Jim Peake interviews Ryan Ellison, VP Sales of CollectRx to discuss out-of network billing collections in the addiction treatment industry. The advantage is that CollectRx...
How to Turn Your Callers into Admissions
If you want more admissions for your eating disorder center or drug rehab, then there is a lot you can do to help your cause. Whether you label your call center an admissions department or a call center, they both essentially do the same thing: help turn the caller into an admission for the business.
There are two key components to call center training:
- Tracking all the calls that come in
- Managing and training the call center or admissions staff
Call Tracking and Call Scoring
Tracking the calls that come in is essential. You will want to use software like Call Tracking Metrics to help you. The single biggest reason you want to use call-tracking software is so that you can discern which ad sources are producing the best results for you.
The most egregious mistake in call tracking is most rehabs don’t score the calls. What is call scoring? It’s tracking what types of calls happened. Was the call an ADMIT? Was it a PPO INSURANCE call? Was the call a CASH PAY? Was it a MEDICARE or MEDICAID call?
The reason why this is so important is because if a certain ad source is generating a lot of calls and not a lot of admissions, you should either drop the ad source or cut the media buy way back.
Record and listen to the calls. Listen to the short calls especially. Are they being answered? Are they being answered professionally? Do a weekly mastermind session with the team to handle the caller objections.
10 Tips for Improving Your Call Center’s Efficiency
Managing and training the drug rehab call center is often an afterthought for many rehab owners. In some of the larger rehabs, call center training is paramount. Here are just a few simple ideas to keep in mind:
- Rehab leads are expensive! Answer the phone on the second ring! If you wait too long, the caller will hit the back button on their computer and call someone else.
- Get the full contact info of the caller, INCLUDING their email address. List building is critical for many small businesses, and rehabs are no different. Keep in mind addiction does not go away magically, and if the person is not ready for rehab today, then they might be two, three or six months from the date they first called you.
- What is the No. 1 item that will get you to turn a caller into an admission? I’ll give you a hint: It begins with a “T.” We are purposely not giving the answer because when you figure it out, you will remember it.
- Call ALL of last month’s callers back. Yes, even if they had no money, call them back! Find out if they got help. See if you can help them find the money. See if they are going to apply for a new insurance policy. See if their grandparents can help out. Make a list of 20 ways they can find money, and then send it to them in an email.
- Track the average length of call per agent.
- Track the number of admissions per agent.
- Track the ad sources by ad source and by agent.
- Find the source of money paying for the addiction treatment. This is usually the best source for treatment as well, except if the caller is stealing to support their habit.
- Map the call-tracking calls with the ACD/agent calls. Make sure they match! We have seen many centers send calls to voicemail or, worse yet, let them ring with no answer!
- Put a cell number in the voicemail. (None of your calls should go to voice mail, but if they do, give the caller a live human being’s cell number to talk to!) DO NOT tell them to call 911. It is not an answering service for people seeking addiction treatment. But if they are having an emergency, of course they do need to call 911. Your voicemail message should mention this as well.
Listen and Learn
If your call center agent or admissions representative is in a rush, it will come across that way. Don’t be in a rush! The callers need to be listened to. They need to share their stories. We know they can get depressing, time consuming and sometimes downright boring, but listen and learn. Your admissions reps have to build a rapport with the caller. If they don’t, the caller will not give up the information that admissions needs to close the patient.
Training Is an Ongoing Process
I hear 95 percent of rehabs tell us that their admissions department is the best and their call center agents are closers! We believe that they could be right, but at the end of the day, without constant training, call center and admissions skills diminish. People get lazy. They forget.
Training your call center is like mending a fishing net. Sew up all the holes so the fish (your callers) don’t get out of the net.
Keep in mind, you are not running a SAMHSA hotline. You are here to help people. You also have to make money. If you are not making money, you can’t help as many people.
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