Meet Fonda, the friendly face and voice of Brad’s company
Time and time again the message is clear: the importance of a great Front Desk Superstar cannot be underestimated.
A smile and an understanding with patients form a bond and, as you saw at our recent Mastermind Event, business is all about lifetime customer value.
Having a positive and professional front desk ensures that things are pulled together when it comes to lead conversions and creating a memorable patient experience.
Brad Conder, of Focus Physical Therapy based in Louisville, KY, has a team of five: front office, marketing assistant, 2 part-time PTs, and himself.
He said: “I would say that Fonda’s biggest success stories that come to mind are stories when she can successfully convert cold leads on the phone.
“She is very aware of her role on the phone and she tries very hard to follow the training and scripts we have put into place. When she is able to convert a difficult lead, she is always so excited and happy to be able to help and get those patients in the door.
“Also the feedback I get on a consistent basis is just how nice, caring and patient she is with all of our clients. Patients have gone out of their way to tell me and my other PTs how much they appreciate her following up and helping them stay with their schedule and getting in to see us.”
Fonda has allowed Brad to focus on other aspects of the business as she is client-facing. He added: “The front desk is one of the biggest parts, for me as the business owner, to get things off my plate from a daily task aspect.
“When I started I did all the communication with leads, patients, and follow-ups.
“Fonda was able to come in and immediately just start talking to patients and leads to take that time away from me.
“Also, more importantly, Fonda was able to start to become the friendly face and voice of the company. She is always praised for her caring and compassion that comes through on the phone.
“I made the mistake many PT owners have made and did not hire in the correct order: I hired PTs first, marketing assistant then front office.
“If I was to do it again I would have hired the front office first. If nothing else, make sure the No-Fail Follow-Up is in place and always improving. That is where Fonda has really been able to help immediately.”
Fonda is from a background in sales and healthcare, after working as a real estate agent and an assistant to a dentist. Brad looked at her career history and could see she had experience in many parts of a successful front office.
He said: “Fonda is extremely valuable because I know that I cannot grow and expand my business without her. She links the patients and staff together for us to deliver the service we are promising.
“As of right now we have one clinic and a satellite clinic and she is helping to manage two PTs with their caseload with us averaging 40-45 patient visits a week.
“When I interviewed Fonda, she was very passionate about wanting to continue her career in healthcare as an ex-dental hygienist. She has a passion for helping others and that always comes through on the phone and during the conversation. She also fits one of my top Core Values: Value Faith, Family, and Friends. She is always there to remind me of my faith and to remain positive in the face of adversity.”
Continuing with core values, Brad has put a large focus on “lifelong learning and growth” in his business, something Fonda is not afraid to tackle and it’s an aspect of her job she is relishing.
Brad said: “I made the decision to invest heavily in the training and resources that Paul Gough Media provides and Fonda has always taken the resources and training very well and tries very hard to continue her training and learning that comes from Paul’s team.
“Even this week we are working on reviewing and improving our systems and she was able to review everything we have learned from Paul’s team to continue to learn and grow.”
While scorecards are an absolutely integral part of Team Paul and Paul’s methods and means, Fonda has taken on additional responsibility with the documents at Focus PT.
“She has actually taken on the task recently to help me get our scorecards completed and prepared each week,” said Brad.
“She is responsible for taking the scorecards from our PTs and compiling them into a team scorecard. She is able to know from there what we are missing to meet the weekly and monthly goals.
“She also helped me start a new system of tracking clinic cash flow and forecasting weekly and monthly cash flow with patient visits and plans.”
Fonda joined Brad’s team at the most testing of times as the pandemic hit early last year. It didn’t affect her outlook or her professionalism as she took it all in her stride and carried on.
Brad said: “In the beginning, her onboarding was a little bit of a piece of work. I had some ideas and was using the resources and onboarding I learned from Paul and his Hiring Solution book. It was not easy as she had to jump in to try to learn the aspects of what I needed just when Covid shutdowns happened and we had to close the clinic. She actually started right as everything happened.
“We both had to pivot and do the best we could to learn – and also keep the clinic afloat.
“The original plan was for her to be onsite at the clinic and become a traditional front desk. She was able to make our onboarding process from home and still develop into what the business needed.
“Then once restrictions lightened we started the process of bringing back to the clinic. She has been SO flexible to be in the clinic when needed and then also be efficient and effective from home as well.
“I have thrown so much at her to try and learn new things, it has been hard but she never backs down from the challenges I give her.”
He added: “We are now at a stage of working on really refining our follow-up processes and the role of the front desk. With restrictions lifting, we are starting to see the growth we need to hire more PTs and grow the business.
“Her day right now is working really hard on our follow-up systems to make sure leads, phone calls, current patients, and past patients are all communicated with consistently and keeping them moving forward in their PT goals.
“In addition, we are working together for her to take on the task to improve our customer service and client experience. That could be on the phone with her working remotely or in the clinic when we are seeing patients.”
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