The importance of a client’s first impression of your practice

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This article was provided by Chris Munro at Clinic Answer.
We’ve all been there when you first start your practice – it’s a crucial time which will ultimately decide if your practice is likely to sink or swim and first impressions are a big part of it.
So what is the challenge here for healthcare practitioners?
The immediate concern is that you don’t get a second chance to make your first impression. However, the real challenge is that your prospective clients will make their first impression of you quickly – between just 4 and 30 seconds in fact! This means that practitioners have only 30 seconds to convince their prospective client that they are the right practitioners for them, which ultimately decides whether the clinic thrives in the long-term future.
So what can practitioners do to make a good first impression?
Clients make a judgement about your practice based on a small amount of experience they gain from their initial interactions with you or your associates. So keeping this in mind, it important to reflect a strong image of being professional and approachable in all the different ways they interact with you. This means making sure your clothes and hair are tidy and well groomed – in fact your clothing is often significant contributing factor in a client’s first impression when meeting you in person.
How do you make a good first impression over the phone?
In most cases your first engagement with a client will be made over the phone, and it’s essential you master the clarity of your voice, your timing and that you’re always prepared. When you receive an inbound call from a client always make sure that you or a member of staff is able to answer the phone in a clear and professional manner, and don’t rely on an answering machine to give you a good first impression. Over 70% of people would prefer to speak with a real person rather than an automated answering machine. Real people help convey trust, can empathise with the client, and can offer some immediate advice, which is a sure fire way to demonstrate credibility as a practice.
Now it’s time for you to take a look at your practice – what are the initial experiences a prospective client has with your practice; and who manages your inbound phone calls when you’re busy treating a client? The initial perception a client has of your practice is significant, lasting, and can mean the difference between whether or not they undergo treatment with you.
Clinic Answer is a specialist call answering service, which can fully manage the customer service of your practice, right from taking the initial phone call to booking the client into your diary. You are then notified in real time, and given an end of day summary of all your messages.
For a 30 day no-obligation free trial of their services, just go to their website to find out more. Or you can contact them directly by emailing chris@clinicanswer.co.uk or telephoning 0333 800 9808.