When starting your own practice, you may overlook how important the front desk staff is; their training is often more important than your own training. The front desk staff is the face of your aesthetic practice, they are the first point of connection that your clients experience.
Think of it this way: Have you ever called your family doctor, dentist, or any other medical office, and their staff is so unfriendly, or unhelpful that you contemplate going to a different office? Or every time you call the office you get an automated machine, making scheduling an appointment rather difficult. Doctors can’t be great at everything, so often times their customer service falls gets placed on the back burner. You don’t want your clients to go through this.
Here’s what you should look for in hiring/training a front desk staff for your aesthetic practice:
- Presentable: They have to look the part. They are the face of the company so they should look professional and put together.
- Personable: They are responsible for building relationships with all your clients so they need to be easy to talk to, friendly, and personable. You don’t want they to be sales-y, that’s your job.
- Public Speaking Skills: The front desk person will be doing most of the talking with your clients so they have to have the ability to talk about your practice, the treatments you offer, products you use, and after-care etc.
- Quick learner: If the person you hire is new to the industry, he/she will need to be able to pick up on the beauty industry rather quickly. When talking to clients, you’ll want someone who knows what he/she is talking about, or will ask for professional help when the answer isn’t apparent. They will need to be able to recognize an issue if one arises and direct the patient on what to do.
Aside from your front desk, you will also need to think carefully about implementing a call answering system that is unique, suits its purpose, and keeps the attention of clients when an actual person cannot get to the phone. Automated phone systems are where a lot of practices lose their clients. You will also need to think about an emergency line or emergency protocols for days when there is no medical professional in the office etc.
When opening a new practice, these simple front desk necessities are often neglected. They are crucial in the success of your practice so do not overlook them. You can try and ignore them all you want, but they are a necessary evil you will have to face at some point.