Stop Worrying & Start Loving Outbound Calling. The Easy Guide to Outbound Calling
Let’s admit it: Outbound calling might be your or your team’s least favorite job. Whether lack of confidence, a low rate of success, or another reason keeps your team wanting to do anything but tackle this task, the barriers are real and can stymie a crucial component of your practice’s success.
The good news? Audigy’s outbound-calling tips and tricks are just the fix to help your team make more effective calls and consistently achieve better results. Expand your knowledge and build confidence in your delivery with these best-practice techniques.
Remember Why It Matters
Why is outbound calling important to your practice’s success? Any opportunity to positively connect with patients and prospects can return value in spades. Outbound calling, part of your overall patient-commitment program, not only reflects your dedication to following through on promises but also:
- Further demonstrates care and concern for your patient’s continued satisfaction
- Helps build connections and relationships
- Addresses readiness
Develop a Consistent Process
Developing an outbound-calling process is one thing. Following it consistently is another. Have you prioritized your process through weekly or monthly block scheduling? Does everyone on the team understand and support the process? Is there transparency across the team? Identify and shore up weak spots to help improve consistency.
Understand the Anatomy of a Call
Every outbound call ideally includes a:
- Beginning – friendly check-in
- Middle – reason for appointment
- End – two options for the patient to choose
The call might also include patient objections such as inconvenient timing, inability to recognize the need for help, financial difficulty, or inability to see the value in using your practice. Anticipating these potential objections and being prepared with responsive talking points will help overcome these challenges.
Role Play for Added Confidence
The tried and true “Practice makes perfect” is more than an adage. Role-playing among your team generates familiarity and builds greater confidence, making it easier to achieve your goals when the real calls with patients occur.
Consider recording the role play with equipment as convenient as a cellphone to instantly critique, adjust, and learn from the experience. Every role-play session offers an opportunity for improvement.
Master Your Message
Whether the warranty on your patient’s hearing aid is about to expire, their devices have reached four-plus years, or their hearing loss has been tested but not treated, successfully engaging the respondent requires tailoring your message:
- Upcoming warranty expiration
- Main message – “Let’s protect your investment!”
- Sample statements – “Your warranty is about to expire,” “Let’s check your hearing devices while they’re still under warranty,” “Let’s have you come in to talk about the pros of extending your warranty or new recommendations based on your hearing test.”
- Older technology
- Main message – “Let’s validate that your needs are met!”
- Sample questions and statements – “How are your hearing devices working for you?” “You need a full exam and test annually after technology is four years old,” “Let’s have you come in so we can validate that your hearing devices are still meeting your needs.”
- Tested but untreated hearing loss
- Main message – “Let’s ensure health and wellness!”
- Sample questions and statements: “How’s your hearing?” “We recommend retesting annually,” “Let’s have you come in for your regular hearing exam as part of taking care of your overall health and wellness.”
Know Your Patients
It’s easier to call people you feel like you know. Glance at the patient chart before calling, and – going forward – ask providers to jot down background information that can assist in these calls.
Also, find common ground. Hear a dog in the background? Share a common hobby? Use those cues to make inroads; people like to talk about their lives.
Be Natural, Warm, and Likable
Like you, patients naturally anticipate a sales call when the phone rings. The best approach is to disarm them immediately. Your call is not a sales call.
Avoid sounding salesy – instead speaking as one real person to another. Use stories about “other patients” to build value: “We often hear from other patients that they didn’t even know how much they were missing until they came in and got their devices retested and adjusted.”
Stay Focused on Your Goals
As in life, outbound calling involves the long game of building solid, quality relationships that last. Even if the patient doesn’t make an appointment, the call furthers the connection. Keep focused on your practice’s goals, and remember to:
- Accurately represent the nature of the appointment.
- Build value for making an appointment so that the patient wants to schedule.
- Impress upon the patient that the practice cares about the patient’s hearing above all else.