Having a good reputation is important for most – if not all – careers. But when you work in healthcare, your reputation is of paramount importance. A good reputation can attract new patients to your practice and make it easier for you to maintain good relationships within your community. But a poor reputation can keep nervous patients away from your office and hurt your practice in the long run.
Your practice’s reputation depends on much more than just your own medical skills. Factors like grumpy or overworked members of staff, long waiting times, and poor communication can all hurt your reputation before patients even walk through your office door.
Fortunately, simple strategies can help you maintain a pristine name within your community. One of these strategies is hiring a good virtual answering service to answer your phone calls. Here are 5 ways a call center can help improve your medical practice’s image.
Way #1. It will ensure that your patients can always reach someone
Calling your healthcare provider and encountering an endlessly-ringing phone can be a very frustrating experience. But in many cases, your on-site staff may not be able to pick up phone calls quickly simply because they’re busy handling other responsibilities that make your day-to-day operations possible.
But if this becomes a common occurrence, patients may choose to switch to a different medical office that they can reach more easily. A virtual answering service can quickly eliminate this problem by providing highly-skilled operators who will be able to take each phone call and ensure that your patients are always greeted by a warm, friendly, and well-informed voice.
#2. It will help your practice run more efficiently
In addition to taking phone calls, virtual call center operators can also help you with multiple other tasks, such as scheduling appointments, taking cancellations, and responding to inquiries. A virtual call center is an affordable way to ensure that your schedule will be organized and updated to maximize the efficiency of your working hours.
This will allow you to shorten waiting lists and schedule appointments quickly, which can be a relief for patients who want to access high-quality medical attention without having to wait months for a consult.
#3. It will provide an easy way to send reminders to patients that need it
It’s not uncommon for patients to forget about appointments and follow ups. But missed consults aren’t just inconvenient for your practice’s schedule — in some cases, they can represent a risk to your patients health. However, it can be difficult for your on-site staff to be constantly reminding patients before each appointment, and doing so can take valuable time and attention away from other necessary tasks.
But did you know that virtual answering companies often offer automated reminder services? These reminders can be customized according to your practice’s and patients’ needs, and they can be sent out through different channels to ensure their effectiveness.
Automated reminders are a simple but meaningful way to show patients that you care about their health and hope to see them at their next appointment. It also makes it easier for patients to remember to cancel appointments if the need to do so arises, which gives your practice more time to reschedule appointments to keep waiting lists as short as possible. Additionally, using automated reminders can reduce the amount of no-shows at your office, which can help you keep a more efficient schedule and prevent patients from having to wait long hours before seeing you.
#4. It will allow you to stay present in your community 24/7, 365 days a year
We know how important it is for healthcare professionals to be available whenever patients need assistance, but we also know that all human beings need to rest and take breaks from work. When you work in healthcare, it can be difficult to find a healthy balance between your needs and your responsibilities.
A virtual call center can provide an efficient solution to this problem. Operators will continue to take phone calls even after your office hours are over, which will allow you to rest easy knowing that your patients will always be able to reach you. The agents manning your practice’s call center will answer phone calls 24/7, all 365 days of the year. Then — and according to your previous instructions — they will be able to take messages and deliver them to you or your staff at a later time, or even transfer calls directly to you when necessary.
#5. It will let your patients know how much you value their trust
Creating lines of communication that are easily accessible can be a wonderful way to show patients how much you value the trust that they have placed in you. Patients place their health and wellbeing in your hands everyday, and making sure you’re available to them is a show of respect and care.
Hiring a virtual call center is a win-win situation: you and your staff will be able to get some much-needed rest, and your schedule will be more efficient; but your community will be safe in the knowledge that their healthcare provider is always just a phone call away.