Some Ideas on Handling “Shoppers” – Part 4

This week, on our various Silkin Management Group blog sites, we’ve presented several articles with ideas on how a receptionist should handle new patients/clients who call in for prices on certain services. In our last article we went over an example script of what a receptionist might say to a “shopper” that would help direct the person to your office rather than continue shopping.

Today we’ll finish this series with some more ideas that you can use when dealing with “shoppers”.

After you’ve used some version of the script we went over in the above referenced article, it might then be appropriate to simply say, “Let’s schedule you for an appointment.” If you’ve established good rapport with the person, as covered in the previous Silkin Management Group articles, the odds are that the person will go ahead and schedule.

If the person sounds hesitant or not sincerely committed to coming in you can say something like, “If you want to do some more shopping, by all means do so. We would love to have you come in to our office and service you. If you choose us, just give me a call and we’ll set up a convenient appointment time for you.”

At no time do you want to make the person wrong, be impatient or rude. You want to stay up-beat, maintain the good rapport you’ve developed and make them right for wanting to find out how to handle their needs. Don’t be evasive on prices but, as we’ve pointed out in the earlier articles, explain that exact prices really depend on a number of variables and it would be unfair and, in fact dishonest, to promise a specific price over the phone.

General scripts can be developed by your office depending upon the types of services people call in to ask about. But any script only serves as a guideline. Underlying any pre-set script must be sincere care and interest in the individual calling and using excellent communication skills to develop a good initial relationship with the patient/client calling in.

We suggest that the receptionist study materials and scripts on this subject (such as the ideas we have presented in these articles and/or the job descriptions that are contained in Silkin Management Group’s Job Description and Office Policy Manual) and practice the handling of these types of situations with role playing/drilling until they are very comfortable handling a “shopper”. Drilling is really the key to becoming adept in the handling and scheduling of shoppers.

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