So, here are the keys. Master the TAFI intro. Establish rapport. Convey empathy. Exude enthusiasm. Employ effective listening technique, and remember the TAFI intro one last time. “Thank you for calling ADM where we take aim with your marketing. This is Danny. How many I help you?” “I can help you with that. My name is Danny. With whom am I speaking?” Now, we’re not a dental office so we don’t really ask people if they’re in any discomfort, but often, they do experience some practice pain points which we can address.
Then, I ask, “Who may we thank for referring you to us? Would you mind if I placed you on hold for just a second so I can get to my desk and give you my undivided attention?” There you have it.
I want to thank everyone for attending. We seem to have lost our host, Bob. I do have on the screen the offer that we want to make to all attendees. Feel free to learn about The Art of First Impression CDs and coaching service as well as our on hold message at your convenience. Thank you very much for your time.
I’m sorry, Danny. I just got back on. You’re right. I do have a technical problem. I do also want to thank everyone for attending and certainly call Aseptic for the special offer, if you have questions on the Wand, and maybe you could type in any questions that you have now. We will get back to you within the next 24 hours. Sorry, again, for that little pause there.
That’s quite alright. Do we have time for some questions? I certainly have the time if there are questions. Are there?
Danny, I’ll just ask some quick questions for you here. How often do you recommend revisiting telephone communication skills with the team?
Well, I’m glad that you’re asking that. I think that I mentioned it earlier that the key to anything is repetition to mastering a skill. So, this has really got to be internalized, and I’m glad that we’re offering this as a recording and people can review it. I like this as a part of every team meeting. I’d like to see if you do a weekly meeting that you have stories from the front desk, dispatches from the front if you will where team members have an opportunity to share and cross-pollinate their experiences. That’s a wonderful learning tool.
The other wonderful learning tool is to record conversations, and when you do that, you have a tremendous tool because there’s really nothing better than hearing yourself. Better in terms of learning. It’s a little uncomfortable sometimes and certainly at first, but people get over that. I think repetition is key, especially if you’re learning a new skill. So, more frequently at the beginning. I would say weekly at least, and then, you can dial it down as people are demonstrating their skill. I think frequency is very important.
For specific patient calls, patient-related calls, how do you recommend responding to patients who are uncomfortable about having their calls recorded?
That’s a good question. I would just tell them why you’re recording them. I would say, “The reason we’re recording calls is because we’re committed to ensuring that our communications are as effective as possible. It’s a learning process. People call us with questions sometimes that we want to be sure that we address to their satisfaction, and you should also know that your calls are recorded because you are calling in on a new patient line. Once you become our patient, we invite you to use our direct connect telephone which is not recorded.”
Okay. On the note of the new patient, how long should your office be on the phone with the new patient?
As long as necessary, and this goes in the face of some other coaching you may have heard or some other philosophies. For me, trying to get off the phone quickly with a new patient is a matter of being minute-wise and dollar-foolish to mix metaphors, and that’s because I just listened for a beautiful call that went for 15 minutes last week. This caller was concerned, and this caller had really done his research. He wanted his answers, and I thought Lori, the caller, did an excellent job of hanging with that patient and got the appointment.
Now, having said that, as you become more adept with this, the amount of time you need to spend with the caller will reduce because you will have quickly and effectively establish rapport, convey empathy, and exude enthusiasm, and get to the point and control the call. One reason that calls go on indefinitely is because the call handler doesn’t take control of the call. When you’re a call handler, instead of saying, “I haven’t got more time to talk to you” you can easily say, “You know, I’ve really enjoyed speaking to you. I feel like I’ve known you for quite some time, and I can’t wait to meet you. I just want to confirm that we are on for Tuesday at 3 PM, and I look forward to meeting you then. Is there anything else I can answer for you right now?” That’s a nice way of saying I don’t have time. I have to go.
Danny, for situations in the office when it’s not busy, the phones are open, do you still recommend placing callers on hold?
No, not necessarily, but sometimes, even if you’re not busy, it depends on the caller. If you get the sense that the caller might benefit from hearing the message, that it might calm them down or it might impart some information. Obviously, if they’re in a hurry you don’t want to do that, but I really do want to add that if you’re going to place somebody on hold and you have the time, you should say, “In case we get disconnected, would you mind if I just jot down your contact information?” Not all calls are being recorded. If they’re a client of ours and a prospective patient calls, then we are recording it most likely, but it’s a good practice to get the contact information and then just say, “Would you mind if I put you on hold for a second so I can get to a quiet area and give you my undivided attention?” If they say, “I really haven’t got time for that.” Say, “I’m sorry. Let me get your contact information and let me call you back when it’s a little bit more convenient.”
I certainly recommend taking notes or taking down a patient’s name and contact information. That’s just a great service. You’re showing them that you care, and you’re not relying on technology to either record the call or the caller ID to tell you who it is. With the number of calls coming from cell phones, I know we here at the sales and marketing of Aseptico, we have to make sure that for every call that comes in that you write down the name of the caller, number of the caller just in case something happens. There’s not better form of service than getting back to somebody when they have been disconnected, particularly if they’ve been on hold for a while.
I agree, and that was a long answer to a short question. The real answer is it depends, and the question was should they be placed on hold even if the office is not busy. The answer is no, not necessarily.
Right, and my last question is for people that do purchase the offer, The Art of First Impression, how long does it generally take for practices, for the individuals to get comfortable with The Art of First Impression or the TAFI introduction?
Well, the introduction, that’s a great question. It really does depend, and I will tell you this. I don’t know how many in attendance are golfers, but if you’ve been a golfer and you wanted to improve your game, you go to a golf coach. He tells you you’re doing your swing all wrong and you need to redo your swing. So, let’s say you were golfing in the 80s and he gives you a new swing and you try it. Chances are you’re going to be golfing in the 80s or 90s. For those of you that don’t know, the more strokes the worse.
In other words, you’re going to get worse at first when you try something new, and we really work with our team, our coaching subjects to let them know that that’s going to happen because they can get frustrated and disillusioned, and then, they’ll go back to the old way to doing things which is more comfortable but not as successful.
So, the TAFI intro itself, I have some people that pick it up immediately, and I think often the people that don’t pick it up are really the people that don’t understand why. I understand that. I don’t learn by rote. If I don’t understand the logic behind something, it really doesn’t stick, and I question why I’m doing it. So, people who really go through this and really understand why we created the TAFI intro and structured it as we have are much more likely to embrace it and duplicate it that much more quickly.
So, I don’t want to speak for you, but it sounds like one of the things we deal with when we’re integrating the Wand and the [01:27:08] system into a couple practices is number one, you’ve got an existing practice with maybe a more seasoned doctor that’s been giving syringe injections their whole life. They’re accustomed to that paradigm. We generally tell them to stick with it for a couple of weeks, focus on training, and making the paradigm shift. It does take a little bit longer for the office dynamic to change versus a new, younger, recently graduated resident right out of dental school who comes in and adopts the technology.
I would imagine, it’s somewhere along the lines of the TAFI presentation. If the office has been doing it a certain way for a long period of time, it’s going to be something that they need to stick with and work a little harder than if it’s a new practice, just getting up and running. They’ll adopt these principles right off the bat, coming up and being a little bit quicker.
That’s right, and although I promised myself I would get to this presentation without one pun, in case of the Wand, you would not stick with it, right?
Yeah. Exactly. Those are all the questions I have. It was a great presentation. Thank you.
All my pleasure. Thank you, and I appreciate everybody’s time and effort. I hope they found it worthwhile.
Well, that’s a wrap for everybody. Just to reiterate, you’ll be getting a copy of this presentation, and if you have any questions at all, my name is Bob DiAntonio. I am the product manager for the Wand anesthesia system, and I can be reached at Aseptico. My direct telephone number is (425) 408-9303. That’s (425) 408-9303 or simply visit us at aseptico.com. Thanks, Danny.
You’re welcome. Thanks and thank you, everybody, for your time, and have a great day.