Every phone call placed to your aesthetic practice is an opportunity for a booking and a chance for each caller to begin building a relationship with your practice.
The groundwork has already been laid. Your potential patients have likely already shown interest in your practice through a web search, conversation with a friend, or a social media scroll. They are now finally making the step to actually connect person to person. It’s a big deal.
This is your practice’s chance to make great first impressions, avoid losing the interest that is already there, and ultimately book appointments. This first point of real contact is filled with potential as you try to solidify the relationship with your practice with a prompt, polite and helpful response.
However, too often phone conversations fall flat with lifeless interactions or fail to capitalize on opportunities to win over new patients.
So how do you accomplish a productive aesthetic phone call? How do you meet the aesthetics needs of your patients, build trust with your practice, and professionally deliver your patients on to providers for treatment? Read on to learn the five attributes we feel are essential to nailing patient calls to your practice.
To set your calls up for success, make sure you answer phone calls as quickly as possible. A prompt pick-up indicates that your patients’ calls are valuable to your practice.
On the other hand, would-be-patients will likely hang up if they wait on the line for more than 30 seconds or are sent to voicemail. Often those who hang up will not dial again.
So what do you do if you can't immediately get to the phone?
If you are on the line with another patient, you could quickly pause your current call and answer by saying “Hi this is Beauty Hut, can you hold?” While not ideal, at least the caller knows that someone is there and will get to them as quickly as possible. Patients can understand that your practice is busy (in fact, they want to work with a practice that is thriving!) but knowing their call is important helps callers wait on the line.
In the event that you have to put callers on hold, consider playing music or relaying updates about new services or treatments at your practice. These practices give some temporary value to your patients until you can devote your attention fully to them.
We all appreciate the courtesy of a quick response time. Show you value your patients by promptly responding to calls!To set your calls up for success, make sure you answer phone calls
Your front desk needs to be prepared to respond to a wide spectrum of requests.
Receptionists need to be well versed in FAQ’s (frequently asked questions), prices, ongoing promotions, treatment comparisons, etc. They are tasked with setting up expectations for the visits, scheduling appointments, and building trust for the patient with your practice.
It’s no small role that they fill. If done well, your front desk can act as ambassadors for your practice in promoting and seamlessly moving your patients along their path to treatment. But it doesn't just happen. Training is essential in preparing your front desk team members to meet the different needs of the callers.
Based off our study of recorded phone interactions, we have come up with an outline to set your calls up for success. While the order can sometimes be adjusted based off the phone conversation, learn below our six components of a well executed aesthetics phone call.
As mentioned previously, the first few moments are crucial for setting the stage for your phone call. Make the best first impressions and put your callers at ease by reassuring your patients they have called the right place and you are there to personally help them. Show that the patient is individually important by introducing yourself, asking for their name, and using it often throughout the conversation. The introductions shouldn't be lengthy, but make sure to include these three components:
1. Thank the caller for calling your practice.
2. Introduce yourself and your practice BY NAME. (with a smile in your voice)
3. Ask “How can I help you?” (keep it warm and sincere)
4. Ask for the Caller's name (and regularly use it throughout the phone call!)
Example: “Thanks for calling Daytona Laser Lipo, this is Susan. How can I help you?.... I'd love to help you with that! May I have your name? ”
The introductions are aside. The caller has just asked their question. Now you need to warmly and professionally respond and address their needs.
Remember: NO QUESTION IS TOO SMALL OR UNIMPORTANT. Validate through your cues that you are here to cheerfully help. Statements like “great question” or “sure, that makes sense” encourage your caller.
Inspire confidence in your practice by clearly and quickly sharing the information on procedures or treatments that they are seeking. While the front desk can usually answer and direct most callers to the actions they need, you can also forward callers on to have conversations with specialists if they want a more detailed phone consultation.
For inquiries about price, the front desk is fine to give them a ballpark of the treatment price (for example, the cost of a single syringe). However, make sure to remind callers (who may be price shopping) that more factors than price should go into their decision of where to get treatments. Mention that your practice often sees patients trying to correct poorly done procedures from other clinics... Remind would-be-patients to consider the high quality results at your practice in their decision making.
Encourage callers to come in for a consultation to determine exactly what their treatment plan should be to meet their goals. Offering a complimentary consultation will often influence would-be-patients to take the next step of engaging with your practice.
1. Warmly and Professionally Respond to Questions.
2. (if needed), connect Caller to a specialist for a more detailed conversation.
3. Emphasize the benefits of coming in for a consult
Example: “Great Questions! Yes, Botox starts at $15 a syringe and generally 10-30 units are used for a forehead treatment. So anywhere in the $150-$450 range. However, not every practice will give you the same results. We often see people come in trying to fix poorly done forehead treatments from other clinics. Our providers are specialized in this treatment and sees great results. You will need to consult with a provider to determine exactly what you’ll need to meet your goals. And we offer a complimentary first consultation”
As you address questions, assure your callers that they have called the right practice! Whatever their needs, they made the right decision to call your practice and you can tell them why.
How can you validate their decision to call you? Point out key differentiators that set apart your practice/specific provider. You could mention:
There's no need to make up any fake awards or statistics, simply determine what your practices strengths are and mention one or more in your call. Always emphasize that your practice sees great results (specifically mentioning their treatment interest).
Example: “ You have called the right place! Injector X is regularly booked out because she’s so good at what she does. She’s been doing lip flip and subtle enhancements for 8 years and was recently featured as a top 10 provider for lip fillers in our state.”
While it's important to be professional, you also need to take time to lower any barriers by speaking to your caller on a personal level.
Humanize yourself and build trust by sharing your own experience with a treatment. Have you had this procedure done yourself and had good results? Tell your caller about it! How about family members of close friends? If not, talk about the results you have seen while working at the office. Figuratively pull up a chair next to your caller and share like a friend.
Example: “My sister actually just had her lips done here. She wasn’t sure about it first, but afterward she was thrilled with how they looked!”
Callers don’t want to be “talked at” the entire call. In order to feel understood, your callers need a chance to explain their history and confirm to you that their needs have been met.
Here are some possible questions you could ask to engage your caller:
1. Have you had this treatment done before? How was your experience?
2. How did you hear about us?
3. Do you have any other questions?
Example: “Ok, let’s get you all set up! Have you had this treatment done before?... Were you happy with your results?”
It may seem like a no-brainer, but continually remind your front desk to ask callers if they would like to schedule an appointment. It doesn't have to be pushy, but you might be surprised how many opportunities for booking are lost when a conversation ends without an invitation to schedule.
Train your front desk to ask just the minimum patient details when booking an appointment. Make the sign-up easy. More information (like insurance etc.) can be gathered when they come in for their appointment. Ask patients if specific date and time are available- don’t ask open-ended questions like “When would you like to come in?”
Additionally, ask for an email. From your grocery store to the retail store where you buy your shoes, company’s regularly ask for customers' emails (for promotions, perks, etc.) during their interactions. Don't be shy to ask for emails! Even if callers are not ready to book, collecting e-mails for your database is a huge win as it puts them in contact with your practice’s content.
Example: “Let me see when we can get you in! Would you be available on Monday, January 31? Would afternoon work at 1:00?...Great, have you been with us before? NO? Ok, what is your first and last name? What is your date of birth? Can we also grab your email for promotions? Ok perfect, you are all scheduled to meet with Dr. X.”
Each caller is extremely valuable to your practice–Make sure they feel it! Make sure their needs have been met, sincerely thank them for their time and remind them of your next interaction.
Make sure the caller is satisfied by asking “Is there anything else I can help you with?” You can also express gratitude through statements such as “my pleasure” or “thanks for calling!”
To conclude a call, its also important to re-emphasize the patient's future actions. Whether it's waiting for a confirmation text about their booking or saying you look forward to seeing them on the day of their consultation, remind them of the next step!
Example: “Ok, you’re good to go. Is there anything else?... Great, we look forward to seeing you soon at your appointment! Thanks for calling Daytona Medical Spa.”
Now that you know the importance of being prompt and prepared for your phone call, you now need to add a personal element. Avoid coming off cold or uninterested by instead seeking to be warm and friendly throughout the call.
Your patients have likely already had a general interaction with your practice (reading your website content, scrolling your Insta, etc.) but a phone call is your first opportunity to be personal.
Think about the social norms you would do if you were meeting someone in person. Exchanging names and a few pleasantries goes FAR in creating the beginning of a relationship...beyond just a brisk business interaction.
The impressions made in the first moments of your call are key for your success. Answer the phone with a smile in your voice. When greeting your patients, have your staff introduce themselves and your practice by name. For example, you could answer the phone “Thanks for calling Daytona Laser Lipo, this is Susan. How can I help you?” The act of stating your own name often prompts your patients to introduce themselves as well (if not, you can directly ask!).
Patients respond well when called by their name. It helps them feel valued. It also helps them focus on what you are saying. Regularly use your patient's first name throughout the call, especially when talking about specifics of their appointments.
Patients also need to feel you are listening to understand them, not just trying to quickly move on to the next customer. Ask questions to understand their needs and what they are hoping for in their treatment. Be upbeat and convey that it's no problem if they need to reschedule their appointment, or are just calling for information at this time.
Patients care about the customer experience. Discourage strict scripts, and encourage a personal customized experience. Many will continue on with a practice that professionally and personally takes care of their patients.
Your phone call needs to have a natural, continuous flow.
Never leave your callers wondering what’s going on. If you need a moment to pull up your scheduling or input a person in the system, just make sure you let the caller know what is happening. Simply stating “Just give me one moment” as you are pulling up what you need on your end, keeps your callers in the loop.
While your front desk should be prepared to respond to basic questions, also don’t hesitate to connect your callers to team members with more specialized information. Your callers will appreciate getting the best information, and it builds TRUST that your practice has their interests in mind.
Try to make in office connections as fluid as possible. A receptionist might recommend talking to a specific doctor by saying: “Doctor Hardy can give you the best explanations for laser treatments and ideas on the price range. Can I get your preferred number and have him give you a complimentary consult over the phone in the next twenty minutes or so?” Clear instructions and a time frame helps set up everyone for the most positive experience.
Hiccups in your calls happen–especially if you are seeking to truly help your patient and step away from the “script”. However, if your calls are set up to professionally and seamlessly navigate your patients as you answer their needs, the experience will still be positive.
The phone calls placed to your practice may look very different. Varying actions and routes may come up within your phone calls, and that’s ok. But whether it’s looking up information on your end or connecting your patient to someone more specialized, seek to make transitions as seamless as possible through the way you communicate to your callers.
Patients appreciate thoughtfulness during the booking process.
For example, a receptionist considerately asked her caller if she wanted to push her appointment until after the holidays, (instead of the next week like she was hoping) because the treatment would lead to a 2 week period of puffiness right over Christmas. The appreciation the caller felt was tangible as she thanked the receptionist and opted for the later appointment.
Other thoughtful gestures could be offered when setting up follow-up appointments. If you know that a specific provider fills up fast, offer to schedule return appointments out as well. Patients appreciate you looking out for them.
In addition to booking conversations, respond warmly and thoughtfully to any information patients provide about themselves. For example in a phone dialogue we recently heard, a patient mentioned wanting to get in quickly for Botox before getting pregnant. While the receptionist glossed over this detail and briskly went to booking, it would have gone further to say a quick congratulations about their growing family. Match your patients’ communication by responding warmly to the information they offer.
You may be surprised how many callers, especially first-time callers, feel hesitant or embarrassed by taking up your time with their questions. Especially if their list of questions is extensive. Avoid any communication that gives off the impression of annoyance, and instead warmly welcome their questions.
No matter how busy you are, it shows courtesy to conclude by asking “Do you have any more questions?” or simply “anything else?”. Often your previous conversation will have already addressed their needs, but that ending question helps your patients feel that they can bring any further questions they might have to you in the future.
In addition, when patients thank you for your time/answers, responding with “my pleasure” is a great way to reassure your patient that their relationship and time is valuable to you.
Patients appreciate someone looking out for them and thinking of their best interest. Be thoughtful and considerate in your interactions with your callers!
The relationship between patients and your practice does NOT begin when they first meet with a provider. The in-person relationship begins during the brief give-and-take over a phone call. So make each second count!
The more impressed your callers are with your practice over the phone, the more trust and interest they will bring into their first appointment. Set up your would-be patients for success by training your front desk to be prompt, personal, seamless, considerate, and productive. Help your callers comfortably progress along their path to treatment through well-executed phone calls.