It used to be believed that a doctor and patient’s relationship existed during business hours and only to diagnose and then treat the patient’s illness. Over the years, it has become obvious that the strongest and most long-lasting doctor/patient relationships have strong communication from both parties. By offering a border-free relationship with your patients you show them a strong level of commitment to their continued health and a respect for the business they are giving you.
Nowadays, thanks to cell phones, email, and social media, we are far more in touch with each other and the companies we do business with at all hours of the day. Thanks to mobile apps like Facebook and Twitter, the news is only a few taps away and so is the opportunity to rate businesses that we visit. As our world becomes more connected at the single touch of a button, medical facilities need to become more aware of what their patients expect when it comes to communicating.
An answering service offers 24/7 communication opportunities for your patients. This doesn’t mean that you will have to give up your phone number or be on call for your patients at all hours of the day. In fact, an answering service can filter out the unnecessary calls that aren’t considered emergencies or require immediate attention. Your specific requests will be followed for each type of call your office receives.
Here are some of the ways an answering service can give you the flexibility you need to run your medical office and maintain your own life while your patients can still feel that you’re only a call away.
An answering service gives your customers a human connection at all hours
Not everyone wants to leave a voicemail on an answering machine. This is especially true when the message may include medical questions, concerns about prescriptions, or other potentially personal information. Patients may suffer a small injury or experience unexplainable pain in the middle of the night and want to look to their healthcare provider for guidance on what to do. An answering service can receive those calls, jot down the important information, log it in the CRM and relay that back to the physician to determine if a callback is needed or if simple advice can be provided. This connection will make your patients feel cared for rather than overlooked.
Never miss an opportunity to book an appointment
Our lives are busy. We work full days, care for our family, and have responsibilities that just don’t seem to end. Remembering to call the doctor to make appointments sometimes pop up at the strangest of times. Instead of trying to convince ourselves to remember the following morning, wouldn’t it be such a relief if we could pick up the phone and book a medical appointment even if it were in the middle of the night? Give your patients a sense of freedom to contact you whenever they need to in order to schedule their next appointment with an answering service that you can trust.
Filter out the less important calls, leaving room for the big ones
Imagine one of your patients calls in and asks for your upcoming holiday hours while another patient waits on hold who is desperate to make an emergency appointment for that afternoon. While your staff is busy answering these questions, your patient may become agitated and abandon the call. This loss will mean less revenue and potentially the loss of that patient. An answering service doesn’t allow calls to roll over or sit on hold. Instead, every call that comes through will be answered in a timely manner and transferred or handled professionally.
Free up your staff’s time to handle office related tasks
Does your front office staff feel like they are overwhelmed with calls all day that they cannot seem to handle the other important parts of their job? As calls come in and patients want to request appointments, cancel appointments, ask questions, or get prescriptions filled, other tasks are not completed such as filing, attending to the patients in the office at the time or following up on important items such as billing. An answering service allows your staff to focus on day to day tasks that can grow the business even further and allows them to feel less overwhelmed.
Eliminate the headache of hiring and managing additional staff
So, you know that your front office staff needs help with the phones and so you are considering hiring an additional person to help out? As you already know, hiring and training can be a costly and timely task, it doesn’t stop there. Answering services eliminate the need to hire an additional person to manage the calls. The best thing about these services is that they can also scale with your business. As you grow, more individuals will continue to be available to answer your calls. This means that you will not have to continue hiring additional help as your business becomes more successful.
A professional answering service allows your medical office to run efficiently without sacrificing the personal relationship your patients have come to expect from their medical provider. For more information, contact Northwest Answering Service today.