“Look in my face; my name is Might-Have-Been.
I am also called No-More, Too-Late, Farewell”

– Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The House of Life

Today we are going to talk about missed opportunities. Now it\’s one thing to let opportunities slip by because we\’re too busy to notice. It\’s another to ignore them while they\’re tapping us on our shoulder. And 34% of the time, that\’s exactly what we do.

At OptiCall, we call these missed opportunities ‘leaky phones,\’ and they could be costing your practice a boatload of money.

Leaky phones are caused by a number of incidents: hold times that are too long, poor phone etiquette, unknowledgeable staff or simply not asking the caller to schedule an appointment.

But the main culprit is also the most egregious: not answering the phone.

That\’s right – on average, 34% of phone calls made to a medical office are not answered by a live person.*

It sounds crazy, but think about it – how many times have you called your own medical provider, only to be greeted by a prompt to leave a message? You likely immediately hung up and called back until someone answered, or in the case of a new service, never called back.

Which brings us to our second point – only 37% of those people actually leave a message.**

So how much could this simple oversight potentially impact your practice?

Based on our records the average practice receives approximately 750 phone calls a month, and that 1 in every 5 of those calls is an appointment opportunity. That\’s 20% of all calls.

That means there are: 750 x 20% = 150 appointment opportunities per month.

If 34% of all calls go unanswered, the numbers change to:
750 x 66% = 495 answered calls/month
366 x 20% = 99 appointment opportunities

That\’s 51 appointment opportunities lost simply by not answering the phone.

Now assume your average procedure cost is $4,000, and your conversion rate is 50%. Using that math, you could be losing 51/2 = 25.5 new patients : 25.5 x 4,000 = $102,000

That\’s $102k a month potentially down the drain. And for many of you, that number could be a lot higher.

When you factor in the 37% that actually DO leave a voicemail, the number of new patients drops to 16, but the result still isn\’t pretty:

16 x $4,000 = $64,000 a month in potential lost revenue.

$64k. All because you\’re simply not picking up the phone.

About now, I\’m sure most of you are saying to yourselves – well, that\’s not how we operate – but do you reallyknow? I mean, if they\’re not leaving a message… (you can check your phones with our free mystery shop.)

But the real question is why. Why are the phones not being answered? We commonly see two main reasons:

1. Your staff is multitasking: they\’re currently assisting other patients either on another line or in the office.
2. The patient is calling just outside of your normal business hours.

Luckily at OptiCall, we have a solution to fix those leaky phones – our ‘Overflow\’ program.

It\’s simple: if someone calls your office, and the phone isn\’t answered within 3 rings, instead of going to voicemail the call is forwarded to one of our trained professionals – so the caller gets a live, knowledgeable person.

If they call before the office is open, or after closing, someone is there on the other line.

If they call on the weekend, they are greeted with a ‘Hello, how may I help you?\’

The result is no more missed opportunities. No more missed calls, no more calls going to voicemail, and even increased opportunity for additional calls outside your regular office hours.

So what is this coverage worth to your practice? We already went over how much you could be losing – think of how much you could gain, for less than half the average cost of just a single new patient.

*SOURCE: Three Ways Your Office Is Losing New Patients – Patient Pursuit – Published 9/22/2014

**SOURCE: OptiCall/Patient Pursuit monitored call analysis