If you can’t accommodate your clients when they want to see you, what do you do? Last week I went into a bank to open up a new account and a concierge walked up to me and asked how can I help. I told him I wanted to open up an account, he said “No you can’t do it at this time! Come back between 2-3pm”. I was amazed at this…. a bank not wanting a new customer. He didn’t offer me an alternative time or take any of my details. So it got me thinking … what can we offer our clients if we can’t accommodate their appointment requests straight away.
Offer an alternative: At compass physio we are lucky enough to have other services and multiple practitioners to help our clients. So if someone comes in wanting to see a specific therapist we can offer them another service or another practitioner and book an appointment to see the specific therapist in their next session. If you’re on your own, don’t be afraid to cross refer to other healthcare practitioners who may be able to help.
Take their details: When I was told at the bank that I couldn’t open an account the concierge never asked for my details. I find this very strange considering I made the effort to get to the bank and was willing to become a customer. Always get the potential customers details, so you can offer them your services at some stage in the future.
Check your advertising: Initially when we set up a clinic we put our services and times online, this can change as our business develops. Ensure you review your services and opening times on a regular basis across all your platforms. Also if you have an online diary ensure you block it off if you’re unavailable because if people book appointments and there is no one at your clinic it doesn’t look good!!
Cancellation/waiting list: If you can’t see someone straight away, then take their details and offer to book them in the next available appointment. People often reschedule or cancel appointments and this can create opportunities in your diary to get people in to your appointment book from your waiting list.
Remain calm and be nice: Dealing with the general public is great fun, but some people get quite annoyed if they don’t get their own way immediately. If you can’t accommodate someone straight away they may become angry and frustrated. Remain calm and polite and go through the above steps offering them cancellation list, taking their details and offering alternatives.
So in summary to improve your customer service think about your response to immediate requests for your time.