Mystery Shopping Live Calls

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This Week’s Question: Mystery Shopping Live Calls

Dear Catherine,

I listened to a mystery shopping call done with my receptionist who has been with me for about a year. Frankly, I was disappointed in the call because I thought my receptionist knew better so I could use your help.

My receptionist could have been friendlier but it’s WHAT she was saying that disturbed me most.

The caller was interested in a tummy tuck and then asked about the downtime and the call went down hill from there.

My receptionist’s response was: “Yes, we do tummy tucks but it’s a pretty big operation and it takes months to heal.”

To add insult to injury, she added, “and the tummy tuck costs $10,500 but it could be more if the operation takes longer”.

That’s when the caller said, “Ok, I need to think about it and call you back.” CLICK!

When I reviewed the call with her, my receptionist told me the caller was price-shopping and shrugged.

I now realize my receptionist needs more training to handle these calls since that probably cost me $10K.

My question to you is, what could my staff have said to covert that caller to a booked consultation?

Dr. F

Catherine’s Answer:

Hello Dr. F,

Thank you for a great question and I understand your concern.

Mystery Shopping CallsMy team and I spend a lot of time making mystery shopping calls, as well as listening to mystery calls made
to practices all over the US and it’s disturbing when you hear the calls “go bad”.

You may be surprised to learn that, on average, 20-30% of potential new patients are lost because the receptionist wasn’t trained well enough to handle them.

The number #1 complaint I get from doctors like you is you have great staff but they are just not skilled enough when it comes to converting the callers to an appointment.

So, you hear callers hang up without scheduling. That is not good.

WHO you have answering your phones and how well trained they are in taking a caller to a booked consultation can make the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year….so it’s vital to your bottom line to Fix Your Phones!

Here are a few pointers to help your receptionist improve her caller conversions:

Friendly Voice and Attitude

Since the new caller (prospective cosmetic patient with a credit card) doesn’t know you, they will make an instant first
impression about you and your practice by their interaction with your receptionist.      

Your receptionist has the responsibility to represent you in the best possible light so the caller wants to meet you to learn more. She must be upbeat, curious about the caller’s concern, and use her voice to indicate her enthusiasm. The point is, be sure you have the right person with the right people skills in this position before you bother training them.

Get the Referral Source

Your receptionist needs to ask out how the caller heard about you. Because if the caller says one of your patients told her about you, your receptionist should book the consult now. However, if they say the Internet, your receptionist will want to ask more qualifying questions such as what is their time frame.

Position the Physician                           Mystery Shopping Live

Your receptionist MUST be able to credential you as the BEST choice first before talking about pricing. Otherwise, the caller has no other variables to consider except for price. And that could lead to sticker shock because they don’t have any point of reference between price and skills. I’ll bet that’s what happened on the call you listened to.

If that was the first call the caller made, they heard $10,500 and ran off to make more calls or do more research to find out if that was high or low.

Want more call conversion strategies?


Attend my next FREE Webinar:

This Webinar is no longer available, please check out our online store for tools to  help you with patient attraction, conversion, follow up and retention.


During this free training, you and your staff will hear real mystery calls made to
practices and my critiques of them. You’ll discover:

  • How to handle price shoppers
  • What NOT to say that costs you dearly
  • How to convert the caller to a consult without pushing and much more…

“See” you there –

How would you rate your own phones?
What do you need to improve your phones?



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