You work hard to promote your practice and generate new-patient calls. To then fail to schedule these patients, because your staff are not handling incoming calls in a professional and effective manner, is an unnecessary waste.
The way your staff handles callers forms the first impression of your practice. This first impression is often permanent and affects your image, reputation and profit. So it must be the best impression you can provide.
The best way to determine how well your calls are handled is with a secret patient call from ExecTech. By submitting the form below, one of our staff members will call your office pretending to be a potential new patient. He or she will describe problems specific to your practice while rating your staff member on ten qualities
Click to Read the Ten Worst Things We Heard while Making Secret Patient Calls
We have conducted hundreds of these calls and selected these ten statements from staff members as the worst.
10. “Sorry, I can’t schedule your appointment until I verify your insurance.”
9. “Hang on, I have to finish something up here . . . Oh no! My computer just crashed. I HATE THIS COMPUTER!”
8. “Please hold.” We waited five minutes before giving up. When we called back we heard, “Please hold.”
7. She replied, “Nothing is available on Friday.” We said, “Okay thanks,” and she said, “You’re welcome.”
6. “If you don’t tell me which doctor you want to see, I have to schedule you with the new associate. So why don’t you go look at the doctors on our website and call me back.”
5. “I’m not at my computer so I can’t schedule you.”
4. “We’re pretty expensive here. Are you sure you can afford us?”
3. “Well, I’d say you should take a couple aspirin and see how you feel next week.”
2. “The doctor is all booked up. You should probably call someone else.”
1. “I’m sorry, but the doctor is not accepting new patients right now.” The doctor was shocked by our report.
Click to Read ExecTech's Ten-point Call Analysis
1. How many rings before the call was answered? If put on hold, how many seconds?
2. What is the first impression?
Does the staff member make you feel glad you called? Not interested in you? Rushed or bothered? Like you are a waste of time?
3. How much interest does the staff member show in the patient?
Does he or she ask enough questions to understand the problem? On a scale of 1-10, how interested is the staff member?
4. What kinds of questions does the staff member ask?
Questions about the patient, the condition or symptoms? Or more interest in payment or insurance coverage?
5. When can the potential patient come in?
Within 1-3 days or 1-3 months?
6. How does the staff member handle the patient’s special requests, like child care, scheduling concerns or transportation needs?
Does he or she offer great solutions? Offers no help? Makes the request into a problem?
Even if they must follow rules, good receptionists focus on solutions. “I’m sure we can work something out for you.”
7. How does the staff member handle tough questions?
Does he or she remain polite and interested in helping? Gets a little irritated? Gets cold or rude?
Examples of tough questions:
“What are the doctor’s qualifications? Where did he go to school? Has he done any specialty training? Is he really all that good?”
“What kind of complaints do you hear about the doctor? . . . Oh, c’mon! No one’s perfect. What do patients like the least about your office?”
“Can I talk to the doctor first? Can you guarantee that he’ll call me back?”
8. What is the staff member’s communication skill level?
Professional? Just doing a job and that’s all? Following a script? Sloppy? Cuts people’s communication?
9. Does the staff member really want to schedule the appointment or does he or she not really care?
Does he or she persist if the caller does not schedule by offering to call back or send an email?
10. Overall, does the staff member make the caller want to schedule an appointment?
Are you compelled, inclined or repelled?
Once the call is completed, we will give you a verbal report on each of your staff member’s ten qualities. We will also give you suggestions for improving your staff member’s performance, at no charge.
As a result, you will know where you stand. You will know what kind of impression your staff is making about you and your practice. You will also know what you must do to increase your percentage of callers who schedule their first appointments.