Most Hospices are BAD on the phones.
We know. We call Hospices every day, so we are hearing what people hear when they call you. And just to shoot straight, most Hospices are bad on the phones. Here are some of the first impressions Hospices give to prospective patients and their families, potential donors, referring physicians and nursing homes. All are true.
Really? When you call the hospital do they answer, “Hospital.” Or do they reinforce their branding? From the minute the phone rings your are selling yourself. That means differentiating yourself from other Hospices. You want to answer in a way that no other Hospice can. Your Hospice is not a commodity.
Hurry-talk makes callers feel rushed. It sets a tone that is difficult to undo.
Machine: “Thank you for calling Rainy Day Hospice. We value your call. To access your party by first or last name press . . .”
We have certainly demonstrated just how much we value the caller and the call. Hospices who use automated phone mazes might provide Hospice care with drones and small robots if they could.
“Is this an emergency?”
Caller: “Is this Rainy Day Hospice?”
“I said, ‘Is this an emergency!?’”
In fairness this was an answering service. But it was in the middle of the day. Picture a harried care-giver just considering Hospice care for a loved one reaching this menace to Hospice. Or picture an oncologist new to the area making a first call and hearing this.
“Rainy… Day… Hospice, this… is… Mary.”
Finally, it doesn’t matter how good the “answering script” is, if the phone answerer has no personality and less pulse.
How do you overcome a bad first impression?
If a Hospice cannot master the simplest thing, how can it master anything? We have two audios on this subject. First Contact and Advice on Phone Skills.
Both can be found at www.multiviewinc.com/library/audio. We also teach on this area in the Model Manager Program.