What if I Invest in Training my Front Desk and They Leave?
You might be asking yourself, “Why invest in front desk training if they’re just going to leave?”
I’ve heard this question a LOT lately because front office turnover is at an all-time high.
Aside from this, you might also think, “when they’re studying, they’re not at the front desk.” So, you’re paying them to learn WHILE they’re not up front answering the phones and scheduling patients.
Add that to the fear that they might leave…and you’ve got yourself a DOUBLE WHAMMY!
I understand where you’re coming from because I used to have that EXACT thought about investing in staff training. In fact, that used to be my justification for NOT investing in front desk staff training.
But then a friend and mentor sat me down and showed me what my beliefs were costing me (and our practice).
And it completely changed my mind about investing in staff training for my front desk.
I immediately thought: “Dee, what if you don’t invest in training and they stay?”
Instead of showing you what you ‘could’ be making, let me show you what it’s costing you by not investing in front office training…
A high rate of same-day CX + NS result in lowered efficiency
Higher same-day cancels and no-shows make your front desk staff less efficient.
When someone calls to CX, it takes time to answer that call, handle that patient, try to reschedule them, AND then work the call list, plus find another patient to schedule for the open spot. This takes time away from all the other things they need to do daily.
Additionally, most patients are busy and appreciate the same notice that you do, which is why it’s much easier to fill any day other than today.
TIP: A truly efficient front desk has less than 6% same-day cancels and no-shows. This allows your front office team to be proactive and focus on filling tomorrow’s schedule instead of having to spend today trying to fill today’s schedule.
Cancellation prevention is KEY to your team’s success.
Lost new patients = higher costs (training reduces lost patients)
Converting leads requires sales skills. People call for many different reasons, and if they’re unsure if you can help them, they’ll ask many questions or object to scheduling and arriving for that initial appointment.
Remember, people are calling because they need our help.
Unfortunately, most front office staff don’t know what to say when someone is shopping around, asking many questions, or hesitating to schedule and arrive for care. So, your front desk ends up not scheduling these potential patients and you end up spending a lot more than you want on marketing and promotions.
The average practice loses at least five to 10 potential patients per week – or 260-520 new patients per year. And if you have a 10-12 visit average POC, that equates to a loss of $200,000 to $468,000 per year to a practice!
In many cases, it’s not seen as a loss because practices aren’t tracking this metric. So, this figure goes unseen…
TIP: When you train your front desk to convert those potential patients and handle objections, they can take control of those new patient calls. You’ll see an increase in average visits AND ROI from your marketing and promotions.
Lower collections and increased patient dropout rate
You’re asking someone who makes $15-20 per hour (on average) to discuss the cost of care with your patients. So, they’re having to tell someone that they have a $4,000 deductible and a $75-125 per visit out-of-pocket cost while thinking, “I can’t afford that, so how could they?”.
(When I work with a front office team, they share this with me. Every. Single. Time.)
So when a patient has objections to paying what is required, your front desk staff isn’t prepared to handle those objections and is more likely to allow the patient to drop out of care; because of their own worries about money.
TIP: Your front desk must understand that patients will spend their money anyway, on care or something else. Without providing them with the necessary skills to handle objections to the cost of care, your practice will lose even MORE. More importantly, patients are losing out on the care that can help them improve their quality of life.
It causes a higher turnover rate
This is a fact, and it applies to us all. When we don’t understand something, we’re more likely to give up on it. Your front desk didn’t go to school to learn HOW to manage people, handle their objections and get them coming in for care.
So, they’ll feel a sense of failure when they can’t handle patients and get them scheduled easily. And this will happen not long after they sign on with you. That’s why some people leave within days of starting a front office position.
TIP: Provide training to new hires and retraining to all front desk staff on a regular basis. Teach them crucial topics like how to get someone scheduled, collect what’s due, and prevent a cancel / NS.
Untrained front desk staff create more work for you
If you’ve found yourself giving the same instructions over and over, constantly having to put out fires, losing sleep over cancelled visits, or stressing over lost revenue, this is often related to your front desk staff lacking proper front office training.
They’ll come to you when someone doesn’t know HOW to handle a situation, they’ll come to you. You’re the stable base in the practice who knows what to do, so they will come to you to solve the problem or to make that decision because they don’t know how to do it.
TIP: Train your staff to be competent and responsible, and provide regular re-training sessions, so they have the skills to help your practice achieve success.
You aren’t helping as many patients as you could be
This one breaks my heart the most. Untrained front office staff is less likely to know how to handle objections, so you lose patients before they complete care. This can happen at any time throughout a plan of care, on the initial call, on the day of the eval, when discussing the cost of care, when scheduling a POC, or when someone calls to CX or worse, they just NS…
TIP: When you have a trained front desk, the practice helps more people, your marketing ROI is lower, and YOU’RE able to have more time to work on the practice instead of in it.
I get angry and frustrated when I hear about same-day cancels and no-shows are more than 5% because I have the solution that PREVENTS CX and NS.
And I hate seeing practice owners spending so much on new patient leads; because without a well-trained front desk, you’re spending MORE than you should to get new patients.
I’ve learned the hard way that if my front desk staff wasn’t properly trained, I lost money, time, energy, and sleep.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
While any investment is risky, and you may have been burned before, I can honestly say that my training IS different than anything you’ve ever seen.
I understand practice ownership and what it takes to not only survive, but thrive in uncertain times.
I didn’t just ‘throw this training together’. This training is exactly what we’ve used in our practice for the past ten years, so I KNOW it works.
This training is like sending your front desk staff to school to learn how to manage patients effectively and take control of your schedule. They’ll learn WHAT to do, HOW to do it, and WHY they’re doing it. You won’t find this anywhere else.
Why? Because all front desk staff can learn these essential skills, I know they can.
And guess what. If someone leaves, you can remove the person who left and add your new hire. It’s THAT easy!
(In fact, some owners have now started using parts of this training in their hiring process to weed out those who don’t have a good fit with what you need for a front desk staff BEFORE they hire them…)
The overall investment in training your front desk staff is small compared to the current cost of lost patients and revenue. And the potential return is massive. Don’t wait for things to change or for the perfect team that might never come.
Get started TODAY!
Have a wonderful evening.
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With The Front Office GURU Training Academy®, you can have the tools you need to provide consistent training to your front desk.
When you provide consistent training, your team is more successful and success in their position helps to decrease turnover.
Here are just a few of the essential topics we cover in this program:
How to have the right mindset when speaking with patients.
How to get more new patients to schedule and arrive for their evaluation appt
How to talk about the cost of care and handle patient worries about costs
How to PREVENT cancels and no-shows (and also how to handle someone to keep it from happening again)
How to fill your schedule and keep it full
Watch this video to learn more: