What is one of the biggest hindrances to expansion in any practice?

Cancellations and Broken Appointments.

Broken appointments or cancellations are symptoms of other problems. This may be a way that the client is telling you that they are not satisfied with their service received or they have some financial concerns.

What can be done to reduce no-shows, cancellations and reschedules?

Your receptionist should fully understand that the appointment book has been placed in their hands and they are fully responsible for its handling.

Your “General Policy” statement should be used to educate clients on needing to keep their appointments.

You must have the honest and genuine attitude that you really care about your clients and your receptionist knows why it is important for your clients to set and keep their appointments.

Always call right away, any client, who does not show within 15 minutes of the scheduled appointment. Find out from the client if something went wrong, that might have caused them to miss their appointment. A caring “time is valuable” attitude is important and letting them know that you want to work with them to ensure that they can make it in.

When a client calls to cancel, find out, diplomatically, the real reason why they are canceling. Many times you’ll find it is a financial concern or a lack of understanding about why they need the recommended care.

Ultimately, when you find out why clients do not keep their appointments, you will find an area of your practice that needs more work. Better financial arrangements, better explanation of your treatment plans, et al.

In summary, its extremely important to make sure your clients and their pets receive the best care you can give them, that they accept your treatment recommendations and also show up to receive that treatment.

The key to really expanding in 2014 is making sure your clients make an appointment and keep it. Your receptionist is the key and often mystery ingredient to your clients showing up or not showing up.

Sincerely,

David Tregurtha

CEO, Clear Advantage Profit Solutions

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