Does your receptionist need phone skills?

Ask Catherine

…is a weekly post where I select and personally respond to one question received from my consults, Webinars, emails or talks that I believe will help the most practices. Please provide your feedback!

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

I can hear my receptionist on the phones and I

cringe. No matter how many times I tell her what to

say, she will often say something random and loses

the caller.

 

Just today I heard her say, “No, we don’t do that.”

and she hung up on the caller.  When I asked her

which procedure the caller was asking about, she

told me….

 

…..”The caller wanted something called [brand name

skin tightening device] and I told her we don’t do that.” 

 

So I had to explain to my receptionist we don’t offer that

particular name brand because we found something that
works even better and THAT’S what she should have told

the caller.

 

That one mistake costs us $4,500. Any suggestions for

fixing my phones?  Dr. T

Catherine’s Answer:

Dear Dr. T, your question is a good one.  Every

practice has experienced “bad phones” that are costing

them patients and thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

 

Let’s do the math:  If your receptionist loses that $4,500 caller

just 1x/week, that adds up to $234,000 per year! Wow!

 

The solution to Fix Your Phones is simple but not easy.

Here’s what it takes to get your phones in order:

 

1)     Get the right person in that position

2)     Give them the training and tools they need to

represent you and your practice professionally

3)     Hold them accountable so they consistently

perform well for you and BOOK Appointments

 

That’s how you prepare your receptionist to handle patient

inquiries effectively and fill up your schedule.

 

Otherwise, your new patients aren’t ever going to meet you if
your receptionist can’t successfully convert these callers into
appointments.

 

Frankly, your receptionist may be unknowingly sabotaging
your best practice promotional efforts simply because
they don’t have the tools they need.

 

Think about how YOU feel when you call a business and

your call is handled poorly. Certainly, that’s not the way the

owner would want you to be treated. Well, it’s the same in

your practice. Most doctors don’t believe this happens in their office –
until they hear it for themselves.

 

==> Click here for Receptionist Phone Training
I assure you, in my consulting work, I have called hundreds
of practices and have been amazed at what I’ve heard on
the other end of the phone. Rather than me belaboring the
point – test it for yourself. Call your office as any prospective
patient would and then tell me what you think.

Every call affects your bottom line and either enhances

your image or destroys it. Your staff can represent you as a true
professional or not – but the choice is up to you.

During my staff training sessions, I often hear, “But, I
don’t know what to say when the patient says that.
” Or,
“What else could I have said that would have made a
difference?”
My answer is – plenty!

 

==> Click here for Receptionist Phone Training
Prepare your receptionist for success. Equip them with effective
responses, phrases and questions to help them not only bond
with and educate your patients but actually close.

With the right words to say, your staff will be so
comfortable with the process and so prepared that
they’ll look forward to phone calls and patient
interactions because they’re confident, trained and
ready to close!

And that’s why I developed “Exceptional Receptionist Training”
that will increase your conversions within days.

 

==> Click here for Exceptional Receptionist Training

 

Are YOUR phones set up for success or sabotage?

How have you tackled your own phone frustrations?

What has worked best for you to get the right staff answering your phones the right way?

 

New Patients Through Patient Loyalty

Ask Catherine:  New Patients Through Patient Loyalty

New Cosmetic Patients!

New Cosmetic Patients!

Question: 

Dear Catherine,

I finally got around to doing that exercise you mentioned in one of your Webinars where I tracked the last 40 surgeries and big-ticket procedures I did to see where they came from. I was surprised to learn that 65% of them were from word-of-mouth referrals and current patients returning for more.

Then I realized how much I spend on getting new patients to see me and how little I spend on my current patients since they already know me. So my question is should I leave it alone and let that happen naturally as it has been or should I be doing more to keep in touch with my current patients?

Dr. M

 Answer:

Dear Dr. M,

I’m so glad you asked!  Let me answer with another question:

What would it be worth to you in hard dollars to increase your current surgeries and big-ticket procedures from 65% to 80%? If that number excites you, then by all means, do more to attract loyal patients who return and refer because here’s the reality.

Patient Loyalty is the NEW Acquisition Formula

Patient satisfaction is good but patient loyalty is the real win. But its not enough for your patient to only be “satisfied”. They must be WOW’d to become a loyal patient who comes back repeatedly, refers their friends, and stays faithful to you even when your price is not the lowest.  This is where your opportunity to beat your competitors resides.

Thanks to groupons, living social and medi-spa pop up stores, many thought patient loyalty was dead. Price was everything, and patients would switch service providers without thinking twice.

I now believe technology, skills & expertise and social networks have re-awakened patients to the fact that there is more to an aesthetic rejuvenation transaction than simply price. People (cosmetic patients) are tired of being serviced like a commodity that gives them a mediocre result.

This represents a big opportunity to the practices that recognize it. Building patient loyalty means your first priority is keeping the patients you already have, rather than focusing always on getting new ones.  It also means giving your patients a great result consistently as well as a fantastic patient experience whenever they call or visit.

Here are 6 tips to build and maintain your own “real” patient loyalty:

1.     Communicate more personally more often. Get to know your patients and let them get to know you.  It’s easy to do with today’s technology. Build a patient record of their likes, dislikes, family stories, etc.  Reach out to them about what’s going on with you, your own family and your practice. Stay in touch regularly with emails, personalized letters, reminder notices and holiday greeting cards personalized just for them.

2.     Don’t take existing patients for granted. Many practices will do anything to win the business of a new patient, but tend to ignore existing ones. Spend as much time thinking of special ways to reward existing patients as you do rewarding that first-time new patient.

3.     Educate your patients. Patients have information at their fingertips but they haven’t heard it directly from YOU.  Today you have the tools, like blogging, videos, and new web technologies, to explain and make your patients appreciate what you do, and how you do it better than anyone else.

4.     Patient loyalty begins with employee loyalty. Loyalty works from the top down. If you are loyal to your team, they will pass that loyalty to your patients. Employee loyalty starts with good communication and training on their role, as well as how they should better interact with your patients.

5.     Be reliable and flexible.  Be easy to do business with. If you say a skin product will be back in stock by Monday, make it happen. If something goes wrong, be proactive in letting patients know and compensate them for their inconvenience. Be flexible in solving your patient’s problem. The phrases “That’s our policy” and “Unfortunately, that’s not possible” should be eliminated from your scripts.

6.     Don’t let customer service slip. As your practice grows, it’s easy to lose your focus on customer service, or take away the empowerment and accountability of your staff to focus on service. But remember, it takes 10 good experiences to make up for 1 bad one.

Statistics also show that building loyalty and retaining current patients is 3-10 times cheaper than acquiring new patients. Successful practices realize that 80% of their practice actually comes from a stable 20% of their current patient base.

The bottom line is you will grow faster and more profitably by nurturing this solid base of loyal patients, who then do the best job of selling YOU to new patients, at no cost to you.

If this sounds right to you, let’s talk. Click Here to schedule your own complimentary 30-Minute Patient-Attraction and Conversion Strategy Call with Catherine

Do you believe there’s gold in your current patient list?

If so, what do you do to nurture them?

 

Should I Lower My Prices to Compete?

Ask Catherine:  Should­ I Lower My Prices to Compete?

Should I Lower My Aesthetic Procedure Prices to Compete?

Should I Lower My Aesthetic Procedure Prices to Compete?

Question: 

Dear Catherine,

I have questions about my fees.

Do I need to lower them to compete in this market?

Dr. S

Answer:

Dear Dr. S,

Thanks for a great question and one that is asked often by surgeons all over the country.

In order for you to maximize your profits, you are going to need to choose from 3 pricing strategies. Every single business has to do this so it’s not to be taken lightly.

And, on top of that, you need to commit to THE ONE once you choose the right strategy for YOU (taking into account your personality, your image, your staff and your preferences).

Here are the 3 pricing strategies*:

  1. Lowest Price
  2. Best Product
  3. Best Total Solution

*(Excerpts Taken from Success Magazine, November 2014)

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If you choose Lowest Price like Walmart, you will always compete on price and that becomes your differentiator and that’s difficult because that can be a race to the bottom – and bust. It’s all about lowering your costs and increasing your volume.

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If you choose Best Product like Mercedes-Benz, you have way less patients BUT they are paying you more so you have a higher margin to work with.Now you compete by being the clear leader in your field. To make this work, you have to provide skills and results so much better (or at least perceived as so much better) than your competitors that patients will pay a premium for them. This is a game of “Quality vs. Quantity” so you need to spend a lot on PR, name recognition, reputation, skills and proof that show you are better. You also need to put in the time, money and effort to market you as the Best Choice by having the finest office, the finest staff, the best customer service as well as an incredible patient experience so your patients “sell” you to their other luxury friends who buy only the best.

westin_hotels_resorts

If you choose Best Total Solution like Westin, you provide the best overall solution for your patients. Take Westin, for example, compared to the super pricey Ritz-Carlton who spends massive amounts of money on customer service, The Westin is a super nice experience with a killer Heavenly Bed for a lot less than the Ritz but it’s a cut above MOST of the cheaper hotel alternatives. So, they attract a nice size of the market that appreciate quality at a fair price.

In this pricing strategy, you are a hybrid between price and quality of skill and service.  You’re not the cheapest and busiest but you are skilled, you have an aesthetically-pleasing office, with nice staff who are friendly, caring and highly-trained, your processes are smooth and consistent so the patient has a great experience with you, either on the phone or in person AND they get a great result at a FAIR price.

This Best Total Solution is the smartest approach for most surgeons.  That means you play the game better than most of your competitors who are dropping their prices and going after the “price-shoppers”.

You, on the other hand, decide to spend more time, money and resources on:

–       getting the friendliest, most caring staff to promote you and take great care of your patients

–       training your staff to convert professionally without pushing

–       creating a comfortable, upscale environment

–       constantly improve upon your patient’s experience

But here’s the pearl:  you need to pick one pricing strategy and focus. You’ll struggle otherwise because you, your staff and your patients won’t have clarity on who you are and what you stand for.

For example,

If you decide to be the cheapest, you have to be willing to abandon those patients who want more and are willing to pay for it.

If you go with the Best Product or Best Total Solution, you have to stop catering to the price-shoppers who nickel and dime you.

I have seen all 3 of these pricing strategies work in aesthetic practices throughout the country. You have to know what your own personality will tolerate. Some surgeons run a factory-type, marketing machine based on low price and efficiency while others have spent a fortune to get to be known as the “Premier Practice” that charges 3x that of their competitors.

The bottom line is to just pick one strategy because the beauty of focus is that you will save time, money, hassle and frustration when you STOP catering to all types of patients and focus on a certain group of patients who appreciate your particular pricing strategy.

You will also get much better results because all of your efforts will now go towards a certain group and not the entire market.

Lastly, you and your staff will have more clarity to make better decisions based on your “Branding”. For example, your patient coordinator who is in charge of “closing” will now be more clear what your objectives are so they can just sell price OR they can learn how to sell value.

What has been your pricing strategy?

Has it changed as the competition heated up? Is it working?

Thank Your Patients

Thank Your Patients

Thank Your Cosmetic Patients

Question:

Dear Catherine,

Thanksgiving is coming up and it feels like the right time of year for me to thank my patients but there are rules in our industry on the subject of “gift-giving” so do you have any suggestions?

Dr. W

Answer:

Dear Dr. W,

Thanks for a great question and perfect timing!

You can never say “Thank You” too much to your patients who support you by returning, referring and reviewing. They are the ones who grow your practice and allow you to live a nice lifestyle and they should NOT be taken for granted.

But, you want to be careful you are not seen as “bribing” or “fee splitting” with patients so they refer their friends and family to you so here’s a checklist for simple ways to thank your patients for their support:

  • Change your phone greeting to say, “Thank you for calling Dr. Smith’s office. Catherine speaking. How may I help you today?
  • Send a thank you reminder for those who booked an appointment and include what they can expect during their visit.
  • When they are checking out, be sure to thank them for coming and thank them for paying.
  • Send them out the door with a reminder/gift card toward their next visit and include a small gift (such as candy, or a skin care sample)
  • If they came for a consultation, send a quick email thanking them for visiting as well as a handwritten card including a personal note about something you discussed with them.
  • Anytime they refer a new patient to you, thank them by: calling them, send thank you note and thank them in person.
  • Hold an annual Patient Appreciation Event and have a fun night of food, fun and bonding.

The point is that everyone wants to feel appreciated and acknowledged for their good deeds so brainstorm with your staff to come up with other ways you can thank your patients. It will come back in droves.

What do you do now to thank your patients?

What have you wanted to do but haven’t done to thank them?

 

Introduce a New Cosmetic Procedure

Question: 

Introducing New Cosmetic Procedures

Introducing New Cosmetic Procedures

 Dear Catherine,

 I want to add a new cosmetic procedure to my practice.  I’ve noticed I have aesthetic patients who could benefit from surgery but, for whatever reason, they won’t go there so I want to add skin tightening.  That way, I can keep the patient in my office to, hopefully, be their surgeon when they ARE ready.

However, I’m afraid this expensive technology will become another coat hanger since that’s what has happened in the past and I’ve regretted my costly decision. We did not market it correctly, or enough, and it ended up sitting around collecting dust.

How can I ensure this cash outlay in technology pays for itself quickly?

Dr. E

Answer: 

Dear Dr. E,

Thanks for a great question. As you learned from your first big-ticket purchase, it takes a lot more than simply writing a check for new technology to make it a wise investment. You actually have to market this cosmetic procedure to new patients as well as to existing patients so they can turn your investment into a healthy revenue stream…Now rather than later.  Here’s the good news….

You Are in an Enviable Position.

 You cater to a very hungry market…..the aesthetic patient who wants to look and feel good and will invest their time, money and effort to do so.

Think about it.  The patient who cares about their appearance has a built-in need now, next month, next year and for years to come because if they care about how they look today, they are really going to care as the aging process takes an even bigger toll.

These cosmetic patients WANT to look and feel great and are open to any procedures you offer to do that.

  1. “Add an Ad” to your phone greeting such as,

    New Receptionist Ideas

    New Receptionist Ideas

 

“Good afternoon,

Dr. Smith’s office

 Now Offer Skin Tightening

How May I help you today?”

 

This didn’t cost you a dime, it took your receptionist two seconds to say and the results can be amazing.

 

  1. Friends and Family Event 
    Friends & Family Event!

    Friends & Family Event!

         

New procedures are always fun and exciting but patients want to see proof of results…and not just from the generic vendor photos shown on the Internet but

from your very own patients.

Design a special event for a limited time for your staff and their friends and family. You can even call it, “Friends and Family Skin Tightening Event”. Charge them ½ of the normal fee and, in exchange, they agree to allow their before/after photos to be shown in your promotional materials (both online and offline), they provide a patient testimonial and they pass out your card to two of their friends. That’s how you get the ball rolling and grow your skin tightening patient base quickly and easily.

 

  1. Let your vendor help you. The sales rep that sold you the technology has all sorts of strategies to help you so take advantage of their resources. They oftentimes can execute, and even pay for, email blasts, event refreshments and direct mail costs.  It behooves them to help you succeed so welcome their assistance.

 

The bottom line is this:  What you focus on expands. For one month, make this a priority and put all your efforts towards it to get it moving so it quickly becomes a nice new revenue stream for you and a great add-on procedure for your patients.

 

How do YOU introduce a new cosmetic procedure to your practice?

69 Days Left to Reach Your 2014 Revenue Goals

Target Your Financial Goals!Ask Catherine: 69 Days Left to Reach Your 2014 Revenue Goals

Question: 

Dear Catherine,

I was going through my numbers this past weekend and compared them against last year’s. The good news is that I did better the first two quarters of 2014 than I did last year; however, the 3rd quarter fell short and now I’m behind.

While 4th quarter revenues have always been good, I don’t want to be blindsided with any surprises so what can I do to ensure I reach my revenue goals for 2014?

Dr. E 

Answer:

Dear Dr. E,

Thanks for a great question. The end of the year can sneak up fast and leave you scrambling to bring in the revenues you EXPECTED.

You look at your numbers for the year and may be saying to yourself, “Why would this year’s results be so much less than last year’s when I’m spending the same or even more than I did before?”

It only takes one bad quarter to get behind. A lot of cosmetic practices find the summer months can be tough and leave you with more overhead than revenues.

BUT, one great quarter can catch you up and get you on the fast track to crush 2014.

So, what can you do NOW to ensure a great 2014? 

The easiest way to make money is from your existing patients. They already know, like and trust you and they are much more open to your promotional messages than complete strangers are, isn’t that right?

However, you must approach them strategically or your efforts will fall flat. Here’s one tip: STOP sending the same message to everybody! You quickly become “a pest vs. a guest” when you communicate the wrong message to the wrong audience at the wrong time.

To see examples of what works and what doesn’t, attend my next FREE training called, “How to Reach Your 2014 Revenue Goals” on Wednesday, October 22.

At this training, you’ll discover:

– What aesthetic patients are responding to NOW;

– What’s NOT working that’s giving you false hope but will blindside you at the end of the year when you DON’T bring in the revenues you expected;

– The easiest way to boost your revenues NOW without adding new staff or complicated strategies

I will lay out the strategies, along with samples and results so you KNOW what to do to turn 2014 into a blockbuster year!

Pick the time that works best for you on Wednesday, October 22:

Option 1: 3pm PDT/ 6pm EDT

Option 2: 6pm PDT/ 9pm EDT

 

Are YOU on target to reach your 2014 goals?
If so, what did you do to make that happen?
If not, what is holding you back?

Reception Area Pearls

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

I wanted to see if you would like to contribute to an upcoming article talking about pearls to maximize your reception area such as:

–       3-5 Tips to Maximize the patient’s time for the practice’s benefit
–       3-5 Characteristics of a great reception area
–       3-5 Mistakes practices make in their reception area

Thanks! Dr. P

Catherine’s Answer:

Hello Dr. P,

Thank you for a great topic and asking for my input.

The reception area is often passed over for nothing more than a place for your visiting patients to “percolate”, when in reality, it’s the pivotal piece to the start of a great patient visit…or not.

Your Dermatology Times article with my quotes is great and I wanted to expand on my suggestions even more to give you detailed step-by-step of what a practice can do to turn their reception area into an educational and interactive center that leads to more patients, added-on procedures, increased referrals, and a happier patient visit.  For example….

Maximize Patient Time with Silent Sales Tools in the Reception Area

Reception Area Pearls:

  1. Digital Photo Frame

    DIgital Photo Frame for Reception Area

    Show off your best results by running a “Silent” power point presentation of before/after photos of patients of different ethnicities, age, etc. so your visitors can see themselves in the photos and ask you for more information during their consultation.

 

 

Menu of Cosmetic Services Box Frame

Menu of Cosmetic Services for Reception Area

 

2. There’s a good chance your patients don’t know ALL you offer so display and eye-catching aesthetically beautiful menu of services so you never hear the dreaded, “I didn’t know you did that!” and they had it done by your competitor.

3. Show new patients how much your current patients love you by displaying a high-quality photo album filled with your patients thank you notes, emails, patient surveys and reviews.

Great Characteristics of Reception Area

  1. Open space, especially at the check-in counter (that means no little window separating patients from staff).
  2. Less is more. Lose the clutter.  And, visiting patients will be more comfortable with less chairs with more space between them versus lots of chairs close together.
  1. Product displays with testers should be available if you are making patients wait (I hope not too long) and it gives the patients some time to consider the products so they are more inclined to buy at the end of their visit.

Mistakes Made in Reception Area

  1. Greeting patients with a clipboard full of forms that are redundant. With today’s technology, the repetitive information (name, address, phone, etc.) should be pre-populated so the patient only fills out what is necessary.
  2. Need a balance between educating the public about the services you offer and pummeling them with vendor brochures and promotional materials so they feel overwhelmed or deluged.
  3. Running non-stop talking videos that are repetitive and annoying to not only the staff who has to listen to it all day, but also the patient who thinks, “Once is enough!”

Better yet, ask your visiting patients what they think of your reception area. They’ll have great ideas for you to consider.

Need Help?  The How-To Library contains a module called “Make the Most of Your In-House Marketing” along with 11 other Patient-Attraction and Staff-Training Ready-Made Modules, How to Series Library seen below.

To get ½ Off + Free Shipping during October, use PROMO CODE:  BLOG 

USE PROMO CODE: BLOG

How-To Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What educational tools have worked well in your reception area?

Do you find your patients want more of your services when they are educated using those tools?

 

CONVERT MORE CONSULTATIONS

Ask Catherine

…is a weekly post where I select and personally respond to one question received from my consults, Webinars, emails or talks that I believe will help the most practices. Please provide your feedback!

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

I have been in practice for 20 years. I have a nice office, great staff and we like our patients. The problem is it’s getting more difficult to get a YES from a patient consultation. After I spend up to an hour with a patient and then my coordinator spends time with them, they still don’t book.

More and more, I will have a full day of consults, back-to-back, and NOT book surgeries or other big-ticket procedures. What a waste of time and energy.

My consult conversion rate used to be in the high 70’s for years and now it’s fallen to 25-40%.

Is it me? Is it my coordinator? Is it the patient? What’s going on?

What can we do to convert more consultations?

Dr. W

Catherine’s Answer:

Dear Dr. W,

Thanks for a great question. Low consultation conversion rates are affecting more and more practices.

Isn’t it frustrating to put so much effort into the consultation and get nothing back in return? For example, if you have 8 consults per day and they are worth, on average, $6,000 per surgery, that’s a possible $48,000 in revenues per day. Not bad.

But what if only 2 out of the 8 say yes? That dramatically cuts your revenues down from $48,000 to only $12,000 or 25%. And, if you see consults twice a week that adds up to possible revenues of $499,000 but you only close 25% so you lose $374,000 from non-converted consultations. Yikes!

The reality is your efforts don’t count until the patient says YES and PAYS for your services, right?

So, how can your coordinator get more of them to say YES rather than, “I gotta think about it” or “I need to talk to my husband”?  HINT:  95% of the time, they really just told you that they are NOT convinced you are the BEST CHOICE for them. Ugh!

Your coordinator can be a game-changer for your practice revenues…in a good or bad way.  This position should never be taken lightly or your revenues will suffer.

Click Here for Better Consult Conversions

Here’s what you do to get your conversion rates up:

#1) Get the right Patient Coordinator in the position of “Consultation Closer”

Your coordinator must believe in YOU, your skills and be open to aesthetic rejuvenation. If your patient coordinator would never succumb to this world of vanity, how in the heck are they supposed to praise and promote you and your services?

However, that does not mean you are looking for an aggressive, loud-mouthed sales person who can’t relate to your patients (or maybe it does if your patients DO relate to that type of personality.) Different parts of the country have different “styles” of communicating so just be sure your coordinator fits well with your type of patient demographics.

You are looking for certain personality traits MORE than you are looking for experience. The aesthetic industry can be learned easily. Powerful people skills cannot.  Be sure you have the right coordinator representing you who looks, acts and feels the part.

#2) Give your Patient Coordinator the tools needed to bond with the patient

Consider what a difficult conversation this is to have with a complete stranger. The cosmetic patient is uncomfortable with their appearance so they are feeling vulnerable and anxious.

The coordinator’s job is to put them at ease and reassure them they are in the right place and will be happy with their result when they decide to move forward.

Your coordinator must have a process set up and powerful questions to ask, as well as tools, to help the patient articulate what they want, why they want it and what it will take for them to say YES.

One helpful tool is the initial Cosmetic Questionnaire that helps get the conversation started. It’s a check-off list of “concerns” the patient has rather than a list of procedures you offer.

TIP:  Patients are much more driven to a solution to their problem vs. the solution you have to fix their problem. Think:  Problem First – Then Solution.

Cosmetic Questionnaire

Cosmetic Questionnaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click Here for Better Consult Conversions

#3) Script your Patient Coordinator so they know how to ask for a decision

So many practices have patient coordinators who are nice and look the part but have no idea how to ASK FOR A DECISION. This one skill makes the difference between 25% conversions and 75% conversions.

But like anything else in life, it’s a learned skill. It takes proven strategies and practice. For example, a trained and skilled patient coordinator is never pushy or aggressive. They have the words and scripts and processes they follow to “lead” the patient to a decision that is comfortable for the patient.

For example, a simple closing strategy is the “Choice Close”. That means rather than the patient deciding a YES/NO question, they choose EITHER/OR and YES is assumed…

“Sara, Dr. Smith’s surgery days are Wednesdays and Fridays. Which works better for you?”

Now Sara has most likely moved from IF she is going to book to WHEN she is going to book. It’s a small nuance with a big effect. Try it.

Click Here for Better Consult Conversions

Have you seen your own consultation conversion rates change throughout the years?
What do you do to improve your conversions?

Hiring Great Staff

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

I have two great staff people who have been with me for more than 10 years. They are loyal and trustworthy and have been terrific with administrative work and assisting me in the OR.

However, the rest of the staff turns over often.  I need great staff that is good at patient relations, phones, marketing, and converting consultations.  When I interview people for these positions, they talk a good game but rarely deliver what they promise.

This staff turnover is costing me time and money. Where do I find productive staff and how do I know they are a great fit for my practice?

Dr. C

Catherine’s Answer:

Hello Dr. C,

That’s a great question that every practice has grappled with at one time or another.

Your staff can make or break your practice – period! They are spending more time with your patients than you are so how do you ensure you have great staff representing you?

First, you need to find the A-players that make up your Patient-Attraction Team.

Second, you need to ask the right questions during the interview to learn who these people are and if they would be a good fit for you.  These are powerful questions you ask during your initial phone interview as well as follow-up questions you ask during their in-person interview. They are thought provoking and will get the applicant to “think on their feet”.

I’ve listed the interviewing questions in my recent article published in Surgical Aesthetics to help you identify A-Players you need in your practice.

Hiring Great Staff for Cosmetic Practices Hiring Great Staff for Cosmetic Practices Hiring Great Staff for Cosmetic Practices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has worked well for you to find your own great staff?

 

Weekly Q&A Topic: September Slump Quick-Fix Patient Strategies

Ask Catherine

…is a weekly post where I select and personally respond to one question received from my consults, Webinars, emails or talks that I believe will help the most practices. Please provide your feedback!

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

Every year at this time, we slow down. It makes me nervous because the phones are quiet and the schedule has openings.

I don’t really care WHY this happens at this point. I just need to know what to do about it.

What do you suggest?

Dr. W

Catherine’s Answer:

Hello Dr. W,

Thanks for the great question. You might be happy (relieved) to know that you’re not the only one experiencing this slump right now, so read on.

September has proven to be a slow month for aesthetic rejuvenation in general.  However, it’s NOT slow for those practices willing to put in the extra effort to encourage cosmetic patients to make time for themselves.

These cosmetic patients may have busy lives BUT life is still changing all around them. By that I mean… the aging process continues, they still have yearly events they want to look great for and social/emotional trends are in play ALL year such as divorce, dating, job hunting, etc.

Here are quick and easy ways to encourage these patients to visit you NOW so you stay busy and get over the September Slump…

 

Put Your Vendors to Work

Your vendors care a lot about you growing your practice using their products and services so let them help you.

They can orchestrate an event showing off their “stuff,” demonstrating results, and oftentimes, they can use their own resources to financially back up the marketing and costs of an event.  Call them today!

purpleflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On the Fence” Patient Follow-Up

Send a heart-felt letter to any patient who came in for a consultation but didn’t book. Show you understand what a big decision it is to spend time and money to look their best and reiterate how other patients felt the same; however, they loved their result when they decided to move forward. Now include a gift card for them to come back in to talk again or to experience a smaller procedure.  Have it expire September 30th to add a sense of urgency.

cosmetic patient marketing

Letter to “On-the-Fence” Patient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We Miss You” Phone Call

Go through your patient records of those patients you loved but haven’t seen for awhile.  Let them know you welcome them back to your practice and offer them a special “We Miss You” procedure of a new treatment you offer or one they would most likely be interested in – this month only.

 

Sharpen Your Staff’s Skills – ½ Off + Free Shipping

When you’re slow, it’s more important than ever to sharper your skills so you don’t lose any potential cosmetic patients on the phone when they call you or in person when they visit you for a consultation.

Need Help? Get Patient-Attraction and Staff-Training Ready-Made Tools below since the hard work has been done for you.

To get ½ Off + Free Shipping during September, use PROMO CODE:  BLOG

HowTo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has worked well for you to stay busy during September?

If you already own the How To Library above, what kind of results have you gotten that others practices could get?