The phones are our life-lines. We have to keep them open and professional at all times.
We answer our phones “Natural Health Center, how may I help you?” If you want to state your name, go ahead.
To handle the phones, you’ll need some basic information memorized.
Our address: 3809 S 2nd St Suite D100 (78704) and directions to it are good to know by heart.
Our hours: M, T, Th, F 11-7 (we take our last patient at 6:15; last day 1 at 5 pm) and Saturdays 9-1 (start by scheduling at 9 am and work forward ONLY)
What we treat: all types of health conditions, but we primarily focus on hormone balance (including stress treatment), all types of pain conditions, and immunology (allergies, digestive problems, etc.). We do not treat emergency conditions.
Pricing: we take insurance, and we can check that (online) in our office; cash prices I prefer to not give out over the phone and instead have someone come in to talk in-person and see what they need or want via the initial consultation/day 0. If they’re still insisting to know the costs: $100 for acupuncture / NAET; $40 for cupping; the initial testing and health history is $150; and nutritional consults are $45. We also offer 20% discounts for prepayment of 3 or more treatments.
HOW TO HANDLE CALLS
One type of call we receive a lot are vendor calls. Most are “junk” calls so you need to screen them. They may ask to speak to the business owner or to “Jill”. You ask:
“Who may I ask is calling?”
If they tell you a business name or a person name, you then ask:
“What is the nature of your call” Or, “are you a patient?”
If they say they’d rather not tell you, inform them that you are in charge of the calls I receive, so in order to forward them to me, you need to know. If it’s a sale call, just write down the memo and I’ll decide to call them back or not.
If it’s a patient calling, and they ask to speak with Nicole / Kelly / Lili / etc.:
“Is there something I might be able to help you with?”
Remember, you’re new, and they don’t know you (yet.) You need to let them know what you can do, like reschedule them or answer financial questions, or send them an invoice or get their herbs ready, etc.
Reschedules happen often and we do have a 24-hour cancellation policy that patients should know about. If someone calls and says they need to reschedule, there are a few things that need to be asked:
If it’s plenty of notice, reschedule them within their treatment plan window.
Acupuncture is dependent on the frequency of treatment, so for many of our patients who are on a treatment plan, this is crucial. For example, if their frequency is twice a week for 2 weeks, if they need to reschedule, ideally it’s a couple of days within that time-frame. If their frequency is once a month, and they’re on maintenance, it’s not as crucial. So you need to get to know the patients and their frequency of treatment.
If it’s less than 24 hours notice, ask them if they’re aware of our 24 hour cancellation policy. If it’s their first offense, we give them just this verbal warning and let them off easy. Also, we just want to get them back on the schedule!
We are also reasonable people and if someone has an emergency come up, we understand. The purpose of this policy is to prevent the 1-2% of people who would take advantage of an easy reschedule and frequently miss their appointments.
If someone is consistently missing with less than 24 hours notice, we charge them the cost of the appointment. If they have insurance, it’s the cash price because we can’t bill insurance if they don’t show up!
If they can reschedule within the same day of their appointment, but at a different time, we also waive the penalty.
If someone calls to “schedule an appointment,” please verify first if they’re a new or established patient. If they’ve been in before, get their name, the day and time they want to come in, and put them on the schedule.
- you have the correct first and last name (we have many patients with similar names)
- the time slot they want is open and available, if not, ask them if another similar time is OK
- they know who is going to be treating them and they’re OK with that practitioner
- what service they’re receiving; new patients still on day 1-4 need to be scheduled as such; established patients need to specify acupuncture, NRT, NAET, cupping, acupuncture facial, or some combination of those
If someone cancels their appointment, and doesn’t reschedule, there needs to be documentation of this.
First, the patient will generally tell you if they plan to reschedule or not. If not, ask them “when would you like to reschedule that?”
Sometimes they plan to call later or when they have their calendar available. Write their name down in the notebook on the front desk. At the end of the day, if they have not yet scheduled, their name needs to be included on the “to be called list.” This is one of our Google “sheets.”
If they do not intend to return, please ask them “do you mind if I ask why?” We want to know. The reason why needs to be addressed to the other acupuncturists at our weekly meeting.
Yeah! We love new patients!
Tell them “Your first appointment is a complimentary 15 minute consultation so the acupuncturist can check your pulses and talk to you about your health, ask any questions, and see how we can best help you.” “When would you like to schedule that; the soonest I have is _____?”
Once you narrow down a time and date, get some information from them: name (ask for spelling), date of birth, email address (for paperwork) and cell # for text reminders.
Also ask, “How did you find out about our clinic?” Write this down in the “Clinic Notes” section of the calendar.
If they ask, “Can I get treated the same day?” The answer (also double-check the calendar to make sure!) is, “We will do our best to fit that in on the same day.” We don’t typically schedule both at the same time because many day 0s don’t show up, and I want to know someone is serious about coming in before I block 1.25 hours of our time on the schedule.
If someone doesn’t show up at their appointment time, call them to see if they’re running late or need to reschedule.