For most cash-paid services, success relies on connecting with new patients – patients who have no previous experience with the office. They are coming in cold, having responded to an ad online or a direct mail piece. They are feeling a mix of nervousness, excitement, and hope. Your front desk staff sets the tone for the entire first visit, and as you know, success building rapport during the first visit is the biggest predictor of whether the patient will close for care.
What is your process for welcoming new patients? Does your front desk staff:
- Greet with a smile and welcome the new patient?
- Come around the desk to meet the patient when they come in?
- Offer the patient water or another beverage?
- Ask the patient if there is anything that can be done to help them get comfortable in the office?
If they are doing all that, you are probably seeing a lot of success selling cash-paid services. If not, you may not be seeing the results you are seeking.
The other area where your front desk can make or break your cash-paid services is on the phone. Patients are constantly calling in to connect with your office about cash-paid services – is your front desk setting you up for success? Here is how to tell:
- Is your front desk excited about bringing more patients into the office? You’d be surprised by how many offices struggle because the front desk staff sees connecting with prospective patients as a nuisance, a secondary task, or just “not part of their job.” If you want to grow cash-paid services, it is a requirement that your front desk is bought in to the work it takes to call prospective patients in a timely fashion, confirm appointments, and communicate the office’s excitement over the phone.
- Does your front desk staff have their skills down? Are they able to connect quickly with a prospective patient, to connect with the emotional “Why?” driving the patient, and to share just enough information over the phone – enough to convince the prospective patient that a visit is worth their time and not so much they don’t need to come in?
If growing cash-paid services is a goal of yours, there is a lot that must be done. You must be trained on delivering the care, your case manager must be talented at closing for care, and you have a strong marketing effort to get patients to the door. But, please don’t overlook the power of your front desk to make (or break) your success. Time invested getting them to world-class is time well invested in the success of your practice.