Many practices really struggle with hiring and training a front-desk person (the person who will create that all-important first impression for your practice). The struggles are real; most offices budget near-minimum wage for this position and seem to have difficulty finding the right person to handle the huge responsibility of this position.
My go-to answer for this problem is to pay a little more in salary to recruit for this position. It's true; you often get better quality applicants if you can raise the hourly rate of pay for this vital position. It can be difficult to find a professional with the type of experience you are looking for if you only pay a low hourly rate.
But if you can't find the extra money to increase salary, what other options are available that won't necessarily cost more? Here are some options:
1. Rearrange responsibilities.
Perhaps you should take away appointment scheduling from the front desk, as there are often face-to-face patients requiring more attention. Calls could be redirected through an automated PBX system to another staff member.
2. Search for candidates with a high attention to detail.
This is as simple as giving applicants specific instructions to follow. If they don't follow those instructions in the application process, exactly, then don't even give them a second look. After all, if they are responsible for the first impression in your office, they should be diligent in making the optimal first impression to you.
3. Hire for personality and train the skills.
You can't train someone into a bright, sunny, and welcoming demeanor. So hire for personality, attitude, and work ethic — the skills and other aspects of the job can be taught.
It doesn't have to cost you more money to find the perfect front-desk staff member. There are great candidates out there to meet every budget, who will help you create stellar front-desk first impressions.