Starting from the first point of communication with your customer, do you believe you are putting in your best efforts in terms of customer service?
THE PHONE COMMUNICATION:
In most businesses, the phone is our first contact with the customer. At this time, we are still faceless entities and they are calling to get information on our services. We have to ensure that we put in a great amount of effort to get the customer to call us, and once they do call, we have to make sure that the initial contact is the best it can possibly be to retain the customer.
Think about the following situation:
Your company puts in an ad in the magazine or newspaper for a special event that will take place in a week. Ask yourself the following questions to see if you have communicated the event, and further details, clearly to your team.
- Detailed the event and advert to your team?
- Informed them about what results you are looking to achieve with the ad?
- Given them a script to follow for phone conversations with potential customers?
It is great if you have a plan for the future to rake in sales, but if this is not communicated clearly to your staff, your plan can be a big miss. There are many responsibilities in running a clinic that may take you away from completing the last stage of your marketing plan to your team. There is a simple solution. Plan ahead of time and spend just ten minutes on a quick briefing on what to do, what results to aim for and how to achieve them. Get them motivated to achieve results as what is good for the company means better news for the team!
Imagine what you feel the client’s reaction would be to your advert. If they are interested in your advert and call up your clinic, what would they hear?
They call up the clinic, and as with a lot of receptionists in corporate settings, they reach a busy sounding voice that doesn’t seem welcoming. The client will identify themselves and inquire about a particular face treatment and the receptionist could sound busy and tell them to make an appointment to get all their questions answered.
Here the client is actually interested in your clinic because your ad has worked.
However, that is only the first stage of the plan. When they reach a receptionist who seems too busy to give them the time of day, they will lose interest. As the saying goes, the Customer is King. If a potential client gets a disinterested voice on the end of the line, their interest in your clinic will end right there and you would have lost a potential client.
The client calls the Clinic looking for information on a certain face treatment they want done. But this time, there is no receptionist and only an answering machine that tells them to leave a message after the beep. As it is the client is contacting a faceless company they have not dealt with before. To top it off, they reach a non-human receptionist. There are a lot of clients, who want that personal touch that only a human receptionist can give.
However, with budget and time constraints, not many clinics or businesses can employ a receptionist full time 24/7. This is when an answering machine works best. To retain the interest of the potential client, it is recommended that you:
- Frequently change the message content
- Update caller on new promotional deals or events
- Any new treatments
- Last, but not least, thank them.
Your message should sound welcoming and engaging. People are attuned to voices and the way a message is conveyed. If the person recording the message is doing it just as part of the job and doesn’t make the effort to sound engaging, chances are that you would have definitely lost a lot of potential customers. If you are not happy with your job, it shows in your work and definitely in your voice. A customer can be finicky and can afford to be fussy in choosing a clinic as due to competition, there are various other options around.
To make sure that they choose your business to come to, your team needs to do the following when a call comes in:
- BE CHEERFUL AND POSITIVE AND HAVE A SMILE ON YOUR FACE: When you smile, it shows in your voice. Customers who call like to have a happy, positive person on the other end of the line as it gives them positives vibes from the get go.
- THINK ABOUT YOUR WELCOME: True, your staff has been given a script to follow, but encourage uniqueness and innovation. Instead of going for the conventional, ‘Hi, How many I help you?’ route, try a different greeting that sounds more welcoming and engaging.
- BE COURTEOUS: When a customer reaches your clinic via the phone, your first impression has to be good because at times, that could be your only opportunity to impress them to converting a potential client into an actual one. Your response and answers should be polite, informative and most of all, engaging.
“High Expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton
Creator of Wal-Mart, there is no better example than to follow what this entrepreneur did to achieve great sales and make his company into what it is today. He shows by example that you should aim for the stars to reach somewhere.
As another famous personality once said, “Make a customer, not a sale.” If you only aim to think short term by that one sale, you will not reach far. By converting a client into a long term customer, you are guaranteed to have revenue coming in from one reliable source. Say what you feel the customer wants to hear, ease their anxiety and help them in their search for the best product in your clinic. After all, you want the client to feel great about themselves!
PHONE MARKETING TIPS:
What is your goal when you pick up a client’s call? To just make an appointment or sell your best-selling treatment? There are a few questions you should ask yourself to make it clearer how to approach a potential client.
- What information do you have on the client before she comes in for her scheduled appointment?
- What makes your Clinic different from your competitors?
- What would excite the potential client about coming in for the appointment?
- What draws new clients in?
- Even though you manage to get an appointment fixed with the client, what is the reason they would actually walk into your clinic?
- Is there something newsworthy or exciting about your clinic that would make her spread the news to her friends?
- Are there any reasons for her to become a recurring client?
Many times, a receptionist is under the impression that the goal of the call is to fix an appointment when the client calls. And the job’s done. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Your client wants information, and it is your job to provide it with the intention and purpose of retaining her as a client. Take yourself for example, when you call a service, how do you feel when you receive a less than satisfactory response?
First impressions are lasting impressions. Give more than they have asked for and they will be happy customers. Mention new treatments, great deals and unique products so that they feel they need to buy or use your products and this means you are not only selling more, but you are making sure that the client remains a long term client.
The more information you give, the better it is for your business. When a caller is on the line, be courteous and ask for their name, if they have visited the clinic before, other questions pertaining to their skin type and appearance, various skin care regimes and age bracket. This makes them feel that you are truly interested in them and this way you have a lot of information about their skin before they walk into your clinic. Offer certain treatments, schedule extra minutes to their appointment and make them feel like a valued customer.