Please listen to, then evaluate, the call using the distinctions presented in The TAFI Introduction™ before proceeding to our Evaluation. The main benefit of Call Of The Month is to ‘Flex your self-coaching muscle.’
» Listen to February, 2017 Call of The Month
» Call Analysis and Recommendations
For today’s Call of the Month we direct our focus on what happens when the Caller and Team Member are not in communication, that is, when the Caller is placed on hold.
As devoted practitioners of The TAFI Introduction™ know, a properly produced, regularly updated
On Hold Message System, in tandem with deft application of The TAFI Introduction™, can prove invaluable in converting more prospective patients into solid appointments. The keys to success include: how to place a caller on hold (by simply using The TAFI Introduction™), the content, relevance, and timeliness of the on hold message, as well as the time the Caller is kept on hold.
Your Permission Please
The statement of The TAFI Introduction™ requesting permission to place a caller on hold is the last question asked of the Caller. This is because it is appropriate to place a Caller on hold only after you Establish Rapport, Convey Empathy, Exude Enthusiasm, and Show Concern and Respect for your Caller. If the call is an emergency (or is an impatient prospective patient calling), chances are they won’t remain on the call for long.
Perception is Everything
While a professionally produced and regularly updated on hold message can significantly reduce perceived hold time, the maximum time any caller should be placed on hold before hearing from you is one minute. We chose to retain and share with you the entire time the Caller was placed and kept on hold to give you a taste for just how long this person, who had never before contacted the office, had to wait before hearing back from the Team Member. To compound this, the Caller was never given a chance to explain why she was calling. As noted above, the typical caller would never wait the nearly two and a half minutes this ‘extremely patient patient’ did.
While an on hold message is a valuable component of your Communications Armamentarium, it’s also a quintessential example of the dictum ‘less is more.’ If you must keep a Caller on hold for more than one minute, return to the line, apologize for the wait, and assure the Caller you will be with them shortly, then keep your promise. If that is not possible, ask the Caller if you may request their contact information, then promise to call them back as soon as possible.