Lead conversion is the ability to transfer a caller, a patient question at the front desk, an e-mail, or online lead into an appointment or a consultation, which is required for the financial success of any aesthetic practice. No marketing budget is large enough if your team cannot convert these leads into appointments.
Would your business benefit from a highly skilled receptionist and front desk team that possess the skills necessary to convert your leads at high ratios?
According to Industry Analyst, Inc., “70% of the customer’s [buying] journey is dictated by how the customer feels they are being treated.”1 Thus, for elective medical practices, the receptionist and front desk’s performance can account for a substantial impact on revenue.
The front desk’s effect on revenue is more visible when the team is not very skilled at marketing or sales because you will likely notice lower revenue. Conversely, a high-performing front desk staff is usually not noticed as much.
The reception position often pays less than other jobs or is considered entry level, so it is often not credited with the significance it deserves. However, it is important to keep in mind that “78% of consumers have bailed on a purchase that they intended to make because of poor customer service,” 2 according to Talkdesk.com. If you lack effective receptionist protocols and staffing, it can cost you thousands of dollars by losing expensive leads every single day.
Create an established greeting protocol. This will welcome customers and new clients. Guiding the call well creates a high level of confidence and the “Wow!” factor necessary to convert your potential patient. With a majority of buying experiences, “based on the emotional experience of the customer and how he or she feels she is being treated,”2 you want to be sure to treat every single person that calls in well.
Make the experience easy. Take customers by the virtual hand. A clear greeting script and protocol will transform the conversion ratios at the front desk. And, it can be simple:
“Hello, this is Tracey. Thank you for calling Aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery. How can I help you today?”
“Thank you for calling Aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery. This is Tracey, how can I help you?”
Be clear and direct with your script. Take the time to format it and have it in writing. Consistently use the script so anyone covering the front desk knows what to say. These small details demonstrate the level of professionalism and customer service of your business.
The next process is converting the call to an appointment or consultation. As Talkdesk.com also points out, “70% of U.S. consumers are willing to spend more money with a company they believe will provide top-notch service.”2 This often begins with the initial phone call and the use of a consistent script. Directing the customer down the right path requires you know where you are trying to lead them.
If the goal is to book an appointment, then proceed by offering two days that work for the office calendar. Example:
Office: Would Tuesday or Friday be better for you?
Office: Wonderful, do you prefer morning or afternoon?
This simple process efficiently guides the call. This act alone will save time and increase conversion.
You want to appear busy while making them a priority. Maybe you just opened and can book them anytime, but you do not want to tell them that. The client will be suspicious if they can get in today or know you do not have many appointments on the books. People want to go to a busy, thriving practice, not one desperate for clients.
Benefit selling, which is the preferred method for a high customer service and consultative experience, takes preparation. If the caller has questions about a service, ask them what result they are looking for. Hence benefit selling. If the phones are too busy to take the necessary uninterrupted time with the caller, have an expert or consultant on your staff return the call within fifteen minutes, or transfer the call to them and away from the busy front desk.
Write down stories or examples from a patient, a co-worker or even yourself, that explain why you like these services. If staff is not allowed to get free services, they can share the experience of a patient without using the patient’s name. They can talk about how impressed they were with the patient’s results and how exciting it is to watch these transformations.
As a past medspa owner myself, I recommend spending the money to allow staff to experience your products and services as a worthwhile marketing expense. Happy internal customers will create a culture that requires less management time, money, correction and complaint resolution. Let your staff speak from experience if possible. You know the popular saying: “Stories are sharing and telling is selling.”
Remember, the ideal front desk person, receptionist, and even patient consultant, must love people, and that personality trait cannot be taught. So, I always recommend hiring for attitude and training for skill. After all, according to Salesforce, “55% of customers are willing to spend more money with a company that guarantees them a satisfying experience.”3 Place staff in positions that suit your practice, their personality and natural strengths. The people who will be successful at these jobs are motivated to over-perform and delight your customers. They find pleasure in delivering a high level of customer service. When you can get this personality type at your front desk and in the consultation portion of your business, the results will be self-evident.
About the Author
Ms. Smith has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, day spa owner, medical spa CFO, business consultant and national speaker. She is currently the founder and CFO of Projected Growth Consulting, a team of industry professionals who understand every challenge facing medspas and plastic surgery practices.
- 70% of Buying Experiences are Based on How the Customer Feels They are Being Treated, Industry Analyst, Inc.
- 7 Ways Consumer Support Affects Your Bottom Line, Talkdesk.com
- Customer Service Stats: 55% of Consumers Would Pay More for a Better Service Experience, Salesforce.com)