1. The communication process may be too slow
Nobody likes to wait. How surprising is it then that in most clinics only 40% of incoming calls are answered? No complicated calculations are needed to conclude that this can undermine the patient experience as well as the bottom line of the clinic. What is more, many clinics can take up to 24 hours to respond to a voicemail. During this time, the potential client's needs could be met by another supplier. So what can a clinic do to fix this problem?
- Make staff aware of the importance of answering phone calls quickly. It is good to remember that sometimes one person cannot handle all the communication effectively. If you are taking the calls yourself, it may be good to think about hiring a front desk assistant that would be responsible for that. It can be a significant time-saver. (If you want to learn more about time management, click here.)
- Devote a specific period of time every day to respond to e-mails or WhatsApp messages. Written communication is a lot different from phone calls, and such an approach can help you stay on top of things.
- Make your voicemail a last resort. Research conducted by vonage.com shows that 85% of consumers calling a business hang up after reaching an auto attendant.
- Leave communication with clients to the professionals! Patient booking systems like InDesk can handle patient enquiries and allow you to focus on other issues in the clinic.
2. Bad first impression
The person answering the phone in a clinic is to a large extent responsible for the initial impression that a caller may get. There are some important aspects that need a closer look at if a clinic wishes to better its communication with customers.
- Make sure that your front desk assistant is well-informed about the procedures conducted at your clinic and is able to answer questions commonly asked by potential patients. Creating a file with all the necessary information may be helpful, as not every receptionist working for clinics is a medical aesthetic professional.
- It is important to remember that some people opt for aesthetic treatments to combat their insecurities. That is why every dialogue needs to be conducted with sensibility and tactfulness.
- Sending a read-made brochure is not always an answer. The potential patient usually does not pick up the phone to receive information that he or she can check on the clinic’s website. It is good to be as helpful and informative as possible.
3. Patients do not feel cared for
When it comes to health care, it is understandable that the patient wants to be at the centre of the clinic’s attention. Especially with aesthetic procedures, there is no shortage of stories online, that describe treatments with disappointing final effects. It may trigger some hesitation, but it is possible to fight that feeling with appropriate communication.
- Ask the right questions. Ones that make the potential patient feel that he or she will receive professional and attentive care. It is also important to understand the caller’s point of view and needs, so sometimes you simply have to ask questions to gain necessary information.
- Follow up on patients. Contacting a patient to check if they are satisfied with received service shows that a clinic strives to provide comprehensive care at every stage of the treatment. It is good to remember that many treatments need to be conducted regularly to maintain the results. Patients come back to clinics that care for them.
- Resign from medical jargon. Using professional vocabulary sometimes defeats the informative function of the call. It gives a sense of interacting with an expert, but at the same time is not really helpful for patients. It is all about being accommodating.
Thanks to the high quality of customer service, the clinic's good reputation can be passed on by word of mouth and, as a result, provide both regular and new clients. In addition, patient satisfaction is mirrored in online reviews which are a very important incentive for people looking for information about a clinic online (click here to learn more about patient reviews and review websites). The good news is that InDesk exists to make the above problems a thing of the past.
How are you going to improve your communication with patients?
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