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 September 2017 Call of The Month
» Call Analysis and Recommendations
Life’s a Game of Give and Take
Take Control and Give The Caller What They Want!!
The first question, which TAFI Masters always ask themselves is, “Why Now?” So often, Team Members are led and controlled by the Caller because the Team Member, having only the best of intentions, believes that a direct and immediate answer to the Caller’s question is ‘The only honest way to respond.’
While it may seem honest and respectful, if the goal is to empower the Caller to make an informed decision concerning their oral health needs, communicating in this way may do a disservice to the Caller.
While I did like the Team Member’s vocal variety, that is, her inflection, and the air of authenticity in her communication, she clearly would benefit from mastery of The TAFI Introduction™, which offers a framework to harness and leverage such communication strengths.
The first important fact to recognize is that nobody calls a dental office solely to learn about dental coverage. People have better things to do with their time than that!
This, and every Caller to your office is calling now because they have a dental need: the ‘Are you in my plan?’ question is akin to a young man asking a young woman, ‘Do you come here often?’ It is merely a conversation starter. By the way, it is also the same as the ‘How much does a crown cost?’ question!
This call was made by a prospective patient who had received a direct mail invitation and asked a question about insurance coverage. She also shared that “We live nearby.”
As noted, The TAFI Introduction™ offers Team Members a framework upon which to build a relationship with a new Caller. Once mastered, it becomes a simple matter to connect with any Caller, for instance, by asking if they are new to the area and by acknowledging that confirming dental coverage is indeed an important question. The key point is to deftly and respectfully acknowledge the importance of the question, then move on to ascertaining why the Caller is calling today. This is accomplished by a component of the TAFI Curriculum called The New Patient Matrix wherein TAFI coaching subjects are taught how to deftly manage ‘the insurance question.’
This Team Member, who has yet to be trained in the technique, nonetheless does a reasonable job of acknowledging the question by placing the Caller on hold to confer with her colleague (presumably the practice’s benefits coordinator). Incidentally, the Caller is placed on hold for 52 seconds, which, because the practice does have an On Hold Message, is an acceptable period of time, albeit at the upper end of the range. While she did not answer the Caller’s question, she did get her contact information, although now the Caller is expecting a return call solely to answer her question about insurance. Nonetheless, it was done in a respectful and cordial way.
We would also have liked to hear the Team Member get and use the Caller’s name. As Dale Carnegie is known for having shared: “A person’s name is the sweetest sound they will ever hear,” and is a terrific way to show Callers you care about them as a person.
We liked hearing how the Team Member’s parting words were delivered in a pleasant manner and how, at last, she used the Caller’s name.