On balance, the call handler did an effective job working with this, admittedly motivated, and largely “pre sold” caller.
The caller was a bit of a ‘hard driver,’ opening with a lengthy and spirited statement.
This can tend to throw a call handler off her game but, by keeping to the TAFI Greeting and Intro, it is easy to regain control, and satisfy the caller at the same time.
Caller: “I will be a new patient, received offer, overdue (good buying signals!) I need this and this, and am wondering what insurance you take” Paraphrasing caller.
Team Member: “Actually we’ll be considered out of network……” preferable Intro “I can help you with that, this is NAME. With whom am I speaking?” but recovered by sharing “…so there is no obligation.” then began to discuss payment terms. It is far better is to wait until after empathy and rapport are established, then discuss what the patient can or cannot do with respect to insurance. It is also preferable to avoid such ‘insurance company controlled’ terminology like ‘out of network’ that has an ‘intended by the insurance companies to discourage patients from working with a non participating provider’ negative connotation.
Instead of keying in on the one most challenging part of the Caller’s statement, namely, the ‘insurance question,’ the TAFI Intro permits one to establish rapport, convey empathy, and exude enthusiasm while at the same time addressing the caller’s question about dental benefits.
Team Member: “Actually, we’ll be considered out of network” “We are not…” “Cost is such and such”
Please refer to your TAFI Materials for preferred verbiage for handling such a question.
Preferred next statement would be…
Team Member: “Thank you NAME for calling us. Are you in any discomfort at this time?” SHOWS YOU CARE
The Team Member did recover a bit by stating that, because of the complimentary offer “There’s no cost anyway,” and by having an upbeat and enthusiastic tone to her voice. She then, however, began stating terms of payment (see above) before even knowing the person’s name, but she did, to her credit, listen well enough to know who to weave the fact he is in school with limited availability into her response.
It is typically risky to move to make an appointment without first connecting emotionally with caller with itafi greeting and intro
The Team Member did begin to establish rapport, albeit later in the call than we would like to have heard. She also could, and probably should, have emphasized how great the new practice location is because, if the caller thinks the practice is closer than it, in fact, is, that could discourage him from keeping his appointment.
She ended on a nice upbeat note, but waited to get the caller’s name until the end of the call.
In general, the Team Member will do a better job connecting with callers by allowing the caller to finish his statements i.e. not interrupt the Caller.
She did take time to, at the end of the call, listen to the Caller’s expression of hope that his new dentist will take good care of him, and she did, albeit only briefly, acknowledge that he will, indeed, be pleased with the caring he will experience at this practice.
The Team Member’s enthusiasm and authenticity helped her to connect with the Caller, which is a most valuable asset indeed!