Receptionists are among the most undervalued staff in many businesses. To outsiders, their job seems fairly simple – answering phones, checking patients in and perhaps a spot of filing.
Yet the receptionist has one of the most important roles in any company. As well as giving the first impression of your practice to new and existing patients, they have access to vital information which can completely transform your business.
From colleagues to customers, experienced receptionists are experts at reading other people. They can tell whether a patient is nervous, stressed or relaxed almost from the moment they walk through the door, and they know how to adapt their interactions to suit them. Wouldn’t it be helpful for everyone in the practice to have those skills?
Equally, receptionists know the rest of the staff team better than anyone. It’s likely they have the most regular contact with other staff members and have a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses – and not just those they choose to display in front of patients or in team meetings.
Receptionists also have the best knowledge of what is bringing new patients to your practice. When new patients first call up, send an email or drop in to reception, it is likely they will mention how they found out about you: perhaps they have just seen your new advert in the local paper, or a friend has recommended your services. The best receptionists will find out as much about this as they can in a subtle, informal way. They will also know what interests most new patients, from simple check-ups to cosmetic procedures, which can all help you to spend your marketing budget wisely.
On top of this, they have some incredibly useful skills: dealing with telesales callers in an efficient yet professional way, handling complaints while causing the minimum f fuss, and remaining calm in the face of any sort of crisis. In this light, they are far more than just the person who gives the first impression for your business – so what else could you learn from them?
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