CMT Podcast | Ep 448. “I’m Too Busy To Smile”

By Editor, Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal | The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

The lobby of your medical practice and reception area says more to your Patients than anywhere else in your practice. If it is furnished well, tidy and the staff working in this area is well-trained, helpful, smiling and friendly, this can be a good thing. But if not, it can be a very bad thing.

Each day, you want Patients to walk into your practice, not judge it. So, make sure you do the following things:

  1. Make Patients feel unwelcome. Patients at your practice should always feel welcome. That means greeting each Patient as they arrive with a smile (even if your staff does not feel like it) and friendliness. Go out of your way to be courteous at all times. If you have a service window in your lobby area, remember that your staff represents you and the demeanor of your practice, so they have to be smiling and friendly at all times.
  2. Do Not Be Too Casual. The flip side of not being friendly enough is being a bit too friendly. Your service window staff should never interrupt a conversation. No matter how casual the atmosphere around your practice is, your staff must always be professional. Even if someone is in pain, aggravated or disruptive, they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
  3. Do Not Hide Things. Nothing is worse than finding out you owe money from a previous visit, you owe more than a co-pay (if applicable in your practice), or your doctor is on vacation and you will be seeing a colleague. According to Concierge Medicine Today, these are the most common complaints among Patients inside a Concierge Medicine office. Service window staff should not lie to Patients, deceive them, or be anything other than honest. Is there a delay? Tell the Patients as soon as possible. Is there an upcharge for a certain test that was performed? Make sure to mention it. Always let Patients know before they leave of any increase in pricing of your services and when the practice is going to be closed during upcoming holidays.
  4. Do Not Argue With Patients or Discuss Billing Issues In Front of Other Patients. This might seem obvious, but it is important. The phrase, “The customer is always right” is a cliché for a reason. When a Patient complains, employees should do their best to listen and help. Try to diffuse the situation by understanding and validating their feelings. You should try to fix a problem when possible, or refer the Patient to the Doctor or Office Manager if there is nothing certain staff can do. Never, ever fight with Patients or dispute their complaints, even if they are wrong. If it is something they are arguing with you about in the lobby, take the conversation to another part of the practice to discuss it. Nothing makes your practice look worse than bad word of mouth, arguing or gossip in front of current Patients.
  5. Do Not Make The Patient Feel Rushed. This is Concierge Medicine. There should not be a rush! Did you know that more Patients leave a Concierge Medicine practice because they were over-promised and underserved? That is right. If you promise no-wait appointments, no rushed visits, deliver on your promises. When Patients come to your practice, it is for relief and peace of mind. What they do not want is to feel rushed and pushed out of the office so the next Patient can be served. Isn’t that why you got into this practice in the first place? No matter how crazy the office gets or how many people are waiting on a busy day, make sure Patients feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

DISCLAIMER AND USE: In no event is this information considered medical, legal, tax, financial, accounting or other professional advice (Please see full disclaimer below). This Podcast Is Subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use ( and is recorded/hosted by Concierge Medicine Today, LLC. Concierge Medicine Today, LLC., our representatives, agents or employees accept no responsibility or liability for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages or financial costs or claims made by the Physician(s) interviewed or our guests.


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