Practice Management: Front Desk Misses

Your front desk employees are the first point of contact for new patients. Their skills—both on the phone and in the waiting area—can help increase bookings and improve overall patient satisfaction. To help practices better train their front desk staff members, Laurie Mercer, senior practice consultant with Allergan, shared the most common mistakes made by front desk staff as part of her presentation at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) meeting in May. They include:

  • Not answering the phone in one to two rings.
  • Not giving his or her name and the practice’s name when answering.
  • Not asking for—and using—the caller’s name.
  • Putting callers on hold without asking permission.
  • Not asking callers how they heard about the practice.
  • Not asking questions and quoting prices too early.
  • Not explaining what makes your practice unique.
  • Not greeting patients with a warm welcome when they arrive.
  • Not recognizing that patients in the waiting room are watching and listening to staff.