How can I get more patients? While visiting with a friend of mine the other day, during a discussion we were having about how the world has changed, he asked, how can I get more patients.
He began to tell me about how his patient flow has slowed tremendously and how he has had numerous thoughts over the last few months about closing his practice just to avoid losing everything.
He explained that he pretty much has all of the bases covered when it comes to advertising, yet for the money he is spending; his new patient flow barely increases.
As we continued talking about advertising methods like search advertising, direct mail, email marketing, phone book listings and television commercials I began to clearly see were his problems were with getting new patients into the practice.
They are common issues that many businesses unknowingly suffer from, as I’ll explain and nearly 100% of the time, they aren’t realized until owners have already shut down their business.
We’ll just start with the number one problem and that is unmotivated staff. Your staff, especially your front desk is not only responsible for filing and answering phones, they are your sells team.
If any one of them are having a bad day that is affecting their mood enough for your patient to detect it through the phone when they call, this person should not be answering the telephone.
You must never forget that by the time a patient calls your practice, they have called 5 or more practices before you. If a staff member answers the phone and is short with the potential patient or seems to have an attitude, the patient is likely to think that everyone else at your practice is uncaring as well. Every potential patient should be treated as though they are already a patient.
People may at times, call with random questions or to check the price of a procedure only but this does not mean that they should be treated any different from a patient who makes an appointment.
If you have identified a specific crowd that is known to not show up for scheduled appointments, change your attitude and expectations toward the crowd.
If your staff members are already convinced that the patient will not show up, no effort is put forth to even attempt to get them to make an appointment. Even though the person calls on the phone, they can still tell through conversation that they are unwanted or being treated unfairly.
It is the front desk staff’s responsibility to close the sell by making the appointment. Simply put if your phone rings more than 200 times a day, you have a medium sized practice and you are not seeing 40 to 60 patients a day, you need to remove or completely retrain the front desk staff.
A car salesman does not just walk up to you and only say, this car is pretty cool huh. He describes everything so well that he closes his sell by simply getting you to come in and fill out the paperwork. If everything goes well you will get a car and he will get a bonus but he already closed the sell while speaking with you before you went inside.
It honestly may be difficult to retrain the front desk staff especially if they have been with the practice for a while. Many times employees become overwhelmed by change but this should not stop affect your decision to make changes. Again, if a dealership’s sales team is not performing the dealership will close.
The patient is worth more than 20 bucks and this offer for performance, will change the demeanor of all of your front desk staff. So, if you have asked yourself, how can I get more patients, start with what you have read here.