Did you know your receptionists / assistants could be making you more appointments and ultimately more money?

Now, I'm not talking about your receptionists / assistants making outbound phone calls / appointments / chasing up reminders / tracking down missed appointments or whatever their normal working day consists of – I am talking about something completely different…

…something that not one in a thousand businesses does – and not one alternative healthcare practice does that I am aware of…

…and something that is guaranteed to make you more appointments, get you more clients and create exponential practice growth!

In fact, it is so easy yet so effective you will wonder why you haven’t considered it before.

So, without further ado here it is:

During lunch-times when you are not answering the phone and at the end of the day when there is no-one around to answer the phone instead of using an answer phone or an out of hours telephone answering service have as many of these calls as possible forwarded to a member of staff! A real life voice and someone who knows about how you practice is better than anything else (or any one!) you could use.

Now before you implement this idea there are a couple of simple things you need to consider to get the most from this strategy and make it the business booster it really is. These are as follows:

1. You will need to have a print out of the current week and the following week’s schedule and appointments diary available for the staff to use out of hours. Either photocopy or get your practice management system to print out the schedule in advance. This way all appointments can be made on this copied schedule and transferred to the main appointments book during the next working shift.

2. You will need to pre-plan which staff (and include yourself in this) will be available to work when. You will also need to work out how late into the evening / night they will be answering the phone and making appointments – for example will they answer calls up until 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock or midnight?

3. You will need to have a dedicated phone for these out of hour calls such as a pre-paid mobile phone you can all use. This way your personal phones will not be inundated with work related calls and it is a lot easier to transfer the phone between all the staff involved with the system.

4. You will need to make sure this emergency number is made known to your patients. Either include this number it in your practice literature or on your business cards.

5. As well as paying your staff their normal hourly wage for these extra hours you could also give them a bonus for each appointment they make and a larger bonus for each new client they make appointments for.

This one technique is guaranteed to increase your office visits for two very basic reasons.

Firstly as you are aware not everybody leaves a message on an answer phone. Certainly they may ring back later during office hours and make an appointment – or they may ring elsewhere in order to find someone who can help them. Having someone available “on call” will prevent these prospects looking elsewhere and it will allow you to make appointments for your existing clients at times that are suitable to both them and you i.e. you get to group all of your appointments into tightly confined areas of the day.

Secondly, as I touched on earlier it is far better to have someone who knows how you practice and what you do answering the phone. This way they can allay any fears and answer any questions prospective clients may have when phoning your clinic and they are also available should any existing clients have any queries. Nothing is more important to a prospective client than to hear a real and knowledgeable voice at the end of the phone when they call – and if one is available they are far more likely to schedule appointments.

There is some expense in this system but that is counteracted by the increased numbers of clientele and business that it brings in. It is also one of the easier techniques you can instigate that with create practice growth without you having to investigate other marketing techniques. Give it a try for six months and I believe you will be pleasantly surprised and if you are not you can always go back to your old system.

Author's Bio: 

W.J. Simmons has been involved in complementary health for over 25 years as both practitioner and lecturer. During this time he noticed that there was a wide discrepancy between how successful individual clinics were - a difference which had very little to do with the skill of the practitioner.

Learning from these successful practitioners allowed him to develop a system of easy to implement, ethical ideas for practice growth - the Exponential Practice Growth programme. To get your free 16 step report guaranteed to boost your own client base go to http://www.exponentialpracticegrowth.com/newsletter. The information contained in this report is applicable to all businesses.