Just like any other type of business, it’s very important for medical practices to devote time, attention, and resources to their customer service. Phone calls are a crucial part of customer service, and although they may seem like a simple task, they can often cause setbacks and overload for many healthcare organizations.
However, missed phone calls and long ring times can lead to unwanted consequences for your practice. Let’s talk about why long ring times hurt your medical practice and how you can change this.
The difficulty of maintaining a quick response
Medical practices are often bustling with activity and can even be somewhat hectic for all the medical professionals, staff, and patients involved. Phone calls are one of the main ways in which people communicate with their healthcare providers, but it can be difficult to answer every phone call on time when you’re also trying to care for patients on-site. That’s why it’s very common for medical offices to suffer from long ring times and a significant overflow call volume.
But even if this is understandable, it can have a significant negative impact on your patients’ experiences. It can be very frustrating to call your doctor’s office over and over again without getting a response, and in some cases, this can motivate patients to seek alternative arrangements from other healthcare providers.
Long ring times also contribute to a poor reputation, and instead of gaining new patients over time, you could find yourself in a dire financial situation. When patients are unhappy with the care they receive, it’s very likely that they will steer potential patients away from your practice and spread the word about these failings. A patient’s experience begins long before they enter your office — their first impression can be formed from the moment they call your practice to schedule an appointment.
How an answering service can solve this issue
Unlike on-site members of staff who need to handle a multitude of different tasks each day, call center operators devote their full attention to picking up phone calls. One of the great benefits of a medical answering service is that you can customize it and tailor it to fit your practice’s needs. For some practices, this could mean having operators pick up every phone call, while other organizations only need someone to help with overflow call volume during busy hours. You can also add other services, such as 24/7 answering services, automated reminders, and emergency preparedness plans.
Any medical practice can benefit from outsourcing a good call center. Operators who work at these answering services receive extensive training and have the required skills to ensure that your ring times will remain consistent, and that your patients will receive top notch service. Meanwhile, your on-site staff will be able to devote more attention to their daily tasks, which will create a smoother workflow for everyone working at your practice.
Over time, this seemingly simple addition will help create a better working environment, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce the risk of missed phone calls from your patients.