Taking Prepayment for clinic appointments

Pre-payment for appointments

Clients Pre-payment eliminates loss of eanings due to no-shows.

Tom Kerridge has been in the news in the last couple of days – he is suing a customer who booked a table and then didn’t turn up. Sound familiar?

I don’t know if this is something that is still a problem in the Covid world, it definitely was in pre-Covid. For a number of clients taking prepayment for clinic appointments means that even when they are a no show, the clinic doesn’t lose out. We take payment at the time of booking, either a full payment or deposit. (non refundable unless cancelled with 24 hours notice)

In Covid world it is another way of reducing physical contact. At the vets yesterday they asked me to phone in with my card details after the appointment!

If you would like to know more there is some information here or you can email us. [email protected]

Work-Life Balance for healthcare professionals

maintain a work life balance

It’s important to maintain that right work-life balance

It’s all very well advising patients but what about you? Free time is a precious commodity.

Running a health clinic is a full-time job. Even if your patient contact time is for a limited number of hours you can still find yourself on-duty full time. You never know when a potential customer will phone in to book an appointment. But you are a health professional and you give your full attention to your patient; you can’t just stop to answer the phone.

It is easy to end up spending precious free time or family time trying to call everyone back which is exhausting and time consuming and complicated. Not everyone is available when you call back.

We help our clients maintain that work-life balance.

We’ll pick up your calls, and our friendly receptionists give callers all the information they need.

They can book appointments, give directions and remind customers to remove nail polish, bring a list of their current medication or any other information you ask us to give.

They reschedule or cancel appointments for you or the customer.

They can take a card payment for you.

All of this frees up a considerable part of the day, so that when our clients have finished face to face contact with their patients they can go home, take the dog for a walk, and chill with the family, or whatever else they want to do – knowing all the admin is being taken care of here.

 

Virtual Reception Service vs Part-Time Receptionist

Noticed a few posts suggesting podiatrists get a retired receptionist part-time rather than use a virtual receptionist – REALLY?  So many reasons why that isn’t such a great idea.

 Virtual Receptionist
Retired Part-time Receptionist
Hours We are open 10 hours a day to take calls for our clients. We cover holidays and sick leave, so you don’t have to.
Maybe you can get all your patients to phone in at certain times - Good luck with that.
CostStarting from £155 plus VAT (£186) per month
£8.21 per hour plus NI and holiday and sickness pay

Understand the businessWe work with health practitioners, we understand podiatry, physio, osteo, chiropractic and other therapies.
You’ve got to train them
Know your businessWe do learn about your business quite quickly, but we have all the information to hand to be sure.
Again - you have to train them
Friendly faceOur teams are always polite and friendly. We try to be helpful. If we can’t answer a question we send you a message.
When they are there
Bring you coffeeOkay – we can’t bring you coffee
Yep, they can do that

If you have a multi-therapy clinic with a generous turnover then sure, get yourself a full time team, but for small clinics you can have “a full time receptionist at a fraction of the cost”. And don’t forget if you do have an on-site receptionist you can still use a virtual reception team to back-up.

Card or Cash?

Card or cash?

Card or cash?

So you have given a treatment to a client and you ask them to pay. They haven’t got enough cash or a cheque book. Do you:

  • Tell them where the nearest ATM is?
  • Ask them to post you a cheque?
  • Take a payment by card?

News yesterday that that the UK might ditch the penny coin, swiftly followed by a kind of promise that we won’t.  But we kind of will won’t we, because we are using cash so much less, and contactless is so easy…..

I don’t keep pennies anymore, they all go straight into the charity tin next to the till. I can’t think of any other use for them, they are heavy, they don’t buy anything, why keep them. Well the charities will be sorry to see them go, but even for them the value in a full collecting tin is minimal.

For small businesses though the difficulty is to collect payment without the cost of card readers and merchant accounts. Nobody offers this free to business but there are a few suppliers of card readers that don’t need a merchant account. Square-up, Stripe, iZettle and Sumup charge between 1.4% to 1.7%. there don’t appear to be any other charges, but they hang on to your funds for a couple of days so presumably they make money from investing those funds.

Banks tend to charge  a flat monthly fee for current accounts for small businesses, ranging from £5 upwards, but they also charge for cash or cheque payments, with the exception of Santander which charges £20 fixed monthly

fee.  If you pay in £500 in cash you will pay anything from £1.50 to £5.00, and if you pay in 5 cheques you would be charged from £1.50 to £3.00. Using a card reader this would be around £7.50.

How to dial an extension Hands-Free

You know how it is. You’re driving. You need to call someone at their office. They have an IVR (choose 1 for sales, 2 for accounts….). How to do it? I’m assuming you use Bluetooth, hands-free, and the person you need to call is in your contacts.

puppy on the phone

To put in an extension – just add a PAWS to the number.

For iPhone

  • In contacts go to the contact and choose edit.
  • Pick the number you are going to edit, then tap the +*# key, bottom left.
  • Then tap pause (under number1) This enters a pause in the dialling, which shows as a comma in the number display.
  • Enter the extension number
  • Tap done
  • You should then see the call number as something like 1234567891,345.

For a Samsung android phone

  • Enter the number, or choose from contacts
  • Tap on [email protected]#
  • Choose pause (,)
  • Tap on the 123 button
  • Enter the extension number, and save.