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Phone calls are the lifeblood of your veterinary practice - did you miss the free webinar?

Posted in Operations @ Nov 10th 2015 - By Judy Gillespie
Phone Calls Are The Lifeblood Of Your Veterinary Practice

How well do your veterinary team handle phone calls from potential clients? 

I just watched the recording of Dr Diederik Gelderman’s recent webinar: Mystery Phone Shopping – Calls to Consults and I found the information quite fascinating. (You can click here to watch the replay for yourself)

I have to admit to having a bit of a personal ‘thing’ for customer service and communication via the phone. I think it’s because all my life I’ve worked in service industries (and yes – the veterinary industry fits into that category!) and so to me the ability to deal with clients over the phone has always been an essential skill. Albeit a skill that many people unfortunately don’t seem to possess.

I’ve been known to suggest to a retail assistant that I’m happy to wait while he/she picks up a ringing phone and don’t get me started on our favourite takeaway place that regularly doesn’t answer their phone because they’re “too busy”!  A business phone that continues to ring past about the 5th ring starts to have a similar effect on me as a crying baby – I can’t concentrate until someone does something about it (not really sure what that says about me?).

Anyway this is possibly why I found the information collected by Diederik to be so fascinating and so disturbing (btw...I should mention Diederik didn't ask me to write this - I just think the content is worth sharing...and did I mention I have a 'thing' for good client service over the phone?) 

Ok so to give you a quick overview… Prior to this webinar, Diederik completed 340 phone calls to veterinary practices in Australia, the US and South Africa.

Each of the 340 phone calls were judged using the following criteria:    

1. Answered within 3 rings

2. Offered a warm greeting (using practice name & their name)

3. Bonded with the caller (was memorable, made an impression, thanked person for ringing – this is what person will remember not necessarily the price)

4. Asked for referral source (referred clients are easier to book)

5. Asked for appointment (where the rubber hits the road – happens less than 5% of the time)

6. Asked for the caller’s contact information (to follow up with an information pack – potential to increase conversions by 18%)

And this is what he discovered!

90% of receptionists were nice – but it doesn’t make the grade & certainly doesn’t stand out from others

70% gave the price & nothing else

20% gave price, added some features but no benefits

5% gave the price, added in the features and turned them into benefits

5% ONLY offered an appointment

Where would your practice sit I wonder?

So in general what were the phone calls like?

Each veterinary practice was asked the same basic question requesting a price for getting a dog desexed. The responses mostly asked the sex, age and weight of the dog before giving a price and then getting off the phone as soon as possible!

Overall it seems that basic phone skills are seriously lacking as the staff either offered too little information or too much, waffly, jargon infused information.

Information that stood out to me from the webinar:

  • I loved the idea that whoever answers the phone should be a ‘Verbal Cheerleader’ for your practice – that means their aim should be to make the caller feel comfortable with your practice.
  • What to do if the caller doesn’t want to book in immediately?
  • Send them an info pack (email or post – advantages to both – can lead to an 18% increase in conversion)
  • Send them a thank you email or letter (send THAT day especially if using a letter)
  • When should the price be given? Offer the $ figure 2nd last and then follow up with a suggested appointment time
  • Money spent on advertising, awesome website, in fact ALL marketing designed to attract clients to your business … a total waste if you’re not converting people when they call your practice – your team’s phone skills may be totally letting you down!
  • Do you blame the receptionist or staff answering your phone?  ….There’s no point complaining about what they’re doing without offering a solution e.g. training
  • Does your receptionist treat every call for what they are potentially worth? ...  Every call from a potential new client is worth up to $7,000.00 for a cat and up to $15,000.00 for a dog….it’s NOT just a $400.00 phone call!

Still don’t believe that phone shoppers are important to your business? 

Check out these scenarios:

Even if your team was only able to convert an extra HALF a new client a day into a new client…

0.5 calls extra per day x 5 days per week X 52 weeks a year = 130 extra (new) clients

At an average spend of $545 x 130 clients = $70,850 increased revenue this year

At the very least…..Mystery shop yourself

Even if you think your team is awesome – do a mystery phone shop to check. 

(As at 12/11/15 - Diederik is still available to do some mystery phone shopping for you but only for a few more days – contact him directly )

If you want to do something about it… offer:

How to Turn Your Phone Calls Into Profits 

  • 60 minute online training
  • Buy 1 and the rest of the staff are FREE
  • Exact scripts to be used to get conversion rate up to 6, 7 or 8 out of 10, including how to:
  • Bond with the caller & be memorable
  • Qualify the caller & take charge of the call
  • Convert the caller to an appointment
  • Seven phone fixes guide template to keep by the phone for receptionist to refer to
  • ‘Thanks for the enquiry’ email or letter – helps to convert those that initially said no to yes
  • Special offer if you book soon – bonus – Register ONE staff member & ALL the team can get access to the information
  • 100% money back guarantee

Special Price: $497 AND buy 1 and the rest of your team can watch for FREE

Click here to find out more: How to Turn Your Phone Calls Into Profits

Click here to visit the Turbo Charge Your Practice Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory



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