Your front desk personnel are the first contact a patient has with your office. How they are dealing with “people” every day gives off a lasting impression about your office. Here are a few observations made from recent visits to client offices:
The Best: It’s great when I go into an office and hear something like, “Hi, Ms. York. How are you today? You know, we need to get a copy of your insurance card because it’s been a while since you’ve been in and we need for you to go over this information to make sure it’s all correct.” A kind voice makes a big difference, and body language says a whole lot. So remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.
The Worst: From a patient’s point of view, the thing I appreciate most seeing in a client’s office is a friendly face and an inviting feeling. I want to see that the person who greets a patient appears happy to have them there. When I walk into an office, I can always tell if the person at the front desk has a positive or negative attitude. You can just see and hear it. In fact, on a recent client visit, I observed the same receptionist always has the same negative attitude. Whenever I observe the front desk, she does not greet a patient with a pleasant hello or other pleasant chatter; she simply says, “I need a copy of your insurance card.” This is not a very friendly greeting and does not make the patient feel happy to be there. Needless to say, I wonder how many patients have been lost simply due to how the front desk handles patient activity every day.