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Dos and Don'ts for Scheduling Patients Over the Phone

By Meagan Simmons on June, 5 2018
Meagan Simmons

Meagan comes to Ren Scott Creative from the scorching hot desert of Arizona, but it's her cool demeanor and get-it-done attitude that keeps it all moving forward in the digital department. Speaking of moving, you may find her at your local gym teaching Zumba when she's not rockin' "the Google."

Talking on the phone to a new patient can be an intimidating affair, especially if you aren't prepared. The main goal is to get them to schedule an appointment, but closing the deal is sometimes easier said than done. Here are a few insider tips for scheduling patients over the phone.

Get Your Staff on the Same Page

In order to successfully schedule new patients, all employees who will be answering the phones need to be trained and on the same page. All employees should have a thorough understanding of your clinic’s scheduling software. This is important because if a patient has to be put on hold for too long while an employee tries to figure out the scheduling system, potential patients are more likely to get frustrated and hang up the phone.

Another thing to communicate with your team is how to properly promote your clinic. Make sure all employees clearly understand the services offered by the clinic and which ones make you unique. Does everyone know how to promote them to potential new patients over the phone? Practicing through role playing is a great way to get your staff comfortable and ready to take live calls.

Build Rapport

When speaking with a new patient on the phone, it helps to generate conversation with them instead of reading from a script. Lead with compassion and a warm tone. What problem is the patient facing, and how can your clinic help? A little friendliness goes a long way in putting patients at ease.

When they hang up, you want them to feel reassured that they're in good hands. This really boils down to listening to their needs and helping them in the best way you can. Your employees don’t need a phone script – they just need to know how to use a conversational, empathetic tone when communicating with potential patients.

Don't Talk Pricing

If a patient inquires about specific pricing, then by all means, their question should be answered. Transparency is a critical part of earning patient trust. However, leading with price points feels impersonal, giving the impression that you care more about money more than delivering the best care. The focus should be on listening to their needs, naturally spotlighting all your clinic has to offer, then seamlessly scheduling an appointment.

Send a Follow-Up Email

You should always send a thoughtful follow-up email after getting off the phone with a new patient. This is a great opportunity to remind them of their upcoming appointment and let them know that they are in good hands. A general template is a good starting point but be sure to personalize it by mentioning specific things discussed during your phone call and addressing the email to them using their name.

Your specialty is delivering top-notch medical care, so thinking in terms of sales and lead conversions may not feel natural, but it's vital to a thriving clinic. Rest easy knowing that when it comes to scheduling patients over the phone, practice really does make perfect. Ren Scott Creative demystifies patient calls so that clinics feel prepared and confident, every time they’re talking to a potential patient.

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