You own a small chiropractic practice. You’re confident that you provide exceptional chiropractic care once your patients are in the door, but what about when they’re outside of the building?
When someone calls your practice, what type of experience do they have?
Research shows that people prefer to speak with a live human when they’re considering a business and also when they have questions or issues.1 Investing time and resources into a great phone experience is one of the most significant ways to grow and improve your practice. This particular area of customer service is what separates great offices and thriving doctors from those who struggle.
It’s simple to provide a great phone experience. Consider these five tips to enhance the customer service your practice provides via the phone.
No. 1: Make your phone number clickable
You’ve established a website and an online presence, and potential patients are using their mobile phones to search for chiropractic care in their area. Why wouldn’t you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to contact your practice?
Mobile search accounts for 48 percent of phone calls to businesses.2 Making your phone number clickable is a simple way to get more valuable phone calls from people searching for your practice. The following code on your website would appear as a clickable number: <a href=“tel:1-880-555-5555”>1-880-555-5555</a>. Or, you could change the second number to wording, e.g., “Click here to call.”
No. 2: Always be available
If you have a small practice, it may be impossible to staff the phones around the clock. However, it’s super important that you have adequate phone coverage:
- 80 percent of people hang up when getting sent to voicemail
- 85 percent of those people don’t bother calling back
Don’t be one of those practices that invests in advertising only to miss calls from valuable potential patients. Most likely they won’t call back. Hiring an answering service that provides 24/7 support is a great way to supplement phone support when your staff is unavailable or gone for the day. Providing your callers with a live human to speak with at all times is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to deliver five-star customer service.
No. 3: Route your calls to the right place
Have you ever called a business and had to repeat your story multiple times before getting to the right person? That’s a bad experience. It’s crazy simple to ensure this isn’t happening to your callers. Set up an auto attendant phone directory that will route your callers to the right place the first time. It will serve as the greeting that will be the first thing your callers hear.
For example, “Thank you for calling. Press one to schedule or reschedule an appointment, press two for billing questions.” Calls are then routed accordingly based on the selection. The greeting makes your business sound more professional and it saves your employees time on the phone. Not to mention your callers will appreciate the efficiency. This is an easy and inexpensive service to add.3
No. 4: Train and continuously monitor your front line
The person answering your phone is the voice of your business. Invest in training for all personnel who answer the phone. You want to provide customer service that is reliable and consistent.
Listen to calls to identify all of the types your reps will come across. Confidence and tone are everything when it comes to great customer service calls. Confidence comes from your staff knowing how to handle all call types.
Tone might be slightly more difficult to train, but positivity and empathy are must-have qualities for staff members in a chiropractic practice. If you’re hiring the right types of people, their tone will shine through the phone.
No. 5: Continuously test your phone experience
You’re not done after you train your staff to be prepared for all standard call types and to display a positive and empathetic tone. You’ll need to continue listening to calls to ensure your practice is delivering the new customer service standards you’ve set for your staff.
Place a test call from time to time and ask your staff some questions. Listen to their responses. Did they answer in a timely matter? Did you get accurate information? Were they friendly and helpful?
It’s important to go through this exercise monthly to ensure you’re providing consistent and exceptional service. It may also help to do the same with your competitors to see what type of phone experience they deliver.
Although commonly ignored, phone-based customer service is one area where you can take your office from good to great. By always being available, routing your calls accordingly, and training and monitoring your staff, you can provide customer service that is consistent and reliable. Great service will not only keep your patients happy but also help you gain more new patients and truly make your practice shine.
Jamie Lowary is the channel relations manager for PATLive, a 24/7 live answering service that answers calls for thousands of businesses nationwide. For more information about live answering services, contact PATLive at 800-775-7790 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more customer service-focused content, follow @JamieNLowary on Twitter.
1 Johnson G. “Your Customers Still Want to Talk to a Human Being.” Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/07/your-customers-stillwant-to-talk-to-a-human-being. Published July 2017.
2 Goodwin D. “Mobile Search Is The Top Source Of Calls To Businesses.” Search Engine Journal. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ customer-phone-calls-mobile-search/166702. Published June 2016.
3 Ebiware J. “6 Best Auto Attendant Phone Systems 2018.” FitSmallBusiness. https:// fitsmallbusiness.com/best-auto-attendantphone-system. Published Aug. 2018.