You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and this is especially true with phone encounters. So, making a great first impression on the phone is essential to any business, particularly in healthcare when trust is so important. For this reason, the Baird Group is engaged by numerous healthcare organizations to complete thousands of mystery phone calls each month. Leaders of those settings are often surprised to hear some of the statements made by their own team members. Here are some of our favorites:
“Maybe you should Google it.”
This was said to a mystery phone shopper who was seeking information about possible services for weight loss surgery. This example demonstrates how a dismissive response to questions can lead prospective patients right to competitors. If your staff send callers to a search engine instead of your own Web site, you could be helping your competition build their bariatric surgery volume.
“Before you go into detail, this is a clinic. I cannot help you.”
This caller was quickly interrupted while explaining her needs—one of the cardinal sins of effective communication. You must always listen! In this case, the caller was shot down even before the attendant heard her dilemma to ensure any of her questions. How likely is she to call back? Not very.
“How did you even get this number?”
This patient was calling a published number for the organization and should have been given direct access to schedule an appointment. Talk about unwelcoming! Every number you publish—whether in print or on the Web—should offer help to whoever calls in.