We're currently interviewing, on behalf of a client, for a Receptionist position and it struck me how important retail - not just customer service - skills are to Receptionists.
Retail skills extend beyond customer service skills in the way that a person can detect what the customer is feeling, figure out the solution and suggest it to them in a way that engages them.
The importance of this skill dawned upon me, during a particularly effective interaction with a receptionist at the end of a visit to a new Chinese Medical clinic.
The receptionist was able to lock in my next appointment (and its future revenue) - without the practitioner having to do the sales pitch - just by asking, "And when are you looking to come back and see us?".
That's the gentlest and the least amount of upsell that is possible from the front desk.
Saying no is at best a practiced art and more akin to disappointing people. Moving people to a point where they want to say yes, is a skill.
The frequent - and worst - example is in transactional businesses where the customer service agent, often by rote, offer you unnecessary and unrelated products to your purchase: I can think of at least three gas stations where I'm offered gum, expiring chocolate and the newspaper at 2pm before the salesperson will allow me to do the only task that I really want to do - pay for petrol and get on my way!!
(At least, in certain restaurants, I'm already ordering a burger... fries makes sense).
Think about the difference between Scenario 1 and Scenario 2. In Scenario 1, it's a friendly, personable invitation. In Scenario 2, I've said "no" three times - and lost time doing it too.
Somewhere in between is your clinic's optimal strategy for enabling your Receptionists to be the most effective sales people in your organisation. Remember "sales" might sound like a dirty word - but in a private practice, it's the "business driver" that provides us the opportunities to help our patients.
If you're checking out our excellent Reception Checklist, book in a call with us to discuss the way we can help you craft an effective upsell strategy for your Receptionists, by emailing us or calling on +61 1300 799 438 to organise an phone appointment.