9 Things You’re Saying to Create Cancellations
In episode 9 of the Best Practices of ToP Practices, Steve covers what your team could be saying to influence your patients to say “No” to showing up to their appointment, rescheduling, or even accepting treatment. Is your team guilty of using any of these phrases?
1. “They will get you scheduled up front.” As if it is not important enough for you to worry about. The schedule is the most important thing. If the doctor is involved, it must be important. If not, it must not be that important. Tell me about your schedule. We do these kind of procedures in the morning. Or, “The team, (or Joan) will work with you to make sure our schedules work together for the very best outcome.”
2. “We’ll see you next time.” (Doctor) Instead: Your time is valuable. We do everything to make sure we schedule appointments at times when it is convenient for you and when we can provide you the very best service. I want you to know that when you have an appointment scheduled, we do everything we can to protect that time so we can get you in and out on a timely basis. Timing is everything. Let them know the time interval for their next appointment and why. “We need to see you within the next 3 months because….” (Listen to the Crown Council Mentor of the Month with Dan Pink entitled “When”
3. “Would you like to schedule your next appointment?” As if it were an option! It should never be an option. State matter of fact: In order to _(patient benefit), we will need to see you again in ____(time)____. Which day of the week (choice) is the most convenient for you when you have the most control over your schedule? Morning or afternoon? Etc.
4. “When would you like to come back?” You need to prescribe. You are in charge, so give them the time frame when they need to come back and for what reason.
5. “I wrote down the appointment for you on this card.” Think again about important commitments you make. Does someone write it down for you like a child? Instead, ask, “How do you keep track of your most important appointments? (Hand them the appointment card if they have a calendar at home.) “Could I suggest that you put this appointment down on your calendar at home like we are scheduling it here? That way, if anything happens to come up that might conflict, you can tell them that you already have a commitment. And that commitment is to your health.”
6. “We will call to remind you a few days ahead.” You just minimized the importance and their responsibility. If you are going to remind them, they don’t need to worry about it. Instead, “What is your preferred method of communication – – Text, email, or voice? We will be sending you periodic updates regarding your appointment. Please know that we have everything set up for you on _____ at ______ and we will have everything set for you at that time.
Maybe you should not be calling at all! (Text, email, etc. What is their preferred method of communication?) Less than half of America has a home phone, and very few people will even answer their cell phone or even listen to their voice messages any more.
7. “I am calling to confirm your appointment.” Think about that word con…firm. Con, means with and firm means to secure. IN other words, you are calling because you are not secure or sure that they are coming! You are implying that it was not firm in the first place.
8. “I am calling to remind you about your appointment.” What are they, a 5 year old that you have to remind about anything. Think about a very important business lunch. Would you expect the other party to call and “remind” you? It is condescending. Instead, you are calling about the appointment and then restate YOUR commitment.
9. The worst thing you are saying is the thing you are not saying at all!!! The Doctor should be calling all the new patients before they come in.
So whether your team is guilty of using one or all nine phrases, make sure you STOP Cancellations and get the verbal skills training your team needs today! For information on attending a Total Immersion course near you, visit www.TotalPatientService.com or give us a call at 1-877-399-8677.
For more information about the Crown Council, visit their website at www.CrownCouncil.com. To listen to the Mentor of the Month Interview, featuring Dan Pink, click the link: https://crowncouncil.podbean.com/e/mentor-54-sam-ballard-dominican-republic-lab-sponsorship/
Download your FREE copy of the ToPS eBook, Stop Cancellations: How to Deliver Total Patient Service AND Keep your Schedule Under Control, visit www.TotalPatientService.com/Stop