Getting Dialed In


Have you ever launched a pay-per-click campaign and received emails and calls, but for some reason the conversion rate was lower than expected? If you answered yes, then there may be room for improvement in your team’s phone skills. I’ve noticed that even the most skilled front office associate sometimes tends to miss an email or forgets to ask for the patient’s name and phone number on a call. I know these actions seem rather simple, but you’d be surprised at how many times they’re overlooked. 

At least quarterly, practices should "mystery shop" their own practice, by calling and pretending to be a patient, to learn first-hand what their patients experience and to identify areas for improvement. You can use the following "Perfect Phone Call" checklist when evaluating your practice. 

The Perfect Phone Call

  • Superior Communication Skills - Enunciation, tone of voice and demeanor reflects positively on the practice. 
  • Takes the Lead - Who’s the expert here? The trained office associate, or the patient? Letting the patient lead the conversation may not be the best tactic. 
  • Key Questions Asked - Asks the right questions: Name, phone number, how they heard about you, main concern, special event coming up, etc. 
  • Credentialing - Every team member should have each provider’s CV down, backwards and forward. Why would the patient want to choose a certain practice if they don’t understand the value behind it? 
  • Procedure and Product Knowledge Shared - When a patient is calling in with specific questions, sometimes they can only be answered in a consultation with the provider. However, each team member should have a good amount of knowledge about the products and services sold in the practice and know how to explain them in a way as to not provide medical advice and pricing.
  • Books the Appointment - After the above steps are completed, booking the appointment should be a breeze, right? But how do we know they’ll show?
  • Completes Follow Up - Personally emailing the patient to confirm before the end of the day is very important, as well as a confirmation phone call the day before the scheduled appointment. I’m sure this is happening most of the time, but what exactly is being emailed to these leads? Text message confirmations and automated emails are super convenient, but then the personalization is left adrift.

The checklist above is definitely something to consider when spending your marketing dollars into paid advertisements. Is your team ready? Do they know what campaign you just launched? How will you keep track of who may need training or a refresher course for phone etiquette?

About the Author: Lacy J. Banks is the owner and CEO of Aesthetic Practice Concepts providing phone and consultation trainings for board-certified plastic surgeons and their staff. If you’d like a complimentary assessment of your team’s phone skills please feel free to contact her at (760) 747-1111 or at She’d love to hear from you.

The Secret is Out


Hi, I’m Tony Seymour and am the President of ALPHAEON Credit. I’ll be writing short posts periodically for our blog on interesting topics regarding ALPHAEON CREDIT and your practice. 

The first thing, I'd like to point out is what makes ALPHAEON CREDIT spectacular. I know you may be thinking it's our "Great approval rates," or our "Generous credit limits,." I agree, we have those, but the true secret is pretty simple. "We answer the phone." 

After 15 years at CareCredit, I knew I wanted to be a part of something different for our industry and so did a few other employees. Katy Thomas and Lisa Taylor were my top two managers renowned for their customer service.  Together we discussed our likes and dislikes with larger banks, and the first thing we all agreed needed to change was their call centers, including our current bank, Comenity.  The routine with all large financial institutions is to push numerous buttons, hope you get to the right place, usually wait, and then depending on the call center representative, you may receive a resolution.

We vowed to be different. Like you, we know navigating phone trees and waiting while a patient is sitting in front of you is frustrating and embarrassing – after all, you recommended patient financing to the patient. To prevent this from happening at ALPHAEON CREDIT, we installed a Hotline that rings directly to all ALPHAEON CREDIT employees’ cell phones, including my own.

At ALPHAEON, "we answer the phone.". Every day of the year, 24 hours a day. Call us anytime at 920-306-1794  to speak to someone immediately with no hoops to jump through.

We will be there for you, so you can get your questions answered and move on with your day. 

We look forward to speaking with you.


How to Avoid a "Surprise" Decline

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Usually the person sitting in front of you knows their credit score better than anyone else, and when they are approved or declined for a credit card or loan, they receive the answer they expected. However, every so often, you likely run into a patient who is legitimately “surprised” when declined.

While a low credit score may be to blame, often there is another culprit - their annual income, and underestimating this figure.

Since the CARD Act of 2009, banks are required to evaluate every credit card and loan application based upon the patient’s ability to repay the debt. To do so, they calculate a “debt-to-income” (DTI) ratio for each patient. The bank adds up all debt reported on the patient’s credit report and compares it to the annual income entered by the patient on the application. If the DTI ratio is too high, the bank is required to decline the patient or give them a credit limit that won’t overextend the patient.

The problem with this method is that often patients forget to include income sources resulting in an inaccurate DTI ratio.

To avoid the “surprise” decline due to inaccurate DTI ratios, patients should be reminded to include all sources of income, in order to repay the debt including:

·      Full or part-time employment

·      Freelance work or small business

·      Household income from spouse, partner, adult child, parent, or grandparent

·      Government payments such as social security benefits or disability

·      Income from investments such as 401Ks, IRAs, and/or pensions

·      Alimony, child support, and/or separate maintenance income*

*If they don't wish to have alimony, child support and/or separate maintenance income considered as a basis for repaying the obligation, they should not include it in their annual income amount. 

In addition to forgotten income, many patients report their net income (take-home pay) rather than their gross income.

Hopefully with a little guidance at the time of application, your patients will only be surprised with how much they are approved for!


Three Times, Three Ways

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In surveys, patients were asked if they were aware of financing options.

Amazingly, many patients said "no" even when there was irrefutable proof via recorded calls, pre-prepared patient packet inserts, emails, and witnesses to consult conversations.

Why? The answer is simple.

They were distracted. Even though the practices shared information, they didn't absorb it. Often patients have many questions during a call or consult and focus on what they are going to say or ask next, versus the shared details.

That is why we always promote the "Three Times, Three Ways" method. If you want the patient to understand the procedure is affordable, you must present financing options, "Three Times, Three Ways."

The easiest way to accomplish this, is to focus on the senses. Let them hear, see, and feel the options. 

Hearing is easy. Repeatedly verbalize your financing options to the patient, especially anytime price is mentioned. 

For sight and touch, rely on ALPHAEON marketing materials to do the work for you. Place the brochures and brochure holders throughout the office in your waiting room, checkin/out locations, consult rooms/stations, and exam lanes so patients can touch and feel the brochures. Use the ALPHAEON tabletop signs to visually remind patients of the options as well. These can be placed in areas that are seen by patients, but not necessarily within arms reach like a bookshelf or credenza in a consult room. 

As always, all materials are free, so order as many as you'd like and help more patients walk away knowing they have financing options with your practice!

Order My Free Marketing Materials

PS: If you have ever thought, "I wish ALPHAEON had a (insert name of amazing marketing tool)," we want to hear your suggestion and create it! Please email with any idea no matter how "out-there" you think it is! The more we can promote affordability, the more patients we can help together. 

When Credit Limits Hurt Patients


When evaluating financing options for patients, most practices look for a company that will approve as many patients as possible, for as much as possible, and at the lowest rate to their practice. 

Often if patients receive credit limits high enough to cover the costs of the procedures, the practice and the patient are satisfied. Everyone wins - right? However, did you know that credit limits only covering the procedure costs may be hurting your patients?

A little background...

A patient's credit score is heavily influenced by their utilization ratios. This is calculated by comparing credit card balances to the actual credit limits. While the models vary by each credit reporting agency, most look at both the patient's usage of individual credit cards, as well as overall usage for all credit cards. Having one or multiple card balances  close to their limits or worse, maxed out, lowers the patient's credit score. In fact, credit card utilization ratios account for 30% of an individual's credit score. The only factor that is weighed more heavily is payment history. 

So, when a patient is only approved for the credit limits needed for a procedure, it may unknowingly, negatively impact one's credit score. 

In addition, patients who don't receive the credit limits needed to say "yes" often end up going to another provider who offers procedures for less. Or, they start compromising by selecting another procedure or service that is within their credit limit. 

While practices want to help patients with the procedures they desire or need, cost can get in the way. So what can be done?

The best course of action is to evaluate patient financing companies based upon average credit limits provided...most companies will tell you their average credit limit or even the average credit limit for your particular practice. By promoting the companies that provide the highest credit limits to begin with, patients will be in the best possible position from a credit utilization ratio. 

Want to learn more?

30% Credit Utilization Rule: Truth or Myth


#SmallThanks with Google

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It is rare to find a practice that doesn't site "word-of-mouth" as their #1 source of patient referrals. Now, Google wants to help you spread the word with "Small Thanks with Google" and it is free! 

Using actual patient reviews about your practice from Google, you can download social media images to share online, reminding current patients about your practice and incentivizing prospective patients to schedule a consult.  Your testimonial binder may be a thing of the past as you can now download print-ready posters for display in your practice as well. 

Only have a few reviews to choose from today? No problem! Google also provides digital and print-ready promotional materials including flyers, posters, stickers and table tents to encourage patients to leave reviews. 

Getting started is easy. Just follow the link below, enter your practice's name to  get your toolkit today. You can view all your reviews and change the color/style by selecting "Personalize Your Toolkit".

PS: Be sure to read over the tip sheet too!

FREE 90-Day Web/Digital Marketing Evaluation


Ever wonder how effective your marketing efforts really are? 

We've been working with a digital marketing agency called Page1Solutions – maybe you’ve heard of them?  While their scope of services extends far beyond web/digital marketing, they have agreed to offer FIVE lucky practices a FREE 90-day web/digital assessment – a $1500 value! But you have to act fast!

Below are a few areas where Page1Solutions might concentrate their evaluation:

 o   Website Design/Structure

o   Google Analytics

o   Reviews and Ratings

o   PPC/Display Advertising/Facebook Advertising

o   Video Marketing

o   Database Marketing

o   Sales Intake

o   Social Media

o   Service Recommendations

This is a limited offer that will only be available to five ALPHAEON CREDIT practices on a first come, first served basis. There are no strings attached. Page 1 Solutions will provide you with recommendations to help you improve your marketing results and you can forward those recommendations to your current website designer or agency. You have no obligation to work with Page 1 beyond the initial free 90-day consultation. 

Act now! Email with the subject line, "I want it!" to claim your assessment!



Can you solve this riddle?


Two twins, Tony and Seymour, are identical in every way, even down to their credit scores and profiles. Tony walks into Practice A and applies for ALPHAEON...and is not approved. Seymour walks into Practice B and applies for ALPHAEON...and is approved. How is this possible?

The difference is not in WHO applied, but HOW they applied.

Tony applied on his own at (or through the practice's weblink which goes to this site). 

Seymour, on the other hand, applied with his physician's staff through their ALPHAEON (Comenity Business Center) dashboard. 

Since the twins' credit scores, profiles, and applications are identical, most practices assume the response will be the same regardless of how the patient applies. However, this is not the case.

Here's why:

When a practice applies on behalf of a patient through their practice dashboard, they are required to check a patient's ID. Since an ID has been verified, the bank's fraud risk is reduced, so there is a better chance of these patients being approved. 

We believe our approval rates are the strongest in the industry whether the patient applies in the office or at home. However, most risk models for patient finance companies favor the in-practice applicant. Applying in your office for the patient will give you the best chance for someone with average credit to be approved.

Ready to start applying for patients, but worried it might wreak havoc on your consult schedule?

No need to worry.  Applying for patients is actually quick and easy. Plus, practices who apply on behalf of their patients often report that patients schedule immediately when financing is secured, saving time on follow up after the consult to see if the patient was approved. 

Been a while since you ran an application?

Download a Quick Start Guide to Share with your Staff

Schedule a Refresher Training

You've Got Mail!

You’ve got mail!

Or at least you'll receive mail very soon! A new set of ALPHAEON CREDIT brochures and credit card agreements are heading your way. 

Every time the Federal Reserve changes the federal funds rate (the interest rate commercial banks charge each other for overnight lending) the U.S. Prime Rate is adjusted. Since the U.S. Prime Rate is used to calculate the patient's APR for the ALPHAEON CREDIT card, every time the U.S. Prime Rate is adjusted, the APR listed on our brochures and credit card agreements must also be adjusted.  

As the reprinting and shipping of new materials every six months can be wasteful, we have asked our bank to move to a fixed rate instead of a variable rate based upon the U.S. Prime Rate. So, the next time we ship you a new set of brochures and ask you to destroy your old supply, it should be the last time! 

When you receive your new materials, please discard any old brochures or credit card agreements and begin using  your updated materials. If we didn't ship enough, please order more (at no charge) by visiting


Cash Discount Calculator - Now Available!

In June, we discussed how offering a cash discount could actually boost your bottom line. (If you missed that post, you can read all about it here.)  

Practices across the country reached out to learn more. Some wanted to offer longer no interest plans without paying more,  some wanted to offer fair discounts to all patients, and others wanted to simply cover the cost of their financing fees. 

To help these practices, we have created a Cash Discount Calculator. With this new tool, you can enter your procedure price, the plans you currently offer, and the plans you want to offer, in order to determine your needed cost and what type of discount you can afford to provide your patients. 

To access the Cash Discount Calculator, select your specialty below:

Dermatology & Plastic Surgery


By offering a cash discount, both you and your patients can save money, making everyone happy. 

New "Find A Physician" Locator

It seems a little backwards, but every week thousands of patients get approved for ALPHAEON CREDIT before they have spoken to a physician about the procedure or treatment they are considering.

To help these patients, they are directed to the ALPHAEON CREDIT "Find a Physician" locator once approved.

To make sure they are pointed in the right direction, take a moment to check your listing. 

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Check My Listing

If your listing needs editing, please email

Promoting Affordability: New Partnership between ALPHAEON CREDIT and RealSelf

Did you know that 47% of patients researching procedures on the RealSelf website cited “ financial/saving enough money" as one of their top two challenges? 

To help patients understand they can overcome this obstacle, ALPHAEON CREDIT partnered with RealSelf to promote financing options alongside average price quotes.  


For those unfamiliar with the site, RealSelf is the world's most trusted designation for people looking to improve their body, face, or smile.  

Patients considering a procedure or treatment often visit RealSelf as part of their research process before picking up the phone to make a consultation appointment.  On RealSelf, they can read reviews from patients who have had the procedure, view before and after pictures, receive free expert answers from physicians, and view average costs for specific procedures and treatments.

Depending on the procedure or treatment, the decision timeline from initial research to actual completion varies considerably, but it can easily exceed a year, especially for more costly procedures. However, studies have shown that the process can be shortened dramatically if a key obstacle, such as cost, has been overcome. In fact in the LASIK industry, research shows conversion-to-surgery for patients who secured financing prior to their consult, was almost guaranteed as long as they were declared a good candidate. This improved conversion ratios by almost 30%, over those who didn’t have financing secured at the time of consult.

By adding financing options next to the average price, hopefully more patients will secure their financing prior to their consult, so when they do come into your practice, you can focus on their care and not cost alone.  

If you wondering what the number one challenge was for patients, it was finding the right doctor. If you haven't created your profile on RealSelf, or have one and want to promote ALPHAEON CREDIT on your page, please email to get pointed in the right direction!


Welcome to OUR BLOG!

Here at ALPHAEON CREDIT, we're in a unique position. We get to talk to practices everyday across multiple specialities and hear the latest best practices, learn about innovative marketing ideas, and discover great new resources to help practices and patients. 

Most of the ALPHAEON CREDIT team started their careers working with or in these medical specialties. That being said, we have also come to know many of the trusted industry consultants and vendors who often have great pearls to share with practices.

Our primary goal at ALPHAEON CREDIT is to help you help more patients. In the hopes of doing just that, we're starting this ALPHAEON CREDIT COMMUNITY blog where we will share what we learn with you.

We will also be reaching out to those practices that we admire and vendors that we trust to post as well, however if you have an idea, pearl, or best practice to share, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at! 

As we go along, please let us know how we are doing and feel free to weigh in on any conversation that peaks your interest! 

If you'd prefer not to miss a post, please email send an email to and we will send them directly to your inbox. 


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