted while doing other work? Neither of these makes a good first impression, as it suggests to the patient that you have something better to do than talk to them.
Never put a client directly on hold without permission immediately after answering. This is more likely to make the conversation unpleasant and even adversarial. Unhappy patients are less likely to be reliable patients, or even show up for their appointment in the first place.
So what’s the best way to make a great first impression to your patients?
Answer with a smiling voice that sounds upbeat, attentive, and not too rushed. Answer every call the same, with utmost importance: whether it is the first call of the day or the last. Treat every patient the same. And, most important, treat them the way that you want to be treated.
Bryant Consultants’ services can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799 to learn more about how we can help.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!