A few years ago, a speaker at a seminar demonstrated how much business is lost at the front desk by improperly handled calls.
The speaker asked for a volunteer from out of state to open the yellow pages and randomly select three dental offices with full-page ads.
The volunteer then proceeded to call each one on the speakerphone so all in attendance could hear the conversation. The volunteer explained what his dental needs were to each receptionist, stressing that he did not have insurance but cash in hand.
Sadly, not one receptionist asked the caller for any personal information or attempted to schedule an appointment for him to come in.
The demonstration showed the audience how critical it is to have a competent receptionist.
Before you hire (or fire) a receptionist, there are a few questions you should first consider:
- Are you spending a lot of money on advertising but questioning your investment because of poor results?
- Does your team know what questions to ask patients?
- Are your receptionist and staff friendly, courteous, and inquisitive?
- Have you trained the people who answer your phones on how to handle various scenarios they may encounter with potential new patient calls?
You may be losing patients and money and not even know it!
Take the time to know what your team is saying and how they are saying it. You may be surprised.
What makes a rock star dental receptionist?
Finding the right dental receptionist can be the difference between running a thriving dental practice and one that struggles to make ends meet.
To find the right person, take your time, and vet each candidate thoroughly.
Here are the top 7 skills and character traits that make a good receptionist.
– Customer Service
A good receptionist is an expert when it comes to customer service. They should be able to answer questions, troubleshoot problems, and interact with patients in a calm and friendly manner.
Your receptionist is the first point of contact patients will have. They should be competent, knowledgeable, and friendly. In many cases, receptionists will need to demonstrate empathy when patients are frustrated or unhappy.
– Possesses Strong Product Knowledge
Strong product knowledge is one of the most important and useful attributes of any receptionist. By understanding the different products and services available, your receptionist will be able to identify sales opportunities and ensure patients get the services they need – a win-win for everyone.
– Ability to Multitask
A good receptionist should be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in an organized and timely fashion. The best way to know if they can multitask is to ask them about their previous job experience and what their average day looked like. This information will give you a sense of how many tasks they had to complete in a given day and how they went about it.
– Understands the Discovery Process
Every salesperson is familiar with the importance of the discovery process. It is the most effective method to determine a customer’s needs. If your receptionist can use this method to find out what a patient needs, they will be able to ensure the patient gets the best possible service.
– Understands Company Promotions
To understand what a patient needs, a good receptionist will have a strong understanding of the current promotions and deals your dental practice offers. Knowing this will give the impression that you care about your patient’s pocketbooks while ensuring they are getting the high-quality services they need.
– Can Gracefully Handle Abrasive Callers
In a perfect world, your receptionist will never have to deal with an unhappy patient. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. A good receptionist will have to learn how to take a bit of verbal abuse. An exceptional dental receptionist is someone who can turn an angry patient into a happy one. Patients who are filled with angry emotions, when handled correctly, can become extremely loyal.
– Is Driven And Motivated
While you can teach a receptionist just about every skill I’ve already mentioned, finding a naturally driven and motivated receptionist is critical.
Not only will he or she want your dental practice to succeed, but they will also help ensure the highest quality of customer service. If you find a dental receptionist who possesses this innate drive, make sure to provide them with product training, coaching, and support that will help them feel valued and part of the team.
To learn more about how to get the most out of your receptionist, make sure to take a look at my new book DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into how to grow your dental practice.