The first month of any new year is typically the month for reflection, evaluation and planning ahead.
It is the time for pursuing new year resolutions and planning for different ways of doing things, in both personal and business lives.
2017 conversations here at AR have already noted enthusiasm and determination for taking control for a better work life balance, or improving service and efficiencies amongst busy aesthetic nurses and doctors.
A snapshot of over 80 survey responses from AR's short survey inviting our site visitors to reflect on their practice call handling arrangements hi-lights some interesting statistics. These support the growing trend of aesthetic practitioners seeking a new and successful solution for managing their practice call handling in support of their personal and business goals. Noticeably...
• 76% of survey participants handle their practice calls themselves, 72% on their mobile with over 60% saying that their practice calls are not answered efficiently; the phone either rings for a prolonged period of time before being answered, with 46% acknowledging the call often goes to answer machine, and a further 15% are conscious callers often receive no response at the other end at all.
• 49% of respondents acknowledge that their practice phones are covered over extended hours into evenings and on a weekend, 22% say their business phone is answered part time and 30% contain their clinic call response to regular working hours Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
• Just under 60% of responding practitioners admit that they do not have time to service a new patient enquiry thoroughly when they call. Additionally, 59% acknowledge that they do find, or can find, it difficult to talk to new enquiries on the phone.
• Overall, the resulting effect shows us that over 60% of practitioner responders believe that they are missing up to 5 new patient opportunities each week, 11% believe this to be missed opportunity of 6 to 10 new patients and 5% felt that they could commit to saying they believe they are missing 11+ new patient consultation appointment opportunities each week.
Results such as these suggest that time taken to stop and reflect on what as a practitioner you are doing currently in terms of your business call handling, can be very revealing and beneficial, if it can bring about change for the better.
• Choosing to answer your practice phone yourself extends your working days and risks losing new patient opportunities when it is not convenient to pick up or to have focused and extended conversations on your mobile.
• Working days are further extended with telephone, or email, or social media contact with existing patients also factored in.
• On the other hand, not being there for your patients and new enquiries can suggest you are closed for business.
• There can be uncertainty as to whether your practice call handling is reflective of your business brand. Leaving new enquirers and patients with a welcoming, warm and nurtured feeling about your clinic is important. Where brand and service is misaligned this can affect confidence levels in your practice service and treatments.
This year already we are seeing that practitioners are taking the time to reflect and plan for themselves and their business;
• "My new year resolution is to reduce evening hours, returning or taking patient calls".
• "I am conscious I have lost some opportunities and would like to improve my response service to".
• "I want to work hard on my new clinic brand from the outset, if I can't answer the phone, it doesn't look good".
These are just three examples of new year conversations had here at AR with nurses and doctors both time and business conscious and wanting to take control and benefit from change.
The question is therefore ... Are you on track with your 2017 New Year Resolutions?
Do take time to complete our short survey today. It may just start you thinking more about your business call handling arrangements.