The Value of Live Phone Answering Services

The Value of Live Phone Answering Services

In an increasingly impersonal world of texting, social media and email, communication by telephone is still one of the best ways to make a great and lasting impression with a client, from a distance. Email is quick, easy and fluff free. You don’t have the extraneous niceties that go along with a phone conversation. Society today has moved from being able to have a conversation in public to walking around with our faces glued to our mobile devices.

When you have a business like a medical practice that deals with very intimate parts of a persons life, a friendly phone conversation, however brief, makes all the difference. Live answering services that serve medical practitioners have a unique kind of business in that it involves helping human beings in need of a most essential service. It is true a medical practice is a business. Many people don’t like thinking of it in that way, but your practice has the same expenses as any other business, especially when you consider the potential for higher insurance costs. These are all operating expenses in a business that, while caring for people and their needs, still needs to turn a profit in order to keep the lights on.

Live Answering Services – First Impressions Last

first-impressions-improved-with-phone-callWhen a patient  calls in, a friendly voice, rather than automated and impersonal answering prompts, gives a vastly superior experience. It takes on average, 12 more positive experiences to outweigh one negative. Answering calls promptly and with compassion does a lot to solidify trust. According to a survey commissioned by American Express, it was found that close to 60% of Americans would leave for a competitor purely to experience better customer service.

A patients impressions during those first interactions with staff or an answering service are a significant factor in their overall perception and satisfaction with the office. Poor phone service and ill-equipped staff are the main contributors to problems that patients experience when dealing with a medical practice.

According to Press Ganey, a patient experience company, they sampled close to 3 million patients and found that patients continually express negative experiences and difficulty in the appointment scheduling and overall helpfulness  appointments by staff. The lack of prompt service and not returning phone calls further alienated patients from practices.

Interactive & Confidential

In cases where confidential issues or sensitivity is required, a live phone conversation makes all the difference. Taking the time to call a patient rather than send an impersonal text, carries far more weight because it is more sincere. Conversations between two people create bonds and foster loyalty that a text message simply cannot do. There is a benefit to using text messages and email and it has its place. However, for situations that demand confidentiality, like scheduling a lab result or tests, confirmation of appointments and scheduling, the personal touch of a phone call is beneficial and desired by most people.

Friendliness Doesn’t Cost Anything

Experts recommend that the person answering your phone needs to convey a relaxed, friendly tone to patients calling in. Dealing with patients who call to schedule appointments is different than dealing with a customer who purchased a product. The receptionist is often times dealing with people who are sick. Being friendly is just common sense, yet few medical practices can control the quality of their staffs demeanor when answering calls. A busy practice should not be an excuse to answer the phone in an unfriendly tone. This sends a message to the patient that they’re not important and gives them a glimpse of the kind of care they may receive.

The Decision to Outsource Your Phone Answering Services

oursoure-phone-answering-service-for-doctorsMost doctors offices have enough to deal with than worry about the quality of phone calls being answered. It is an arduous task to manage all aspects of a medical practice but keeping your phones ringing requires that the patients who do call in, come back! Outsourcing your call answering services to a professionally trained team will not only save your practice money, but also offer services that you may not be in a position to offer your patients.

Medical answering services must operate at a much higher level than your typical call center. Customized solutions will offer your patients a seamless experience and with well trained staff, the transition may never be noticeable. Appointment scheduling is handled efficiently and staff who are trained to understand the procedures of your practice will set your mind at ease.

The entire business of a call center revolves around answering phones and facilitating prompt communication. If this is the bread and butter of an organization, their levels of quality are going to far exceed that of a rushed receptionist who is trying to multi-task and deal with cranky patients in the waiting room. This is assuming that you’ve outsourced to a reputable operation.

24/7 Availability

In many instances there is a great value associated with being able to have all calls answered, any time of the day or night, never sending your patients to voicemail. The desire for around the clock availability will only increase in time and many businesses are seeing the benefit. No longer do you have to worry about scheduling staff to cover what may amount to a handful of phone calls after hours. Instead, when you pay per call answered, this makes more financial sense than covering the wages for someone to man a desk and wait for phone calls. If the call center is worth their salt, the transition is merely an extension of your office and seamless.

The upside to being available 24/7 is also for emergencies. If your practice has someone available at all hours of the day to take a call, this brings added comfort, knowing that someone will always be there.


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