Practice Success Starts at the Front Desk
When we look at our team’s organizational chart, many of us place ourselves at the top, associates (if we have them) next, then the office manager, billing and insurance team, and the assistants. At the bottom is the front desk staff. Ironically, the people who make up the bottom tier of a practice’s organizational chart can often have more of an impact on your practice, good or bad, than most anyone in the office. Why? Because, to the public, they are most likely the first person to whom potential patients talk.
The front desk person affects your new patients, your growth, your collections, and your patient experience. Those touchpoints directly affect your bottom line. A new patient can represent potential income over a wide range, depending on your practice style. In the average clinic, that number could be between $1,500 and $2,000. Multiply that by a conservative five missed opportunities per month, and you’re looking at $7,500 to $10,000 in lost revenue a month, or $90,000 to $120,000 in a year. Author Brian Tracy once said, “Hiring the wrong person is the costliest mistake you can make,” and he is right. I’ll add, with all due respect to Brian, that keeping the WRONG person is even MORE costly because of the collateral damage he or she can have on co-workers.
So, how do you determine the right person for this critical front desk responsibility? Here are a few tips to help you find the right person.
Hire for Personality
Personalities are hard to change, but skills can be learned. If you hire the right personality for the job, it is easy to teach him or her the skills needed to be successful.
Conduct a phone interview
Although this is a great way to narrow the pool of prospective applicants, it is also an essential step in hiring a front desk person. I have seen perfect résumés, only to then speak with the candidates over the phone and find they have zero phone/communication skills.
Get a Second Opinion
Never rely on your interview alone. We have no fewer than two people interview each candidate that we consider, and we later discuss what we did and did not like. Other people pick up on different cues and may help you to see the candidate in a different light.
Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse
If you have found the perfect candidate, make it hard for her or him to say “No.” Offer a competitive salary with benefits. The adage that says, “you get what you pay for,” is almost always true. Additionally, a competitive salary increases job satisfaction, which results in higher productivity and lower turnover.
New patients are essential to practice growth. And the people with the greatest responsibility for getting new patients in the door sit at the front desk. While they may not directly generate the revenue that the associates can, what they say on the phone, and how they present themselves as the face of your practice, have an enormous impact on your ability to generate revenue. The people you hire can make or break your practice. Be sure to take the time to hire properly from the beginning, and you will be on your way to a more successful, less stressful and profitable practice.
Dr. Ray Foxworth is a certified Medical Compliance Specialist and President of ChiroHealthUSA. A practicing Chiropractor, he remains “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation and compliance. He has served as president of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association, former Staff Chiropractor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic. You can contact Dr. Foxworth at 1-888-719-9990, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ChiroHealthUSA website at www.chirohealthusa.com. Join us for a free webinar that will give you all the details about how a DMPO can help you practice with more peace of mind. Go to www.chirohealthusa.com to register today.