Optometric Management Tip # 343   -   Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Initial Phone Call

An influence point analysis of your practice, as described in last week's tip, begins with making a list of all the ways your office interacts with patients. Once you have a list of these influence points you can analyze and redesign each one in order to make the total patient experience the best it can be. Using this tool will certainly reward you with practice growth based on increased word of mouth referrals.

The first influence point in most practices is the initial phone call to the office. It's important because it creates an initial perception of the practice. You never get a second chance to create a great first impression. When done well, the initial phone call is converted to an appointment, which is the core requirement for a successful practice!

Consider making the initial phone call a topic at your next staff meeting and asking your staff for their ideas about how to improve telephone interactions. What are the most challenging issues they face on the phone? Here are a few thoughts to get you started with this important moment of truth. I will cover more influence points in future tips, so you'll have plenty of material for staff meetings!

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management