You’ve likely heard in the news that there are plans in place to start a phased approach to reopening the country, so let’s do a bit of role playing. Tomorrow, the governor in your state declares that it is now okay to reopen your practice for regular business. Is your practice ready? The answer is “probably not.”
Let’s talk about the 10,000-foot view of getting your practice prepared for when the all-clear sounds.
Communicate To Your Patients and Community You Are Here For Them
Right now, there are lots of patients who have real needs. And if you’re not able to meet those needs, your competitor will. So how are all those people going to make sure that they’re first in line when your doors are open? They’re going to make an appointment, of course.
Across the country, people have been delaying a non-emergency procedure whether that’s a check-up or an adjustment or an elective procedure or something else. They know that the country is going to reopen for business, but they just don’t know when.
Are You Reachable?
But how can all those patients make an appointment with you if your practice is not reachable?
Every month Scheduling Institute conducts thousands of mystery audit calls for our clients to see how their front desk is doing with New Patient calls. In the last 15 days, we completed 928 phone calls to offices around the country, and only around half (442) were answered. We were SHOCKED!
Over the past month as the country has moved into lockdown mode, we have been truly blown away by the steep falloff in both how new patient calls are handled, as well as just how few practices are even bothering to answer their phones.
Don’t Let Your Competitors Pick Your Pocket
Yes, we know that many of you are closed for business. But being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic is no excuse for being unreachable. There are patients out there right now who want to make appointments with your practice and have no way to do so. And these are the same patients who can help get your business up and profitable again.
If you’re thinking that it’s not worth paying someone to answer the phone right now, you really need to think again. Scheduling and making appointments might be a tricky proposition right now, but it’s the only way to guarantee that you’ve got patients coming in on the first day when it’s safe to reopen your business.
If you’re not answering your phones right now, we are quite sure that your competitors would be more than happy to take a call from your patients. More business for them!
Get Your A-Team Ready
Now is not the time to delay. If you haven’t done so already, it is imperative that you immediately begin training your staff properly on how to handle inquiries and schedule (as well as reschedule) appointments during this unique period. You need to make sure that your staff can efficiently handle what could potentially be a huge influx of patients all at once.
Don’t bungle your grand reopening by botching the opportunity to retain your current patient base either. Reach out to your existing patients and see if they are interested in being “first in line” once you reopen. They’ll be grateful that you’ve remembered them and are reaching out.
Now is the time for you to put your A-Team on the phones. At the Scheduling Institute, we know that New Patients are the lifeblood of every private practice, and the front desk is on the front line of bringing them in the door. We are here to help you.
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