While every member of your team is extremely important in the delivery of perfect service to your clientele, the people who hang out at the front desk play a huge part in the growth, size and profitability of your practice. In fact, the business starts and ends at the front, from a patient or client’s perspective.
Therefore, it is very important that as you grow, you do not let that position get overloaded to the point where they start jamming up and losing business through overload. In one week alone it is possible to lose the equivalent of two or three salaries in lost business.
How is this possible?
First, there are a number of very obvious ways to lose business, such as not having time to ensure all patients are scheduled for return visits for ongoing care, appointment reminder calls not being done properly (such as only leaving messages instead of calling home, work, cell numbers or texting or emailing them until you are successful in confirming the appointment), following up on patients who were not scheduled for their next appointment before leaving the practice after their last visit, and so on.
Another way to lose business (which is not as obvious) is through the receptionist not having the proper amount of time to spend building a relationship with a “shopper” and turning the enquiry into a fresh new patient of the practice. This is often a seriously overlooked problem and staff, pressured by time constraints, often lose 2 to 5 potential new patients every week. Lack of sales training and the lack of adequate time can add up to a lot of lost business. This point alone when remedied by the correct amount of staffing on the front desk can pay for itself over and over again. You can do all the marketing you want, but it can all be wasted by not turning the inquiries into actual new patients.
Some more ways to lose business at the front end:
* not asking for referrals from existing patients
* not reenforcing treatments presented by the technical team
* jamming the doctor and back staff with poor scheduling. This can make them grumpy and less productive.
The key point here is to ensure that the workload at your front end is appropriately apportioned and that there is adequate staffing to fully capture and keep all possible business in your practice where you can deliver the awesome service you were trained for.
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