Whether your business has been a long established staple, or a startup, having a high quality custom answering service can really make the difference, and set you apart from competitors in your field. There are options out there that offer answering services that are of a lower quality, you can spot these rather easily since they are usually cheap.
In our society of fast paced, always on the go, time is money culture, it can be hard to consider paying a little bit extra for something that another person can do for a much less. But taking the time to compare quality of service will go a long way in helping you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the best option for you particular business.
Beyond that, there are a few pitfalls of cookie cutter answering services. These should be considered before signing that contract.
1. Bland Marketing and Communications
An answering service is a very specialized type of service and few rise to the top. One of the pitfalls of cookie cutter or templated answering services is the fact that they’re all the same. They will not be customized to your specific business, and this can pose a rather large problem.
If you operate a business in the health industry, and you have decided to outsource your answering services to the cheapest one on the block, there is good chance that they will not know enough about your particular field to offer a seamless experience to your clients.
2. Rigid Structure
Another problem with cookie cutter answering services is that they quite often have very rigid parameters within which all their clients have to function. There is no fine tuning of exactly how you’d like each call to be handled. When your clients call in and it does not appear that the person taking the call knows anything about the business, this will leave many clients with a sense of uneasiness.
Happy clients are repeat clients. If you’re in a professional industry, your clients will expect a level of professionalism from the person answering the call. customer.
Having a reliable custom answering service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is well worth the investment. Custom answering services assimilate to the culture of your organization to the point where exchanges are transparent.
3. Complications From a Potential Communication Gap
It is known fact that most generic answering services utilize the cheapest labor available. This is the main reason why their services are noticeably cheaper than the competition. However, this initial cost savings will cost you down the road.
If the service is outsourced, there is often no control over the quality of the answered calls, let alone whether they will be answered in proper English. One way to avoid this is to ascertain whether the answering service will employ local staff. The reason for this is that it can be incredibly problematic if they don’t have a good working knowledge of the English language or certain colloquialisms used during conversations. This is a sure fire way to frustrate your clients.
If your business has unique needs then a custom answering service is the way to go. With a non-customizable service, there are far too many limitations on how your calls will be answered. You’ll be stuck conforming to the box that the answering service puts you in. Most people are impatient, so if they can’t get through to the answering service in an acceptable time frame, they will just hang up or run for the nearest review site to bad mouth your business.
When clients call and have to explain themselves repeatedly, this exercise can be incredibly frustrating. This fact alone, will alienate your client based and have them looking elsewhere for service.
4. Level of Training
For a medical practice who desires the use of an answering service, it is important to consider the level of training your call center offers their employees, as this is the first line of communication your clients will receive. It is imperative for them to have a basic understanding of medical terminology or at the least, the working terminology your practice uses. The communication experience between your practice and the call center must be seamless. This offers a higher level of quality service to your patients and paints your practice in a good light.
In the medical field, being HIPAA compliant is essential to keeping your practice within the bounds of the law. Organizations have the obligation to follow rules for safeguarding health information and to remain compliant. The Security Rule outlines the technical and administrative safeguards organizations should take protect data. The Security Rule applies only to electronic information. An example of this would be: server room doors should be locked and network access must implement authentication. If there is ever a data leak, or a security breach you have 60 days to notify affected individuals of the fact. If an excess of 500 records were breached, you’re required to notify the Department of Health and Human Services, which will then post the incident for all to see on its site.
So the bottom line is this: It is a huge PR nightmare that you had best avoid.
5. Security For You and Your Clients
The issue of security ties in with the aforementioned point and it is yet another pitfall that is critical to note. If you are outsourcing your answering service, they will have access to important business details and client information.
This can become problematic in the case of identity theft and other account information, especially if any type of billing is done over the phone.
In the age of rampant security breaches, by even the largest of organizations, feeling secure is important for keeping clients happy. Consider the well-being, security, and longevity of your business before opting to use a cookie cutter answering service. Saving a little bit of money is not worth the potential liability that can arising from insecure protocols and poorly trained representatives. Cutting corners is never a good idea and in the long run is certainly not worth the initial cost saved.
Pay a little extra for a customized quality answering service. The pros far outweigh the cost, not to mention the happiness of your patients, and the reputation of your business.
If you’re interested in a professional, HIPAA compliant custom answering service for your medical practice, look no further. Click the button to the right, fill out the form and we will provide you with a quote for service.