All the phone training in the world won’t help your staff to set new appointments if they don’t answer the telephone when the call comes in. We all would like to think that new prospects will conveniently leave their names and numbers when they get your voicemail, but the fact is it rarely happens. Existing customers and people trying to give you money might leave a message (they won’t like it), but a brand new customer, client or patient will most likely call somewhere else.

When they finally tip over to make that call, they’re ready to talk to you–the LIVE person! You’ve got to be ready to say, “You’ve called the right place. I have an opening today at 10 a.m.” When someone calls you after business hours, they are not really expecting you to be there. When they call at night, they were planning to leave a voicemail. On the other hand, when they call during business hours, they are expecting to reach you. So, be there–live and in-person!

And when you take the call, be sure to implement this WIL from a medical practice (it applies to any kind of business or practice)

I learned to make sure we repeat back to the patient their contact info; we want to get it right since we are spending a lot of money to get these patients to call!

Most clients, customers or patients are conditioned, and therefore expect to reach you during office hours, from 8:30 a.m. until about 6 p.m. These hours must be covered by a live person. But often they aren’t. There are lots of excuses, but no good reasons. Here are thirteen of the top excuses I hear all the time:

1. I was with a client/customer/patient, and no one else picked it up. I’m only one person.
2. I’m trying to hire a new intake specialist to answer the phone and schedule appointments. I can’t hire someone until I get the business owner to tell me to go ahead and put an ad in the paper. That was four days ago …

3. I was in the back taking a break, and I didn’t hear the phone.

4. I had a doctor’s appointment; the person that’s scheduled to help me didn’t show up yet, but I had to go.

5. Everyone is busy with other customers/clients/patients.

6. We don’t have call forwarding.

7. I’m new and just thought someone else would pick it up.

8. I had the day off.

9. I couldn’t get into work because my car wouldn’t start.

10. I got a call from the daycare and needed to pick up my daughter.

11. I had to have lunch; it’s my time, and if I don’t take it, I don’t eat.

12. I didn’t know how to take the phone off the answering machine from the night

13. We don’t have voicemail. If I’m on the phone and someone else calls, my phone beeps, but sometimes it’s hard to take that call because I’m already concentrating on the person I’m speaking to, so hopefully they’ll call back.

As for that last one, NO! They will not call back! Don’t let these excuses keep you from
answering your phone!



Chris Mullins was recently a guest speaker on the Legal Mastermind Podcast with David Pisarra, Esq.!!
Click Here to check it out: