Why They Didn’t Use the Script You Handed Them

by | Recruiting+Hiring, Same-day Cancellations, Schedule Efficiency

Have you ever handed your front office team a script and asked them to use it? And then they didn’t use it? This can be super frustrating and confusing.

For most private practices, your front office is made up of good staff. They’re interested in their jobs, they want to be successful at their positions, and they can get things done. So, why don’t they use that script you handed them?

Why do you think handing them a script doesn’t work?

  • They’ve never practiced the script, so they’re uncomfortable using it.
  • They don’t understand the script’s true purpose.
  • They aren’t confident handling patients.
  • They’re terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing.
  • They have yet to be formally trained to use the script in their position.
  • If you said ‘all of the above,’ you’re correct.

Why constant practice, or drilling, of how to use a script is necessary

If you’ve ever been an athlete, a musician, an actor, or an actress, you would understand the importance of drilling (drilling is practicing until you’ve mastered the script or skill). While studying to become a physical therapist, I had to drill joint mobilizations repeatedly until I could do them correctly.

How about you? What did you drill over and over until you mastered it? How long did it take you?

That constant practice until you got it right made all the difference in your skills. And I’m willing to bet that you invested a lot of time into mastering your skills as a specialist.

When you didn’t practice, you likely didn’t perform as well. The same goes for your front office. If they aren’t practicing how to use a script to talk to patients, how to manage them, and how to handle objections, they won’t be as successful in managing your patients and getting them in for care.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to work with your patients or clients if you hadn’t learned how to perform the necessary skills properly? Or if you hadn’t practiced over and over until you’d mastered it?

Your front office staff is trying to be successful everyday. Still, their situation can be difficult without proper and effective drilling scripts and effective training on patient management.

Don’t just hand your team a script and expect them to know how to use it and feel comfortable using it.

They’ll need you to invest the time to practice it with them so they can become comfortable using the scripts in patient care. And remember, this is not a one-time, one-and-done situation. Without consistent practice, they’ll revert to old habits like asking the patient, “What’s a good time for you?” or “Would that work?”. So, plan for repeated practice sessions.

Why they don’t understand the true purpose of the script

Did they look at you funny when you handed them a script? Maybe they showed resistance or told you they couldn’t say that? When someone pushes back, this doesn’t mean they’re bad at their job or not interested. Many times, it simply means they don’t understand.

Have you ever been around a two-year-old child? They say things like “Why?” and “No!” all the time, but if you really look at the nature of those responses, it’s because they’re still learning about their environment. They have yet to learn the purpose of doing those things they’re challenging you on.

The same goes for your front office staff.

As practice owners, we sometimes get these great ideas, then we walk in and enact them without taking the time to educate our team on the purpose of this new ‘thing’ we want them to implement.

Have you ever had a great idea, rushed into the office, then told your team you were enacting this new process or activity, and they all just stared at you? Maybe a few shot your idea down or started pushing back? Often, it’s because they need help understanding the purpose of this new idea, so your vision isn’t real to them.

If you want your front office team to get on board and use the scripts you hand them, they must be trained in the purpose of using them, and they need to demonstrate their understanding of its uses and the reason behind the script.

Why they aren’t confident in handling patients

It’s not because they don’t care; it really isn’t. You likely have good people working in your front office.

When you give them the script, they might try to use it, but the first time they fail, they’ll revert to their old ways of handling something or won’t handle it at all.

If you have a cancellation policy that is never used, this is probably the reason. You might have implemented it at the office to manage cancellations, but no one feels comfortable using the policy.

Unlike you, your front office team hasn’t gone to school to learn their trade. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, many fell into their profession and got on-the-job training that consisted of someone showing them something a few times and expecting them to ‘figure it out’.

Remember, your front office team is the FIRST and LAST point of contact your patients have with your office.

Let’s take a look at how they impact your practice.

They’re responsible for:

  • Converting calls to new patients who arrive for their initial evaluation
  • Scheduling out the plan of care
  • Keeping your schedule full
  • Making sure patients arrive for their care
  • Ensuring patients are scheduled for their weekly prescribed visits
  • Collecting what’s due

Basically, they’re in charge of managing people.

Have you ensured they have all the tools they need to do their job as well as you can do yours? If not, your practice probably suffers from this, and you’re not helping as many people as you could.

In fact, if you’ve likely been spending money on marketing and not seeing the return you’ve expected. This could be your reason why.

If you’ve had a high turnover in your front office positions in the last few years, it could be because they’re firing themselves. When someone isn’t successful, they feel like failures, and they look for another job where they can feel good and win.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you have training in place that ensures a new front office hire accurately and effectively learns how to manage your patients properly?
  • Do you have a training manual that you can use to sit down with them to train them on the purpose and performance of specific actions so they don’t have to ‘watch someone else’ and “hopefully” learn how to do it?
  • Do you have set scripts you can use to train them how to speak to patients properly?
  • Have you created drills to teach them how to utilize and implement the scripts BEFORE using them with an actual patient?
  • Could you tell me with all certainty that your front office runs like a well-oiled machine?

Have you ever considered formal training for your front office team?

If not, what’s holding you back?

Imagine if you didn’t have to create anything new, if it was all done for you. What would it feel like to have an effective training system in place that helped your current team and any future hires learn to properly manage your patients, so you could focus on helping more people and building a thriving practice? What would it be worth to you?

I can assure you it’s worth a LOT more than you would spend.

If your new patient conversions are less than 90%, your average daily arrival rate is less than 94%, and/or your average daily spots filled are less than 90% – you’re leaving money on the table that could mean the difference between a thriving practice and you working just to pay everyone else’s salary.

Give your front office team the gift of confidence and control. Provide them with the training and tools, including effective scripts, they can use to properly manage patients now and into the future.

Schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn how Front Office GURU programs can help you and your team achieve a whole new level of success.

Wishing you the best, today and always!



I’m Dee

As a practice owner, former manager, and the Front Office GURU, I understand the difficulties you face because I’ve been there. And my programs provide the solution.

Are you struggling to train your front office team? Unsure how to go about establishing a proven training program for your front desk? Not sure where to start or what your options are?

Then schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about my programs.

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