Who Is Answering Your Phone?
Just phoned a colleague to ask about lunch together and though it was his normal business hours, voicemail picked up the call. I didn’t leave a message. At my next break from a patient about an hour and a half later I called the office again on the main line. Voicemail again picked up. Now I was wondering if everything was okay over there. I left a message this time. No return call.
It was just before lunch time so I called again and the phone was answered by a somewhat disenchanted voice. After I identified myself the front office person remarked. “OH, yeah, I was about to call you back. I was with patients all morning giving treatment plans and just couldn’t get to the phones.”
I happen to know that my friend had just spent $15,000 on a direct mail marketing campaign designed to make the phone ring. Well, it was ringing but no one answered so what’s the logic in that?
We all want new patients but have we set the stage to accommodate the new patient when they try to get into the office? Presenting treatment plans, calling for insurance verification, making collection calls, calling unscheduled patients that need treatment, confirming patients and dealing with walk-ins and other interruptions take your staff away from the phone. The phone is the lifeline of the practice and the first point of contact a patient makes to decide whether to be a patient in your practice or call the dentist down the street who does answer the phone.
What if your front office team can be freed up to spend time answering the phone and presenting treatment to patients while they are in the office? Outsourcing your insurance verification, insurance filing and follow-up, billing and collection of unpaid accounts would free up about 2 to 4 hours a day for personal contact necessary to build rapport and trust in your practice. Look into it and see the testimonials of the success of this affordable way to do business.