5 Tips for Efficient Front Office Management
As a Weave user, you’re connected to thousands of other offices that, just like you, know the detailed excitements and celebrations specific to the job. These offices are also privy to similar pain points and frustrations. At the same time, our developers are working to continue to innovate and perfect the features we’re proud to offer. We know that outside the confines of our dark, development coding-cave there’s a front office team keeping up with appointments, payments and schedules that rely on Weave’s technology to keep everything running smoothly. Our goal is to make the Weave experience as intuitively simple as possible.
The reality is that our developers aren’t there, in your office, seeing how you use Weave throughout the day. So we spoke with a few front office managers and compiled a focused guide to serve as a companion for using your software to manage your office. These are workflows managers swear by and we’re grateful for the insight to be able to share with you.
“The first thing I do?” Danielle Taylor laughed, “Log in!” Taylor, of VanLeeuwen Dental in Salt Lake City, Utah, has a point. Updates and notifications aren’t accessible until users have logged in. So, step one: log in to Weave.
Now that we’ve covered the biggest step, here’s a process Weave Training Manager Jolynn Marcum recommends. It follows a similar organizational flow of the interface design. Starting with one leads you to the next.
Check Voicemail right when you get to the office.
“That’s the most underutilized tool in Weave,” Marcum told me, “But it tells you exactly who called. This is a huge time-saver because you don’t have to rewind it, write things down… Weave logs all of the calls from name to number.” You can get rid of the notepad that you likely have sitting next to your water bottle on your desk. Yep, just toss it, or at least stick it in the drawer. Because phone calls can be returned with a click of your mouse. Here’s an obvious, but helpful, tip: turn up the sound on your computer to be able to hear the voicemails.
Check your Recent Call Log in the phone app for any missed calls.
You’ll see a red notification on this icon if you have any missed calls. If you had voicemails, that number from the voicemail list is likely listed here as well. So, go through and return those missed calls directly from the missed call log by clicking on the number. (Again, another reason to ditch the notepad!)
Weave Premium users can take this one step further by enabling Missed Call Text. With this feature, offices rest easy knowing their missed calls have been given attention before your front desk staff has had a chance to call the patient back. Missed Call Text works like this: for whatever reason, your staff doesn’t answer the phone. The caller is sent to voicemail, and when they hang up they receive a text from your office. The text message could say something like this: “Thank you for calling Farcroft Partners. We’re sorry we missed your call; we are currently with another patient. How can we help you today?” The patient can text back right then and there, which leads us to the next step in your morning flow:
View new text messages.
Resolve any unread text messages that were sent to your office after hours. In your Weave app, you can filter text messages by read and unread. Monica Garay, Office Manager of Riverside Family Dental in Rose Park, Utah, told us about an experience where text messaging with the Weave app helped her give immediate attention to a patient in dire need.
“A patient texted over the weekend that she was having tooth pain–she definitely qualified for a root canal. So we texted back and forth and got her the first appointment and gave her advice to manage the pain until then,” Garay told me. Although not required to work on weekends, Office Manager Garay likes to use her Weave mobile app to keep herself updated. “I don’t turn off my notifications so I can catch those types of situations,” she said.
Check your Schedule App alerts.
For anyone reading this who does not already know this, Weave has an amazing appointment reminder system as part of their software solution. Pertinent information regarding those appointment reminders can be found in the schedule app. In the Schedule App you’ll see unconfirmed appointments, and you’ll have an alert if someone has responded that they can’t make their appointment.
For unconfirmed appointments you’ll want to follow up to verify if they’re coming. You can see the whole week, so if you’ve got the time it’s not a bad idea to check in on tomorrow’s unconfirmed patients as well. But remember, if your automation is turned on and they haven’t confirmed, they’ve already been sent two text messages by the time it’s the day they’re scheduled to come in.
Has someone responded that they can’t make their appointment? After you’ve rescheduled that patient, utilize Appointment Quick Fill to fill the gap in the schedule. Little House of Smiles Children’s Dentistry relayed that they now solely use Weave, when before they used the cancellation list in their practice management system. “As soon as we send out the text messages we get responses in twenty minutes where before it would take us an hour to call all of the people.”
Check other notifications.
Now that you’ve addressed the more immediate concerns, you’ll want to check for possible faxes that have come in, a new review, a new chat, etc.
Conveniently, a lot of the more detailed aspects of your practice communication are automated in Weave. Birthday wishes, appointment reminders and recall reminders are taken care of so that you can put your energy elsewhere. Automatic review invitations are dispensed as a premium feature, removing that task from your to-do list as well.
Weave’s goal and entire concept is to consolidate your communication tasks and keep everything organized in one hub. Considering this goal, and the fact that some patients have a tendency to treat your front office staff like a personal secretary, we encourage you to take advantage of Notes and Follow-ups.
“Follow-ups are like a virtual Post-it note,” Marcum said. “If mom isn’t home with her schedule to make an appointment for the youngest child, I’ll set a Follow-up to call the mom back in three hours or so.”
Have some downtime?
-Go over your Overdue Patient List. These are patients that are due for an appointment but aren’t on the schedule. Perhaps you’ve included them in your Appointment Quick Fill texts you sent out earlier– they could need an annual exam or a hygiene appointment. Marcum and Taylor both recommend contacting the most recent overdue patient, because they’re the ones you’ve likely seen most recently and are likely to book. Marcum emphasized, “This is akin to money sitting on the table.”
-Send out a few texts to collect balances.
-Respond to reviews, thank patients for reviews they’ve posted or take the time to productively (and sensitively) address issues that may have been brought up in someone’s online review.
Even Garay emphasized the importance of logging in the minute she gets to Riverside Family Dental to ensure she gets all of the notifications for her office. Another place to use your login is at https://www.weavehelp.com/maximize-weave/ , where you can refresh yourself on all of the tools and benefits at your fingertips as a Weave customer.
Do you have suggestions that you think would enhance the content of this guide and would help other offices using Weave run smoothly? Send them in!