Author Topic: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting  (Read 6313 times)

tallmanusa

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Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« on: January 16, 2013, 06:44:07 AM »
We plan to use offshore telemarketing companies to set appointments for $30 per appointment. Our rep would then visit the doctor. We plan to use the telephone script from Michele's ebook.
Has anyone tried this?

PMRNC

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 03:37:57 PM »
Seriously?   You are just going to find you'll piss off people more. Offshore telemarketing?? I'm sorry I can't add anything productive to that except "Good Luck with that"
Linda Walker
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tallmanusa

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 06:15:46 PM »
Telemarketing is something that Michele recommends in her ebook (not necessarily off shore); I guess you never read her book. I am also using her script.

RichardP

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 10:43:17 PM »
tallmanusa - am I correct in remembering that you said in an earlier post that you used to be a doctor?  If yes, are you an M.D., or PhD.?

I've spent quite a bit of time in the offices of my clients.  At 35 to 45 patients per day, they work their butts off.  Their staff act as gatekeepers.  Only the most serious matters get past the gatekeepers to the doctors.  And then, only the really serious matters get the doctors on the phone at that moment.  All the rest remain until the end of the day, when the doctor returns the phone calls.  If you have been in private practice, I assume you already know this.

Here are several questions (out of many more) for you to consider in your attempt to schedule appointments:

1.  If the staff is currently doing the doctor's billing and getting paid extra for it, do you think they will pass your billing company info along to the doctor?  You are their competition.

2.  When the harried doctor is returning phone calls at the end of the day, do you think he will return a phone call to some stranger that wants to talk about his finances?

3.  If by some chance the doctor does return the phone call to your offshore call center, how will his phone call be handled?  Will he be immediately connected to the original person who contacted his office?  If not, will the person taking the doctor's call-back know what the original caller said to the doctor's staff to get the doctor to call back (speaks to your company's credibility in the doctor's eyes)?  Do you plan to have your offshore phones manned 25/7 in order to be available for the doctors' return phone calls - given the difference in time zones?

4.  You will not be receiving many (if any) appointments from your off-shore calling efforts.  If you pay your callers by the appointment, how will you handle the turnover that is bound to occur as your staff discover that they never get paid because no doctor ever makes an appointment?

5.  Why do you think anybody here wants to help you in your efforts to take work away from Americans and give it to foreigners - just so you can make more money?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 11:06:12 PM by RichardP »

tallmanusa

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 06:42:47 AM »
Richard, telemarketing is one of the methods Michele recommends in her ebook, this was not something I dreamed of. I am willing to try that. There are other methods she recommends as well, which I would be trying.
All your points are well taken. I am just as skeptical as you are.
The telephone calls whether made off shore or made from someplace in USA do not matter much, they all are reading from a script which Michele provides in her book. Simple enough.

There are companies off shore who do this on a regular basis for other companies in USA; they have gone through all the problems that you mention and still are in business and taking new clients. They are paid for performance; and one reason for hiring them is that they don't suffer from the turnover that we have in this country.
Nobody is reinventing the wheel here.

PMRNC

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 09:21:58 AM »
Quote
The telephone calls whether made off shore or made from someplace in USA do not matter much, they all are reading from a script which Michele provides in her book. Simple enough.

You would have to show me a doctor who signed on with a biller from a telemarketer offshore. And yes it does matter. The language barrier is one point and the ethical and practical resentments are another. I'm stating a fact. I know office managers who call some carriers and get offshore phone bank and let's just say they are NONE too happy.  One of my clients gets so flipping mad having to call Dell Tech support that they got rid of ALL their computers and replaced them for that reason alone. In today's times, I don't see any effectiveness or business ethics in using an offshore company, if anything it would stand to represent your business and that would not be too glowing for you.

In regards to the effectiveness overall of telemarketers or "appointment settings" isn't my cup of tea. In my opinion no one can represent me or speak for me better than me. I've also seen some dirty telemarketing tricks that didn't turn out so well. Physicians talk to each other, and a telemarketer has LESS of a chance getting past the gatekeeper than you do.  J M H O
Linda Walker
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One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

PMRNC

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 09:24:42 AM »
Quote
The telephone calls whether made off shore or made from someplace in USA do not matter much, they all are reading from a script which Michele provides in her book. Simple enough.

You would have to show me a doctor who signed on with a biller from a telemarketer offshore. And yes it does matter. The language barrier is one point and the ethical and practical resentments are another. I'm stating a fact. I know office managers who call some carriers and get offshore phone bank and let's just say they are NONE too happy.  One of my clients gets so flipping mad having to call Dell Tech support that they got rid of ALL their computers and replaced them for that reason alone. In today's times, I don't see any effectiveness or business ethics in using an offshore company, if anything it would stand to represent your business and that would not be too glowing for you.

Quote
They are paid for performance; and one reason for hiring them is that they don't suffer from the turnover that we have in this country.
Nobody is reinventing the wheel here.

Let's be honest here because I don't buy that excuse made by Physicians and billing companies in the US.. it's the COST factor so let's not make it something it's not. THE "SAVE a BUCK" mentality of using offshore companies is .. IN MY OPINION  irresponsible.   "turnover we have in this country".. not understanding that at all.

In regards to the effectiveness overall of telemarketers or "appointment settings" isn't my cup of tea. In my opinion no one can represent me or speak for me better than me. I've also seen some dirty telemarketing tricks that didn't turn out so well. Physicians talk to each other, and a telemarketer has LESS of a chance getting past the gatekeeper than you do.  J M H O
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

RichardP

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 03:59:03 PM »
I am just as skeptical as you are.

This may be splitting hairs here over semantics, but I was not meaning to be skeptical.  I was being practical - based on my experience with doctors and their staffs (staves?)  I'm not trying to discourage you.  I'm trying to provide information that will help you develop more realistic expectations about likely results from that type of telemarketing.

PMRNC

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 10:54:37 AM »
I just happen to be having a conversation with the OM of one of my larger pediatric groups and I casually asked her if she gets calls from Offshore companies, she laughed and said, yes but I hang up immediately and proceeded to tell me how she felt which was similar to how I felt.   
Linda Walker
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tallmanusa

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 11:39:57 AM »
From what I am told, the appointment is made in 1% of the calls made; however the close ratio of the appointments is 85%.
Apparently $30 is enough money for off shore companies to  filter the 99%; I am happy to work with a company in US that would do it for that price.

QueenAlicia

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 12:07:56 PM »
I really wonder why the 2 of you keep entertaining this foolishness, LOL! I really don't take this person seriously because if you notice how you guys ask questions they are always avoided. 

RichardP

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 12:29:47 PM »
I really wonder why the 2 of you keep entertaining this foolishness
... if you notice how you guys ask questions they are always avoided.

I assume the purpose of this site is to educate people.  Future readers can read what you've read and come to the same conclusion that you have come to.  That would have been more difficult to do without seeing the answers given (or not given) in response to our legitimate questions / comments.

At a minimum, folks reading our questions/responses will come to understand the issues that need to be taken into account when setting up a billing service.  Hopefully, this larger discussion (it spans several different thread/topics) will help answer questions and generate new ones for the folks who are serious about setting up legitimate billing services.  Knowing the right questions to ask is often key to succeeding at an endeavor.

PMRNC

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 12:36:10 PM »
Alicia, your absolutely right.

Quote
From what I am told, the appointment is made in 1% of the calls made; however the close ratio of the appointments is 85%.
Apparently $30 is enough money for off shore companies to  filter the 99%; I am happy to work with a company in US that would do it for that price.

Do you know how OLD that statistic is?  It also mirrors the OLD statistic of 1% return rate on mailings. <sigh>   You sound sold and you sound like you are choosing cost over things I would consider too important to oversee. COST savings means nothing if I'm going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of my potential client.    Again, you sound like it's a go so I'm not sure why the back and forth.  PERSONALLY the savings wouldn't be enough for me to choose offshore over giving someone in the US a job. J M H O  again.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

QueenAlicia

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 12:41:30 PM »
I really wonder why the 2 of you keep entertaining this foolishness
... if you notice how you guys ask questions they are always avoided.

I assume the purpose of this site is to educate people.  Future readers can read what you've read and come to the same conclusion that you have come to.  That would have been more difficult to do without seeing the answers given (or not given) in response to our legitimate questions / comments.

At a minimum, folks reading our questions/responses will come to understand the issues that need to be taken into account when setting up a billing service.  Hopefully, this larger discussion (it spans several different thread/topics) will help answer questions and generate new ones for the folks who are serious about setting up legitimate billing services.  Knowing the right questions to ask is often key to succeeding at an endeavor.

Obviously this is a board for educating others.  I have been a member of this board for several years and have seen these types of characters come and go.  I am skeptical of this person and the tone I was using was sarcastic. 

tallmanusa

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Re: Telemarketing and Appointment Setting
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 12:46:57 PM »
This person does not need a response from me. If there was an ignore button, I would use it.