5 Rules of Phone Etiquette When You’re Dealing with Patients

If you’re running a private optometry practice and wish to have a blooming business, you must make sure your front desk staff knows how to handle patient phone calls. Since they’re basically the face of your business, you need to train them just right to make sure your patients can feel free to ring them up and ask any questions they have in mind.

Whether your front desk staff is answering a question or scheduling an appointment for prospective or existing patients, they need to follow 5 essential rules of phone etiquette that are listed below.

1. Come up with the Perfect Greeting

You need to create the perfect greeting and make sure every member of your front desk staff uses the same greeting in all their inbound and outbound calls. A good greeting doesn’t just include the greeting, but it also includes the name of the person operating the phone call, the name of the practice (for e.g. Dr. Jones’ Office), and a question about how they can be of service.

2. Keep a Friendly and Professional Tone

Your front desk receptionist should maintain a friendly and professional tone of voice throughout the phone call. They need to listen intently to what the patient is saying and their voice should sound welcoming.

3. Learn How to Answer the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Since most patients only call to schedule an appointment or ask an important question, the front desk staff should know enough about the practice to provide a satisfactory response to the most frequently asked questions.

You can even prepare a cheat sheet that they can keep at their desk in case they’re new and not well-versed in all the operations as yet.

4. Ask Before Putting Them on Hold

It’s important to ask the patient’s permission before putting them on hold to assist another caller or find more information regarding their queries. To ease the patient’s frustration, it’s advisable to check on them after a specific amount of time to let them know that they haven’t been forgotten.

5. End the Call in a Friendly Way

It’s also necessary to end the call in a friendly way and make sure the patient is completely satisfied with the answers they’ve been provided with. Tell your front desk staff to repeat important information regarding appointments (time and location) at the end of the phone call.

Your staff can make the call feel a lot more personal if they use the patient’s name every now and then. They should also ask if there are any other questions the patient would like to ask before thanking them for calling and ending the phone call.

Here’s an example: ‘Is there anything that you need help with? (wait for a response). Thank you for calling Mr. Smith, have a great day.’

Final Words

It’s important for your front desk staff to give their undivided attention to all the callers and make them feel valued and cared for. Once they start following these basic rules of phone etiquette, it’ll be a lot easier for you to retain your patients.

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