One of my major bugbears with medical practice is the ability to answer the phone.
Sounds simple. It is!
Yet many practices do not answer the phone. Instead, the call goes to an answering machine and then one of two things happen.
The call is never returned.
The caller rings another consultant.
The new patient wishes to see a consultant. Most likely he or she will have a choice of whom they see. It could be you or it could be a competitor. It is not a given they will choose you.
So what will be their reaction if they can’t make an appointment because no one answers the phone or can be bothered to go elsewhere?
They will call another consultant.
By all means have the option available for the patient to book online. I’m all for it. But don’t just rely on that.
We are in the people business.
And people like dealing with people. More accurately, they like to talk with people.
So answer the phone and talk to them.
It is inevitable that your phone will be engaged at some point or your practice will be closed for the weekend. Hopefully, the patient will leave a message.
But make VERY sure that call is returned.
If you don’t, potentially you will lose a new patient.
And if you don’t attract and keep new patients, frankly your practice is dead.