As a medical practice, it’s important to be able to maintain a high level of satisfaction among your patients to ensure they are happy with their care and stay with you. When you work in the healthcare business, you need to maintain a high level of satisfaction among your patients to ensure that they’re happy with your care, and to increase your chances of having them return. After all, a healthcare business is still a business, and you need to be able to generate income to keep it running.
A high rate of customer retention can also be a valuable indicator of your patients’ satisfaction and loyalty, which signals a good medical performance on your end. In many cases, patients come to you during vulnerable times, and being able to provide a satisfying, compassionate, efficient, and safe experience for them is one of the markers of a great healthcare provider. Over time, a high level of customer satisfaction and retention among your patients can lead to a pristine reputation amongst your community, which can help your practice expand and grow.
If you are looking for ways to improve customer retention at your medical practice, your first step should be to find affordable strategies to improve your customer service in a manner that is sustainable in the long term. .
How can a call center improve your customer retention?
If you’ve never thought about setting up a virtual call center for your medical practice, it can be difficult to imagine all the benefits that these services can provide for you, your staff, and your patients. It may come as a surprise to discover the wide range of services that a virtual call center can provide; additionally, these services are efficient, affordable, and easy to set up.
Here are four ways in which a virtual answering service can increase your customer retention.
Way #1. Providing after hours customer service.
Many medical practices, especially smaller ones, don’t have a large staff covering the night shift. Depending on the services you provide, your practice may even be completely closed after a certain hour. But that doesn’t mean that patients won’t expect to be able to communicate with you, even if the lights are off.
Thankfully, your virtual answering service operators will answer phone calls 24/7, even when you and your staff are resting at home. They will answer inquiries and provide guidance according to your guidelines, and they will even be able to take messages or transfer calls whenever necessary.
Way #2. Ensuring that your practice will be available during emergencies and holidays.
Medical emergencies never take days off. In fact, it’s fairly common for accidents to occur during the holidays, since more people are home and performing home repairs. Natural disasters and emergencies can also increase the number of people requiring medical attention at the same time. However, these same circumstances can keep medical practices closed or make it more difficult for patients to communicate with you. This can lead to patients feeling uncared-for and helpless, and they may seek alternative care arrangements if they can’t communicate with you.
But a virtual answering service can easily eliminate this problem without any additional effort on your part. A virtual call center handled by remote operators will keep your medical practice open for scheduling, cancellations, and inquiries every single day of the year, even when you and your staff are enjoying a couple of days off.
Virtual answering services also make it easier for you to create a plan that allows you to get back to business in case of emergencies. If this happens, patients will be able to contact your office easily and you will promptly receive all their messages. This way, they won’t need to seek a different provider because they can’t reach your practice.
Way #3. Making sure that no call goes unanswered.
During peak business hours, it may be complicated for your staff to be able to pick up the phone every time it rings. Other times, they may forget to call patients back when necessary. But once a caller fails to communicate efficiently with your office several times, they will probably give up and search for a different medical practice that offers similar services. If this happens repeatedly, you could face losing a significant number of patients and a large amount of income.
Members of your on-site staff are probably already handling many other responsibilities, such as updating patients’ files or keeping your consulting rooms stocked with supplies. But virtual answering service operators will be able to devote themselves fully to handling your phone lines. They can perform many different tasks, such as scheduling appointments, taking cancellations, and answering questions to ensure that every caller receives the information that they need.
Way #4. Following up on each and every patient.
There are many reasons why you could need to follow up on patients everyday. From scheduling a new appointment to informing them that their lab results are back, it’s normal to make multiple phone calls a day. And if your staff forget to make important calls, your patients’ satisfaction could be heavily impacted.
But thanks to your new remote call center, no follow up calls will be missed. If a patient needs to talk to you or another member of your staff to clarify anything, operators will be able to redirect calls to ensure your patients’ satisfaction and maintain a high standard of care.