Note: The following blog post is an excerpt from our latest eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Converting More Patient Phone Leads.
Medical Marketing eBook: Situational Education for Converting Patients
If you are responsible for handling inbound calls for a medical practice, you know that no two calls are the same. Each prospective patient has their own unique needs and questions so, to effectively assist them, you must work on your Situational Education.
Situational Education refers to knowing what actions and information are necessary to be an effective call handler in various circumstances.
Situational education often comes over time as a result of various experiences. Below, we’ve condensed our learnings from countless calls and thousands of hours of talk time to provide you with a cheat sheet of what you need to know to be best prepared for inbound patient calls.
1. Do not make assumptions about callers.
Never make assumptions about callers based on how they sound. Treat every caller with the same respect and service, as you never know who is on the opposite end of the phone.
2. Learn how to handle angry or abusive callers.
Working for a medical practice means you are often dealing with callers who may be sick and/or frustrated with their health. For some, frustration can sometimes lead to anger.
As a call handling professional it’s important to keep your cool and always be respectful – no matter how rude or abusive a caller may be. Know how to effectively answer questions and move on, rather than arguing.
3. Have strong foundational knowledge of your practice, staff and procedures.
Know the history of your practice. Patients want to know how long you’ve been in business, and where you’ve specialized to determine if you’re the right choice for them.
Know your team. Be prepared to answer questions about where doctors went to school, their certifications, areas of concentration, and hospital affiliations.
The answers to these questions builds trust with callers and helps establish their confidence in the practice or doctor. To some patients, not being able to readily speak to things such as credentials and affiliations will translate to a red flag.
4. Know your practice’s advertisements and offers.
It’s important that call handlers have a working knowledge of all offers and advertisements a practice is running.
You do not want to sound confused or surprised if a patient mentions a specific advertisement or offer. Worse yet, you never want to give conflicting information. For example, if you advertising team uses free consultants in ad copy, you should be aware of this so you do not charge patients.
5. Know your FAQs.
When handling inbound calls, you want to be helpful to callers and transfer their calls as rarely as possible. One great way to achieve these objectives is to keep a running list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for each procedure your practice advertises.
The beauty of a FAQ sheet is it will equip you to easily and quickly answer callers’ questions – enabling you to work more efficiently.
6. Understand when to end conversions.
Sometimes you will receive callers who, long past you’ve answered their questions and determined whether or not your practice can help, just want to chat with you.
Being kind and cordial is good, but if a caller just wants to chit chat, you must be adept at getting to the point and hit your goals as a call handler.
Reading the Full eBook
If you found this blog post helpful, click here to access the full Ultimate Guide to Converting More Patient Phone Leads eBook.