“What Do You Want?” and Other Telephone No-No’s
I was in the grocery store recently and stopped by the customer service desk to ask about a certain product that the store is frequently out of. The employee behind the counter finished up with someone else then turned to me and asked, “What do you need?” He wasn’t unfriendly, but he wasn’t friendly either. I couldn’t help but think that he clearly had other things that he wanted to get done, and I was yet another obstacle in his way. He didn’t greet me with a warm, “Hello” and ask “How can I help you, today?” Rather, he simply wanted to address whatever “need” it was and move on. His seemingly simple question said a lot more than he probably realized.
I suspect this young man is pretty efficient, and perhaps on this particular day, his list of things to do was longer than usual. Maybe someone had called in sick or didn’t show and he needed to find a replacement quickly. Maybe this was supposed to be his day off. Regardless, it was a clear reminder of how much we can convey, either positive or negative, in just a few words. I marvel at the number of dental practice employees who, like this busy grocery store clerk, give little or no thought as to how they come across to patients and customers, particularly over the phone. Consider these seemingly innocent comments from the employees who are the #1 link to your patients.
There are a number of straightforward and easy steps the dental team can take to significantly improve the practice’s telephone skills. But there are four that you can implement immediately and see positive results almost as fast.
1. Answer Promptly
2. Consistent Greeting
3. FAQ Sheets
4. Talk With A Smile
Next week, what your patients really hear when they call your office.
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