And how you must answer to turn a phone call into a booking. Answer appropriately and you'll turn a potential patient into a client.
You’re making every effort to encourage your prospective patient to schedule an appointment. Many of the calls you receive are from people who are interested in treatment, but are scared to take that final step by scheduling an appointment. How can you encourage patients to book while also conserving staff time and resources?
Here’s how to do it:
It is critical that the person who speaks directly with the patients in-person and over the phone has a warm, positive and friendly attitude. First impressions are everything!
Find out if each prospective client already knows what they want, or if they are still in the price shopping stage. Have a plan to encourage your patient based on their specific motive.
Advanced technology is the perfect avenue to ease patients’ concerns and inspire them to book an appointment. Give prospective patients descriptive answers to FAQ on your website or social media platforms. You might also set up automated HIPAA compliant texting responses to answer patient questions. Provide information, before-and-after photos, treatment videos etc. on your social media and website – anything to show patients why your practice offers more value than other practices.
Be prepared to answer the 5 most-asked questions new patients ask before booking. If you answer patient questions the right way, they’re likely to book an appointment.
So, what are the 5 most common questions patients ask before booking, and how should you be answering them? Here they are in order, starting with the very most popular question patients ask before booking.
Every patient will want an estimate of their expected treatment cost. The best thing you can do is assure them that they will receive amazing value with their procedure. Use your website and social media platforms to demonstrate what sets your practice apart (amenities, environment, staff, comfort of treatment, and most importantly, the results). Tell your patients that you offer a great price for the service quality and impressive transformation they will receive.
The next thing you can do is explain how pricing is calculated. You can let patients know, for example, that Botox is priced per unit, and that crow’s feet are typically treated with an average dose of 4-20 units for women, and 10-30 units for men. You can also use this opportunity to stress that the only way to determine the exact cost is with a consultation, because their treatment will be customized to their face or body, as well as their personal preferences.
Instead of explaining treatment pricing to every patient who calls, you could create a chart on your website, or provide some education on social media. Alternatively, you might set up automated HIPAA compliant texting responses. In this case, your patient might text you something like “What is the cost of Dysport?” to which the HIPAA texting software would automatically text back, “Reply 1 for practice hours; 2 to schedule an appointment; 3 to change an existing appointment; or 4 for treatment price information.” When the patient selects 4, the software might reply with brief information, such as “Botox is priced at $12/unit. Dysport is priced at $5/unit. Juvederm is priced at $500/syringe. To find out how many units you will need to meet your goals, schedule a free consultation by calling (222) 111-1111.”
This popular question is actually a dozen questions in one. Patients want an idea of what their experience will be like in your office. They want a better feel of the environment, the staff and the procedural elements of your practice. Will the procedure be painful? What will you do to make them feel comfortable? How should they prepare for their consultation or appointment? What will recovery be like?
You want to let your prospective patients know that your office is the right place for them. Feature YouTube videos or Tik Toks that give patients a taste of your treatments. Show various procedures step-by-step. Emphasize your fantastic staff members and how they guide the patients throughout the treatment process. Demonstrate calm and happy patients (with permission, of course). Showcase your amenities, like massage chairs, complimentary facials, topical anesthetic offerings, refreshments, plush waiting areas, etc.
You can also provide pre-treatment and post-treatment instructions online. Anything you can do to help your patients feel more knowledgeable and confident will encourage them to book their first appointment.
When patients are trying to decide if a procedure is worth it, they will want to know how long results will last. In order to conserve staff resources, you could direct patients to a chart or treatment page on your website that describes the time frame of every treatment. One way to get closer with patients is by allowing your doctor or staff members to explain (in writing or video) what their personal experiences have taught them about the life span of various treatments.
When answering this question, you can also emphasize your superior aftercare. Patients may be nervous that once treatment is complete, they will be on their own to deal with side effects or unsatisfactory results. Let them know you’ll be there for them, and let them know how they can contact you in case they have follow-up questions or concerns. Reassure them that you will educate them on minimizing side effects and maximizing results. Some practices promise their patients follow-up as needed free of charge.
Some patients will call your practice having already done their own research. Some have made up their mind about products they like and dislike, while other patients need a lot of guidance. You can ask the prospective patient about any product preferences at the beginning of the conversation so that you know how to direct the conversation.
Be descriptive of the products you use on your social media and website treatment pages. You might create various resources similar to the following chart:
Juvéderm Voluma XC
· Fills cheeks, temples, chin and jawline
Juvéderm Ultra XC
· More obvious results
· Lasts up to 1 year
· Lip enhancements, deep wrinkles and volume loss
· Sets in quickly
· Eases frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles
· Ideal for patients who are Botox-tolerant
· Exceptionally versatile
· Adds volume to sagging earlobes, hands, feet, mouth and nose
· Results last up to 2 years
· No allergic reactions
· 100% natural, developed from your own blood
· Rejuvenates skin and treats injuries
When patients ask about products, this is also an opportunity to:
· Prompt patients to call and book a consultation, because their treatment is 100% customized to their unique needs and goals
· Let patients know you can combine treatments or products and develop a personalized treatment plan
· Reassure patients that there is no commitment until they are happy with their product, plan and the value they will receive
Some patients have fears surrounding the recovery period, and would prefer to have the weekend to deal with any swelling or bruising. Here are a few things you can do to make your patients feel better about booking an appointment.
· Remind patients about the speed and ease of recovery associated with their preferred treatment
· Open up a dialogue with patients, asking them about their routines, schedules and concerns (and then addressing them)
· Offer weekend hours or special weekend hours for the patient
· Work alongside the patient to find an ideal treatment date and time that works for both the patient and the practice
· If possible, open during off hours by appointment to accommodate your patient’s busy schedule
Even if you cannot open your practice on weekends, make your patient feel like a VIP. Polite communication is key, as well as offering the patient whatever adjustments possible to alleviate their concerns.