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Making The Right Appointment

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Lesson #4: CORE Lesson #4 – Doctor Follow Up Call

About This Lesson

Instructions coming soon..

Resources

Action Items

  1. Create Doctor Call Follow-Up Procedure.
  2. Make sure that patient gives you time and best number to reach you. Listen to this again for example!

Full Video Transcript / MP3

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Hello. Welcome back everybody. This is Dr. Steve and I want to really talk about a concept today in module number three. I'm making The Right Appointment. It is so simple. This is so simple, you just need to make sure you do it. That's all I'm going to say. So let's dig in.

This is tenet number four, which is the Doctor Follow-Up Call. I view this call as a way to make sure that initial screening was correct and a way to introduce myself and basically what a doctor follow-up call is, is not necessarily after the appointment, although that is very important as well. If you're not doing that, whenever I numb someone up, honestly, give them a call that night to see how they're doing, see if they have any questions. That is a practice builder to the max. If you do that and they said, "Man, it was great." You can ask simple things like, "If you know any other friends or family members that you think would benefit from our services, please, please, please, we are always looking for referrals, we'd love to have patients just like you." Or ask for a review, whether it's on Google, Facebook, doesn't matter, use that as whenever somebody gives you a compliment, you want to always be asking for a referral or some type of review or something to better the practice.

I'm talking about this follow-up call is in, once an appointment is made for a new patient, the doctor calls as a way to introduce themselves. This is so fundamental and so overlooked. So, as you're digging into the doctor follow-up call, this is just simply a short follow-up call after the patient schedules the new patient exam as a welcome into the practice. This is going to be what the call actually sounds like. Jim has made an appointment for a new patient process and it's immediately after they make the appointment. You can call again, let's say that their appointment is two weeks later, I call them immediately just to see if they have any questions. You can also give them a call two days before, "Hey, I'm really excited to see you." But I'm going to just specifically talk about this short follow-up call after they make the appointment.

So, Jim makes the appointment in the morning, I call, and we're going to go into how to make sure that Jim actually picks up the phone when I call. This is a very overlooked part of the equation, but it's massive, because you don't want to call Jim and then Jim doesn't pick up, and Jim might still not pick up, but you don't want Jim to not pick up and then you wonder is it a HIPAA violation if I say hello to them.

But this is what's going to happen. Courtney, my front desk extraordinaire is going to say, "Jim made a new patient appointment with you, his number is this, here's his call sheet, this is his number, this is the best time to reach him." I'm going to call at the best time to reach him. I'm going to say, "Hey Jim, this is Dr Steve. Thank you so much for making an appointment with our practice. What I want to do is just introduce myself, say hello, it's an honor to be able to serve you, and just right now since I have you on the phone, I wanted to see, is there any questions or any things you wanted to talk about before you come into the appointment so that we make sure we give you the best possible value?"

And so, Jim might say, "No, this is cool, thanks so much for calling and checking in, but I'm good." "Awesome, so nice to talk to you." If Jim says, "Well, I do have some questions about the appointment, this is a great time to get them out of the way." Now, what I want you to think about is if Jim has questions, I want you to listen to those questions and sort to say, is Jim in the right appointment as well? So, if Jim has a comprehensive appointment, but he says, "You know, really I just moved in from town and I just need a cleaning and I just want to get re-established, I've had a dentist here and that's all I'm looking for." You may have to go in a little bit deeper and say, "We have you coming in for a comprehensive evaluation, you may have an issue you may want to get established, I want to make sure that that's the right appointment for me. What do you typically look for in a dentist?" And, I want us to start to dig in a little bit deeper with Jim to make sure that Jim is in the right appointment side.

Here's the key though, and this is number three. You don't want to get too deep in the psychology. I don't want this call to turn into a 15, 20, 30 minute call. I really don't. That's what the interview is for, the next part of the equation. I want the interview to be done in my office. I don't want to have it done on a phone. But, if Jim has some questions, answer those questions. Try to keep it brief. And again, you might say, "Jim, based on what you're telling me, we may want to change up the appointment scheduled for you. You really seem adamant that you want a cleaning, is there a reason why you want a cleaning?" And start to dig in a little bit.

Or, maybe Jim's on the fence and say, "Jim, it sounds like we may or may not be a good fit for you, just based on what you're telling me, but what I'd love to do is have you come in for a complimentary consult, there's no cost to it, it's going to take 30 minutes of your time. That way you can ask me some of these questions and we can really make sure we're a good fit before we start to go through a more involved process and you realize this just isn't the office for you. Is that okay?" Stuff like that. But, just don't get too deep in psychology because you can actually lose the patient on this call. You want to make sure though that when you're calling, you do address all their questions. And as I've said now, this can further be used as a screening measure to make sure that the patient has the right appointment.

This is your responsibility now. Your team up front has done a great job getting them onto the schedule, getting them an appointment, if it's something obvious though, that's just flagging you, this is not the right appointment for this patient, you need to be able to address this at this specific call. This one call drastically increases new patient show up rate. The second you call them, you've now given them some value, they want to reciprocate. If they were on the fence before, now that you've talked to them via phone, it's much harder for them to cancel. And again, if the patient is in doubt, set up a consult, this is as much as about screening them as it is for them screening you. You want to make sure this is a great fit. You don't want patients that don't want to be there.

The action steps here is to make sure that you create a Doctor Call Follow-Up Procedure. Something very simple. Every time a new patient calls, makes an appointment with us, you give me the new patient call sheet in the back, in my office, and then I have a specific time that I'm supposed to call this potential new patient. Now, this is the key that most people miss. Make sure that the patient gives you the best number and best time for you to reach them. If Courtney up front is saying, "Hey, Dr. Steve is going to be calling you later today, just to introduce himself, make sure that he can answer any questions that you have, what is the best number and best time for him to give you a call today?" Simple. Now they're expecting your call. If you don't do that, you won't have the right number and you won't have the right time. It's not to say they still won't answer your call, but it drastically increases the chances that they do answer your call. And say, if Jim is like, "Well, I don't really know what the best time is." "How about he calls you at x, would you be around at that point in time?" Now here's the key. You need to make sure that if you told Jim you're going to be calling him at five, you'd better be calling him at five on the dot, no matter what.

So, that is something that you need to coordinate with your front as well. And if you say, "I'm too busy for this." You need to start to prioritize these calls more than anything else. This is the most important thing you can do. You're establishing rapport with these potential new patients before they ever walk into your practice. So, make sure you're doing that, make sure you've followed these two action steps. Make sure you followed the action steps on the previous videos preceding this, and keep working on these things constantly.

This is a constant process that you need to go through over and over and over again, and just keep watching these videos over and over. "Did I follow this? Did I do this? Did I make sure that I'm taking these action steps needed?" And when you do, you're going to notice some significant results almost immediately. So make sure you're doing this, and when you get done with this, these two action steps, I'll see you at the next video.