Is Your Customer Service … Horrible?

horrible receptionist

Today I’m going to talk about sales.  Because we’re all selling.  Everyone in business sells because we need clients.  Top flight lawyers have to get clients, Accountants have to get clients, Estate agents have to get clients.  We need clients and you need clients and as much as we don’t like to admit it we all need to sell ourselves. The medical and aesthetic industry is no different to any other.

I’ve spent many an hour in sales meetings in my career.  The businesses may have been different but the questions are always the same:

– Have we sold enough?

– What can we do to sell more?

– What are the barriers to selling more?

This last phrase is key.  What are the barriers?

A Barrier to Sale

In essence it is the barrier that is preventing the client from getting out their credit card out and spending money with you. Identifying the barrier and eliminating it is the key to increasing your sales and ultimately your success.

In our industry there are a number of barriers between a lead coming into your business and someone going ahead with a treatment:

– Competition

– Client financial constraints

– Client nervousness

– Your business response to enquiries

Nearly all these barriers can be overcome. You can get ahead of your competition by advertising more and doing a better job: better customer services, better facilities, better staff, better treatments!

Financial constraints can be overcome by offering clients payment plans or loyalty discounts. Client nervousness is down to your bedside manner, if it’s not great, work on improving it.

But the one big issue I come across time and time again is a team responding to clients in a manner that just isn’t warm or inviting. Your secretary or receptionist is the first touchpoint with the client and the experience needs to be *MINDBLOWING*!

Here are 5 key elements that your client facing people should adopt:

1. Create empathy first and foremost.  If your receptionist or secretary is no good on the phone then stop them from answering it and find someone with a kind heart and a warm disposition to take care of it.  Get the client talking, how long have they been thinking about? when are they thinking of having it? do their friends have it? What motivated them to call you? Using empathy to create a rapport should be enough to secure that client alone.

2. Data capture is second to point 1.  NOT the first.  And data capture shouldn’t be a clip board checklist that must be completed line by line.  By establishing a rapport your people should be able to establish a lot of information through chatting, with the round up at the end for email address and phone number or filling out some blanks like DOB.

3. Know the products and services off by heart.  People ringing up will expect your team to fully understand your business.  Often they are nervous about calling in and by having tip top knowledge your phone operator can take control of the relationship in a positive way.  Have pricing information and recovery time info to hand as these are the most frequently asked questions.

4. Offer appointments quickly.  Your prospective client is valuable, they are contacting you and essentially offering you their business. Or to be even more crude they are offering you money.  You need to get them to see you quickly.  That week if possible.  After hours if necessary.  If they can’t see you within a week the chances are they have contacted a competitor.

5. Remind your people that the customer is the most important person in your business.  Not the surgeon, not the doctor or practitioner, not the finance guy. The customer enables you to do what you do, don’t ever forget it.

Losing prospective clients at the initial contact stage is a crime.  It works directly against all your best efforts and yet it is the one thing you can do that will make a huge impact on your business.