Photograph of a rehabilitation clinic receptionist on the phone while helping a patient.

Clinic Telephone Etiquette 101: How to Make a Good First Impression

August 3, 2018 | Article | By: InnoCare

Despite the rising use of smartphones, a phone call is still the most likely first contact a patient will have with your clinic. A study by Google shows that as many as 70% of your new patients will call to book their initial assessment, rather than booking online or walking into the clinic, making telephone etiquette a vital part of your business! 

Properly training everyone at your clinic on how to answer the phone is vital and can make or break a patient's decision to book their initial assessment with you. In fact, a study performed by call intelligence company Invoca shows that 74% of people who have a terrible phone experience are likely to take their business elsewhere!

Here are five tips to ensure your potential patient will have an excellent first experience!

Answer the Phone With a Smile!

Believe it or not, but when on the phone, your tone of voice conveys 84% of your meaning, so your potential new patient will make the decision on whether or not your clinic is a warm and welcoming place, based on whether or not you sound friendly and welcoming.

Be Consistent AND Concise With Your Greeting

Use a short and friendly greeting that includes addressing the patient, introducing yourself and your clinic, and asking how you can help them, for example, “Good afternoon, you’ve reached InnoCare, this is Christina speaking. How may I help you?” In this short greeting, you have let the client know that they’ve reached the right place, introduced yourself, and make them feel comfortable.

Do Not Interrupt a Client

Sometimes, especially when a patient is in pain, they can be long-winded when explaining their symptoms, but it is essential not to interrupt. Your patient needs to feel heard and valued. Invest in some training to ensure that your staff listens to them but still moves them forward into booking their initial assessment so they can start their treatment, and start feeling better!

Be Knowledgeable

Choosing where to get treatment is a big decision, so it is essential to be able to answer the patient’s questions over the phone. Make a handy cheat sheet to keep near the phone that includes, clinic hours, treating clinicians, and any other relevant information. 

Answer Every Call

We probably should have listed this as the number one thing, but you have to be available to answer the phone. A patient in pain simply isn't going to leave a message and wait for you to call back, they're going to move on to the next clinic on their list. Each call you miss is a missed opportunity to gain a new patient at your clinic. 

Even in the age of smartphones and online booking, proper phone training and etiquette is vital to ensuring your patient experience is 5-star from the first contact to discharge. We know that you can't be at your clinic all the time, that's why we created Connect call answering, find out how Connect can help you meet all of the requirements of our list, learn more about InnoCare Connect.