How to Hire The Right Dental Office Receptionist
Oct 22, 2014
Having a good receptionist at a dental office is vital to the patient experience. Not only do they provide the link from the outside world to the office via telephone, but they are also the first one visited when a patient enters the office. First impressions are critical and with the large amount of patient traffic coming in and out of a dental office daily, you should expect your receptionist to appear professional with a welcoming manner to make patients feel comfortable.
Employers often make the mistake of relying too heavily on credentials when considering candidates for their receptionist position. Judging a person’s conduct can be just as important when interviewing for this role at your practice.Finding good help for your front desk can be tough, but here are a few important skills that you can look for when hiring.
Personality One tip commonly given to receptionists is to smile while on the phone. This gives off a more friendly voice. Observe whether the candidate is smiling while speaking during an interview. If so, try to give a more challenging question and see if they keep the same disposition. This may provide you with some insight of how they will act when encountering a difficult patient either on the phone or in person.
In addition, a good dental receptionist can instantly spot (or hear on the phone) the personality type of a patient and then know exactly how to deal with the patient’s needs. In some instances, the receptionist may be a center of calm for nervous patients waiting to go in for treatment. If and when problems arise, they are the first person the patient will seek out.
Organization Skills Detailed notes and to-do lists are some of the best practices used by top receptionists. Observe in an interview whether the candidate brought notes or takes written notes during the interview.
Thoroughness Many great receptionists consistently repeat information to guarantee mutual understanding. Repeating names, telephone numbers and dates back to the caller is a positive sign that an individual is thorough and recognizes the importance of details. When a candidate schedules their interview, observe if they repeat and verify information. At the conclusion of the interview, making sure no questions have been skipped over or left unanswered. This will test the candidates ability to be proactive.
When you do think you have the right fit, give them time to adjust. Even the most adaptable receptionist will take some time to be comfortable in a new environment. An assessment after six weeks is an appropriate time frame to assess if your initial observations have carried over to the job. Most importantly, don’t settle. Hiring the right candidate is essential. Remember, this person will serve as a reflection of the practice itself. It may take time to find the right fit, but having the right person is an essential component of a successful dental practice.
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