INTRODUCING YOUR CONCIERGE PROGRAM: BUILDING BLOCKS FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR PRACTICE
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Introducing a Concierge program can be exciting and rewarding. However, it is a transition that requires both preparation and awareness on your part and on the part of your staff.
Concierge Choice Physicians (CCP) is with you every step of the way to support your office in this transition.
Implementation Points of Contact Main Office Line:
Jim Gottlieb (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Lipton (cell) email@example.com
RSVP Line (for your patients to reserve a spot at your events): (877) 888-5570 Member Line (for patients whoâ€™d like to join): (877) 888-5565 Customer Service (for members with questions): (877) 888-5590
Our Address: Concierge Choice Physicians 100 Merrick Road, Ste 410W Rockville Centre, NY 11570 www.choice.md
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Step 1: Share and Prepare Your Staff Success Requires a Team Effort
Your Team includes you and your staff. Your Team’s involvement in this process is critical to your success. Personally inform your staff of this new model. Tell them you need their help and support. Be sure to share the: • Milestone Calendar – this provides a timetable of the process • Event Invite and Voice Shot Script – so they know what is being sent to patients • Cover Letter & Patient Brochure – they can read about the details of the program A sense of anticipation benefits the introduction of the program. Inform your staff that you greatly appreciate every member of the Team attending the events. Their attendance signals: • Commitment to the success of the program • Dedication to your patients • Trust in your leadership
Knowing the benefits of your concierge program can help your staff understand and appreciate the changes that will be taking place and help communicate the benefits to your patients. Be sure your Team has a thorough understanding of what the program offers.
Benefits to the patients: • Comprehensive physical • Focus on preventive healthcare • More face time with the doctor • Next day or same day appointments • No or limited in-office wait time • Direct in-office line for Concierge members • After-hours line to the doctor for Concierge members (cell phone or pager)
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Benefits to the practice: • Increased service to patients seeking a partner in meeting healthcare goals • Streamlined scheduling within busy practices • Only two patients scheduled during dedicated Concierge hours • Membership is initially opened to your current patients –names and faces you know • Added revenue stream • CCP administers membership and sales To alleviate any anxiety your staff may have, explain to them that we will be on hand, with representatives right in the office, to launch and sell the program. Prior to the first event be sure to let your Team know: • Our experienced team guides each practice throughout the entire process. • A CCP Account Representative works within the practice full time for four weeks to handle all aspects of sales to patients so that during the Initial Marketing Phase, they will not have to get involved in the sales process. • The CCP Account Representative introduces the program face-to-face to every patient during your day. • The sales approach is not aggressive or pushy, it is educational and empathetic. • CCP’s office handles most inbound calls: RSVPs, questions from events, membership queries, practice assistance, etc. • Additionally, our call center assists in contacting patients when the Account Representative and office cannot. Typically during evening or weekend hours. Calls are never made after 9:00pm.
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• Prior to the events, the best strategy is a “less-is-more” approach—we will not have staff in your practice to offer a face-to-face response to detailed questions patients may have regarding the new program.
• The event is powerful. Encourage all patients to attend one of the events where the Team will introduce a new program. • Your staff SHOULD NOT SELL THE PROGRAM. Patients should be directed to CCP to ask questions about the new program. • Only those patients who have directly informed you of their interest based upon your initial survey (…and in some cases much earlier), should be supplied a Membership Packet. Those patients who have shown some interest should be provided a membership brochure—please e-mail or fax those names to our office so we may follow-up on the sale. • AVOID supplying Membership Packets or details of the program to all patients. Being slightly vague builds the sense of anticipation, encouraging patients to attend the events in large numbers. Hearing that there is limited space in a program with such a large practice heightens their awareness of your time as a scarce resource.
Who joins? The biggest surprise to most doctors and their Team is who joins their Concierge program. Contrary to what your staff might think; the patients that typically join a Concierge program are not the pushy, needy, whiney patients. The members are generally the patients that respect their doctor the most. They are typically the patients that have the highest admiration for you and your staff. Additionally, interested patients can be directed to CCP prior the event to sign-up or seek additional information. CCP will follow-up with any patients that cannot make the events. Each patient in your database will receive the brochure packet if they cannot make the event. The Account Representative will have additional packets to give to patients in your office.
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Step 2: Plan There are three key phases during your concierge program implementation: The Events, Initial Marketing and Program Initiation
The Events: The Events allow you to formally introduce this program to your patients. During the Events, you will deliver a short speech lasting only a few minutes. If you have not already done so, please reference the sample presentations of other physicians included in your Welcome Kit. In addition to coaching sessions with CCP Executives, the following tips can aid in preparing for your presentation: • Plan to speak for five to eight minutes. • Convey your passion for medicine and why you chose this field. • Your patients appreciate you and want to hear you speak honestly and from the heart. • Stay positive, avoiding industry negatives. • It may even help to identify the passion you have for serving those patients at the event and their families. • If you prefer to write out your speech and read it, that’s ok. However you are talking about a subject you know very well—yourself and medicine. • If you would like to provide us a copy of your notes, we will gladly review them and make any appropriate comments to ensure you are delivering the correct message. • You are not a sales person at the event, however at the end of your speech, you should ask your patients to consider joining the program and supporting you. The encouragement from all of CCP cannot make an impact like a simple appeal from you.
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Initial Marketing: Preparation is key! The window leading to the Events will pass quickly, so we encourage you to identify how your Team and office will be ready to implement this new program. During the Initial Marketing phase, prepare for the following: Space Requirements CCP’s Account Representative services your office for four weeks. The Rep requires a small workspace near your exam rooms or front desk to speak to patients before or after you have had a visit with them. We are very flexible about where we can work and if needed, can relocate. Technical Needs • Telephone: A familiar name on a caller ID can open many opportunities. Offices that provide the Rep access to an office phone line yield more sales success than those who rely solely on CCP cell phones. • Internet access is also needed for the Rep. If you have a DSL or high-speed connection, we can supply a wireless router to allow our personnel to access the Internet from their laptop computer. If you do not have Internet service, other arrangements can be made. • Identify or secure the two dedicated phone lines your members will have available upon the Program Initiation. One is the Concierge Line, a land line in the office exclusively for your members to reach the office. This can be an existing line (such as a back line) or a new line. The second is an after-hours line which can be your personal cell phone number, service or other line which will allow you to be responsive. This line can be either existing or new—the after-hours line is where your members can reach you when needed. Phone companies have a reputation for bureaucratic delays – these should not impair the success of your program. Early prep is worth the effort. Scheduling • Patient consults: At the Events, some patients will indicate that they want to discuss the program with you personally. You may want to schedule a couple of hours in the first two-weeks where you leave time to speak to interested patients. This can be lunch or free time. While this is helpful, we recognize the challenge for you to maximize patient time.
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• Concierge Hours: Begin to denote time after the program start date for dedicated Concierge hours daily. We suggest blocking two hours for Concierge appointments three weekday mornings; two hour blocks are suggested on the other afternoons. These should be at the beginning of your day (i.e. beginning of the day or just after lunch.)
Program Initiation: At the close of the Initial Marketing phase, your practice is poised to officially open the program. Advanced planning for the unique nature of the first days of the program as well as your new schedule is highly recommended. Things to remember: • Make sure the dedicated Concierge Line is active before the Program Initiation. Remember, this line is exclusively for members. A program without an active Concierge Line at the Program Initiation is a major disappointment for members and those on the fence. • There is not supposed to be a wait for members. Keep a clear track of time and scheduling within the Concierge hours. • Concierge is both flexible and responsive. If you need to make changes to your schedule, you are always able to do so. Our guidelines ensure that members can schedule appointments as needed. • There are no Concierge police. If you do not have any scheduled members during Concierge hours, you can fill your schedule with “work-in” patients. However, filling these times with traditional patients as a regular practice may adversely affect the value to your Concierge members.
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Step 3: Focus CCP as a whole works with you, your patients and staff for a successful transition into your Concierge program. We serve as your concierge consultant, allowing your Team to stay focused on what they do bestâ€“office management and healthcare. Resistance to change is common. Whether it is a new concept or new face in the office, the unknown can yield anxiety. While initially your staff may feel uneasy not having a solid understanding of the concept, as you approach your official Program Initiation, the benefits and scope of the program will be more clear. REMEMBER: Talking about a new program may be difficult for some patients and staff. When the questions come (â€Śand they will), direct them to CCP. Your staff should forward any and all questions from patients regarding the new program to CCP.
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Step 4: Relax, we do the heavy lifting •
CCP speaks with your Team at several points prior to your Events. Your initial comments to them are vital to gaining their acceptance of this addition to your practice. Their willingness to see this program succeed is vital to its initial success and ongoing growth.
Prior to releasing invitations and a recorded message (Voice Shot) to your patients, CCP will schedule a conference call with your entire staff to explain the process and how to handle incoming calls.
CCP manages the full implementation of your program. When your patients hear of your event, some may want to call your office first. This may be a familiar group of patients who value all correspondence with you. The day your recorded message is received by patients, expect approximately 25 calls from the most verbal patients immediately after it is sent. Relax – these calls will end within 30 minutes of the launch. In directing all calls to CCP, your practice can remain focused on the office’s needs.
• We are deliberately vague at this stage to encourage patients to attend the Events. •
An in-office luncheon with your Team prior to the Events allows CCP to further smooth their understanding of the upcoming changes.
After the Events, CCP personnel schedules a focused off-site seminar to work on Customer Service 101. This seminar enhances top-notch customer service for both sides of your practice: Concierge & Traditional.
CCP is a valuable resource at your disposal – contact us as often as necessary.
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100 Merrick Road
Tel (877) 777-6625
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Suite 410W l
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Fax (516) 204-4013 l www.choice.md
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Published on Jun 2, 2014