The Art of Telephone Upselling

The Art of Telephone Upselling

Telephone upselling is a common sales technique where the telephone representative encourages the customer they are speaking with to purchase more in order to generate more revenue. This is a very successful sales tactic to encourage upgrades, add on services or bigger ticket purchases.

Here are a few ways to maximize your telephone upselling results.

Extend the Customer Relationship

In many cases, customer service teams may be uncomfortable with selling. If this is the case, enrolling the team in sales training will empower them to sell products and services that truly provide measurable value. It is much easier for a customer service based team to upsell when it becomes an extension of providing excellent customer service.

Use a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)

CRM systems allow companies to store data on their customers. This typically includes demographics, sales history and correspondence logs. Using a CRM will provide your team with customer data allowing them to offer targeted upselling solutions. Offers that are specifically targeted to a customer are much more likely to be well received.

Leverage On-Hold Systems

When customers are placed on-hold, it is prime time to help boost any sales messaging your team might be using. A captive audience is much easier to reach! Use this time to let customers know about possible upselling incentives. Using this time as an initiative will plant the sales seed and allow for the conversation to move to an upsell position much more organically.

Offer Telephone Upselling Incentives

Many teams respond well to internal incentive programs. Humans are naturally attracted to rewards and competition. Offering daily, weekly and monthly quotas with prize levels attached can help your team get into the selling frame of mind. Research suggests that the incentives don’t need to be grandiose and expensive to be effective. Creating goals that are achievable is the main objective. Having goals that are harder to reach will have the opposite effect.

Set Realistic Expectations

Telephone upselling can be an attractive revenue generator, but know when to pull back. Excessive sales tactics can have a polarizing effect, often leading to lost sales and possibly lost clients.

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and in this article? Let us know!

How to make the most from your Appointment Scheduling

How to make the most from your Appointment Scheduling

How to Make the Most from your Appointment Scheduling

Believe it or not, there is a science to efficient appointment scheduling.

Scheduling appointments is a vital part to clinic efficiency and as a result, clinic profitability. Understanding the techniques that frame scheduling best practices, will ensure that you are maximizing your revenue generating activities.

As appointment scheduling specialists, here are a few of the techniques we have crafted and perfected for our clients.

Schedule in blocks

Scheduling from noon is a common best practice in the world of scheduling. Many clinics use this process to minimize gaps in the day and maximize revenue opportunities. Scheduling from noon means you schedule backwards from 12:00 for your morning appointments and forward from 12:00 for your afternoon appointments. This method also helps to reduce operating costs by enabling clinic owners to schedule providers to maximum capacity. When the odd gap does present itself, savvy clinic owners use those time slots to hold team meetings, have their team catch up on documentation or complete admin tasks.

Implement a Reminder System

Appointment reminder systems are paramount in decreasing no-shows and last minute cancellations. There are a few options for such systems, including automatic confirmation systems that leave voicemail or text messages with reminders. Alternatively, clinics may opt to manually confirm with their clients. Either system will serve as a huge asset to cutting down on missed opportunities for revenue. Additionally, having a cancellation policy and open communication systems for your clients will allow for less last minute misses.

Create a Waiting List

For those times when you don’t catch a last minute cancellation, it is a great idea to have a client waiting list that you can blast last minute opportunities out to. Social media, text or email blasts are a great way to engage with those clients who may be waiting patiently for an opportunity to come in.

Analyze Appointment Scheduling History

At least once a month and then bi-annually and annually, take some time to analyze your appointment book. Look for patterns where your day was ahead of schedule or behind. Were there certain times of the year when you had higher no-shows or cancellations? Where your waiting list was longer than others? Look for those opportunities where you can perhaps pad or streamline your staff availability. This is also a great way to see if you’re allowing the appropriate amount of time per service and perhaps make some adjustments to increase efficiency.

Double Book with Caution

Many clinics opt to maximize capacity by double booking when possible. Double booking essentially means having two clients booked at the same time or overlapping and servicing both during a window typically allotted for one. This can be a highly efficient and profitable business model, however, proceed with caution. Ensure that your provider can adequately serve both clients without the possibility for poor customer service. That may mean analyzing the efforts required for particular services and matching lower effort appointments with higher effort appointments to ensure viability.

Prioritize

Lastly, it is important to understand which services bring in your best margins and allow for those to be your top booking priority. This may mean blocking off time each day for those high priority appointments to ensure that you can get them in efficiently. However, remember to leave room for all of the services you offer.

As a clinic owner, your ‘book’ is one of your most valued tools. By following these best practices, you will ensure that you providing the most value for your customers and your team!

If you’d like to learn more about our appointment scheduling services, get in touch for a free demo!

Building trust in a virtual workplace

Building trust in a virtual workplace

How to Build Trust in a Virtual Workplace


Building trust in a virtual workplace is the cornerstone of all high-performance organizations. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, high-performance companies report 50% more productivity, 76% more engagement, 74% less stress & 70% more alignment with company purpose. 

In a virtual workplace, building trust has its own unique challenges. Without casual interactions at the water cooler, it becomes more difficult to build rapport. Often colleagues lose context for each others’ actions in a remote setting, unable to intuitively pick up on external behaviour influences. Finally, as is always the case, digital communication leaves room for many misunderstandings. 

So how do leaders build trust in a virtual workplace?  

It comes down to a number of factors. The first is kindness.

It may seem over simplified, but treating people with respect is the first step to building a trusted environment. How does this work in a virtual setting? It means allowing for flexibility, understanding that working from home may have some unique challenges and making space for that. Successful leaders carve out time to work with each employee one on one. Additionally, they set up regular weekly meetings as a team to stay connected. Not only that, they know it is important to allow time for employees to connect with each other, so they create opportunities for that. 

Building trust in the virtual workplace requires competence.

Strong leadership skills like communication and transparency are key when working with a team remotely. With so much opportunity for misinterpretation, it is imperative that leaders put communication at the top of their priority list. They don’t always need to have all the answers, but they must be honest about it when they don’t. These actions build a solid foundation for their team.  

Successful remote leaders possess is reliability.

 When building trust, it is essential to do what you say you are going to do. If you promised to send follow up documents at a certain time, ensure that you do. Stand by your commitments, try not to cancel meetings last minute, let your team know that you value their time.  

They foster connection

 Finally, successfully commanding a virtual team, requires creating a genuine connection. Ensuring that your camera is on for every online meeting. Looking directly at the camera emulates eye contact. Making efforts to connect ‘off-line’ via check-in texts and phone calls. Lastly, making sure your team feels comfortable to reach out when they are facing challenges without fear of repercussions. 

 
More and more companies are veering toward a virtual model based on the current situation, but also in a more longer term capacity. Understanding the unique challenges you may face as a remote leader will ensure that you are equipped to succeed. 


If you’d like assistance with building a virtual team, we can help!  

The real cost of missing a call

The real cost of missing a call

The real cost of missing a call

You’ve heard us chat about this before. The real cost of missing a call, especially on the first attempt. First, it may not shock you to know that 75% of callers hang-up if they get a voicemail. However, did you realize that 85% of those callers, never call back? Obviously, the potential revenue loss is substantial, but just how substantial?

Let’s find out just how much it costs to miss a call

A few weeks ago, our Director of Operations, Brandon, held a webinar about your phone line as your life line. In it, he opened with an example of the actual monetary cost to missing a call from a prospective customer.

Here is the breakdown he supplied: For the sake of this example, let’s assume your average customer order comes in around $75 and the average amount it costs to take a call is $5. Using these parameters, it is pretty clear to see that the cost to missing one call is $65. However, what if that customer was actually calling to book a 12 week package, with one order per week for the next 12 weeks. The cost to take the call is the same, but the potential revenue jumps to $900. In this scenario, the cost of missing the call jumps to $895.

Intangible costs to missing a call

However, that’s not where it ends.

Wasted Marketing Efforts

Let’s start to take into consideration some of the intangible costs to missing this call. For instance, you likely spend money on various sources of marketing for your business. In most cases, this marketing is aimed at driving calls to your location. Now that you’ve missed this call, that money that you’ve allocated to promotion, is essentially wasted.

Competitor Boost

Since we now know that 85% of callers do not call back, we can safely assume they have moved on to the next company on their list. If that company, your competitor, was able to take that call, then they are reaping the benefits of that new customer, including their lifespan purchases and referrals.

Reputation

When you’re unable to manage your calls, it sends a message to your clients that you are not managing your business well enough to handle inquiries. It doesn’t take much for a potential customer to wonder if that mis-management will lead into your product or service delivery.

Lifetime Value Loss of missing a call

In our example at the beginning of this article, we broke down a few examples of potential revenue loss from a call. However, what you really need to look at is the potential lifetime loss of missing that call and potential new client. To calculate this amount, you must first determine what your annual average customer value is. To do this, multiply your average order value ($75 in our example above) by the average number of orders you receive from a single client in the run of a year. For this example, let’s assume you see this client weekly for 4 months of the year, approximately 16 orders/year. So, in this example, the annual average customer value is $1200. Now, you must determine what your average customer lifespan is. For our example, we’ll say 5 years.

Therefore, the approximate lifetime value loss for a single client is $6000.

That is a substantial loss for missing a single phone call. If you’re looking to up your game but having an in-house receptionist isn’t in the cards, consider hiring a virtual receptionist. Our customized service helps to bridge this gap, keeping your reputation in tact and your books in the black.

Click here to get started!

The rise of Telehealth

The rise of Telehealth

The Rise of Telehealth

Covid-19 has swept through the Canadian provinces, bringing with it the recommendation to stay out of public spaces as much as possible. Medical clinics and hospitals are clocking in as some of the riskier places to visit. As a result, it seems, telehealth is finally on the rise.

Telehealth, or telemedicine, allows patients to meet with doctors and other medical personnel through secure video conference. In Canada, this has been a slow adaptation. In fact, for most physicians, the use of email or text messages is often an exception, rather than the norm. A lack of reliable infrastructure and support and unsatisfactory compensation for physicians have been the most common deterrents.

Telehealth: Forced Innovation

It didn’t take long to realize that the most effective strategy to fight the spread of the disease was to create physical distance. This left many medical professionals scrambling to find a way to help their clients from afar. Finding a system that could protect patient information and link to their electronic medical records (EMRs) was the biggest hurdle.
Many physicians and medical professionals are finding this to be time consuming and problematic. Toggling confidential patient information with their video conferencing software is less than ideal. Another draw back for many was the less than adequate pay structure for telemedicine. While there have been some recent improvements in this area, fee for service payment is still a relatively new concept and largely available within the private sector.

A current necessity

However, regardless of the pitfalls, the move to telemedicine is timely and important. Keeping people out of busy emergency rooms is paramount to keep Covid-19 at bay. This keeps potentially immunocompromised patients away from possibly infected patients with Covid-19. For many providers, this was the urgent push needed to get their telemedicine products ready for market. Jane, which offers online booking, charting, scheduling, secure video and invoicing on a secure system is one of such providers leading the cause in Canada.

Here to stay

While telehealth isn’t considered a full replacement for traditional healthcare, it may be here to stay in some facets. Certainly virtual appointments can not replace physical examinations. However, it can help to alleviate some of the demand on busy emergency rooms and walk in clinics now, while we face this global crisis, and perhaps well into the future.

If you have questions about implementing Telehealth with our services, we are happy to help!

When is an answering service right for your business?

When is an answering service right for your business?

When is an answering service right for your business?

It can be difficult for busy business owners to measure when it may be time to hire a virtual receptionist. The most obvious question is when does the benefit outweigh the cost? Luckily, there are several key indicators that can help determine the answer.

Professional Image

If your business requires the image that you’re ‘always on’ or that you have a large support system in place, missing calls can be a huge red flag for clients. As a business owner, you may not be able to answer every call that comes in. Or if you are, chances are you’ve been caught with your dog barking in the background or sounding out of breath as you run out to complete an errand. Even with a full time receptionist or support team, between sick time and vacation days, gaps will arise. If your professional image can’t afford to have missed calls, it may be time to look into receptionist support.

Business Growth Opportunities

As your productivity grows, so do your opportunities for growth. I can be overwhelming as more calls come in while you’re trying to hold everything else down. A professional answering service can alleviate the pressure of mounting inquiries, allowing you to focus on building your business. If you’ve noticed that your call volume has increased to a level you can’t keep up with, it may be time to hire a virtual receptionist.

Affordability

It may seem like a frivolous expense to hire an outside company to answer your calls. However, if you look at the cost to set up a similar service in-house, it may not seem quite as daunting of an expense. Not only will it cost much less to hire a third party, your team won’t be interrupted incessantly by the phones ringing each day, lending to higher levels of productivity! So, if you’ve been thinking about expanding your support team, it may be time to consider a third-party instead.

If any of these indicators sound familiar, it might be time to take your business to the next level by working with a virtual receptionist. If you’d like a quick demo of how Smiledog works for our clients, click here!