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Your phone is an extension of your practice outside the walls of your clinic – and it pays to use it right.  By following a few easy tips, it’s easy to wow your patients and referral sources while on the phone with your practice.

  1. Don’t use robots.  Let me be clear – ONLY humans should answer your phone.  I’m amazed by the number of small to medium-sized practices that rely on automated systems to route calls, placing callers on hold before getting to a live person.
  2. Answer in two rings or less.  If two rings isn’t possible, then maybe three.  Whatever you choose, it’s important to have a standard.  It’s easy to impress your callers by greeting them before they’ve had to wait too long.
  3. Script your greeting.  Even the smallest of practices should have a standard script for answering the phone.  Scripting ensures consistency – a sure fire way to eliminate variance in customer service.
  4. Train your staff.  Discuss and educate your staff regarding ways you can deliver impeccable service by phone.  Share ideas that will reduce hold time and deliver a quality experience on every call.
  5. Create a referral hotline.  Want an easy way to deliver a polished level of service to your referral sources?  Offer them a referral hotline – a direct phone line into your clinic that will be answered in two rings, with expedited routing to providers or management staff.

Delivering amazing customer service by mastering the phone is easy and fun – follow these simple steps and you’re well on your way!

An edited version of this article was published in the April 2012 issue of Impact, a publication of the Private Practice Section, APTA.