Don’t Depend on Referrals: SPECIALISTS NEED TO ATTRACT NEW PATIENTS TOO!
If you’re a specialist, you might think you need not concern yourself with having to attract new patients. After all, generalists refer their patients to you … who then call your office … make an appointment without hesitation … and voilà, you have yet another new patient. Au, contraire!
As afraid as people are to go to a doctor for the basics, they are even more afraid to go to a specialist for complex procedures. Your treatments likely take longer, may involve multiple visits, and possibly cost them more out-of-pocket. Despite the advice of their GP, patients are looking for reasons NOT to make an appointment with you, or to at least put it off as long as possible.
When (and if!) a patient manages to put aside all their fears and make that first phone call to your office, if your front desk team isn’t TRAINED to handle that call properly (which is not as easy as you think!), the patient will hang up without making an appointment – a lose-lose scenario for you both. This is an especially unfortunate outcome for the patient because, unlike someone shopping for a GP, the patient is unlikely to call anyone else; they will choose to “ignore the problem and just hope it goes away.”
On the other hand, that prospective new patient (that you just lost) may be able to keep their fears at bay and WILL call someone else. Just because their regular doctor recommended you does NOT mean you automatically get their business. No matter how superior you and that GP think your work is, if a patient’s first telephone contact with your front office isn’t managed correctly, you will never get the chance to prove it.
KNOWING HOW TAKES KNOW-HOW
Dr. Peter Chen thought his Endodontic practice was faring well enough attracting 60 to 80 new patients a month. Then a fellow specialist told him how well the Scheduling Institute’s phone training program was working for his practice – tripling new patients from 30 to 90 a month in the first six months. Dr. Chen realized his two offices could probably be doing better if all 30 team members could get on the same page by going through phone training. He was right. As one team member reported, “We topped out just last month at 421 new patients. Everything you teach is totally applicable; it doesn’t matter if it’s a specialty, it’s applicable.”
You became a doctor to make people feel better, and feel better about themselves. As a specialist, you know better than anyone that when patients are referred to you, they NEED to come see you, and in a timely manner. If they don’t, the problem is likely to get worse, and they may endure greater pain and suffering.
You do these patients a disservice when you don’t give your team the tools THEY need to ensure patients do come in to see you. The GP won’t get them in to see you. Your reputation won’t get them in to see you. Only the team member answering the phone can meet the patient’s need during that very first contact in a way that results in a timely appointment.
Demonstrate to your team just how “special” you are by investing in their training and development. It will be a win for your practice, a win for the team, and especially a win for the patients who will benefit from your distinctive expertise.
Watch Dr. Peter’s full story now and learn more about how he engaged his team to help him create better results…
To take the same first step Dr. Peter took that was the catalyst to his success in attracting new patients, call the Scheduling Institute today at 844-674-7698 or CLICK HERE to schedule a time to speak with one of our Practice Growth Advocates!