When you work in healthcare, your reputation means everything. It takes years of training and hard work to build your professional image, but unfortunately, simple mistakes can have a negative impact that can be difficult to shake off. It can be heartbreaking for simple, administrative errors to harm the reputation that you have worked so hard to build. However, it is also understandable that when it comes to your patients’ health, they will always seek a provider that will make them feel comfortable, respected, and well taken care of.
There are many factors that determine your practice’s image beyond just your own medical work. Anything from the cleanliness of your office to your staff’s attitude can play a role in shaping your reputation, whether positive or negative.
One thing that many healthcare providers forget to take into account is the customer service that your practice provides. At the end of the day, medicine is fundamentally a customer service industry. From your first interaction with your patients to the moment you discharge them, you are striving to offer the best experience and care — this, at its core, is customer service. And in this day and age, telephonic customer service can be just as important as the care that your on-site staff provides when a patient visits your practice.
Virtual answering services allow you to set up a call center that will function in a fully remote manner, working with seasoned customer service operators who will be able to enhance your patients’ experiences and improve your image. These services can be customized to fit your needs exactly, and they will take a significant weight off your staff’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
Here are some of the ways in which a call center can upgrade your medical practice’s image.
Showing that you care about patients
It is important for patients to feel like their healthcare provider truly cares about their wellbeing. Ultimately, patients are choosing to place their health in your hands, an act which requires trust and puts them in a vulnerable position.
One way to repay their trust is to do everything you can to optimize your practice’s operations so that it is easier for you to provide top-notch medical care. As your practice adopts more effective strategies, the quality of your services will improve along with your patients’ satisfaction. A virtual answering service can be a key tool to achieve this, since it sets up an efficient team that will answer phone calls, send out reminders, schedule appointments, and more.
Allowing you to stay connected to your community
Every community has different needs, and it is part of your job as a healthcare provider to identify these needs and make adjustments to cover them. Some communities are very diverse, and they can benefit from having access to bilingual operators at your healthcare facility. Other communities have a large percentage of senior patients, who may find automated reminders useful so that they never forget about a medical appointment.
Remote call centers are flexible and offer a variety of services which you can customize according to your community’s needs. These adjustments may seem simple, but they can help you provide more efficient services to your community, improving their wellbeing and your practice’s image at the same time.
Ensuring that patients can always reach your practice
It can be very distressing for patients if they can’t reach you when needed. Although patients’ phone calls aren’t always an emergency, it is always better for all parties involved if communication is smooth and efficient.
Patients who call your practice will always be greeted by a remote operator who will handle their inquiry and ensure that they are satisfied, even after hours. In some cases, this could mean taking a message about a non-emergent situation and forwarding these messages to you once you are back at work. In other cases, they will even be able to transfer calls directly to your or a designated member of staff if necessary. Operators will follow these steps according to your own instructions. And soon, your patients will realize that you have put in extra effort to make sure that they always have someone to provide guidance.
Making it easier for patients to schedule an appointment
Setting up a medical appointment can be very difficult in some cases, and long wait lists can prevent patients from receiving adequate medical care. A virtual answering service can help improve this issue, since operators can schedule appointments quickly and take cancellations. Having an updated schedule can make it easier for you to reduce wait lists and make the most out of every minute you spend at the office.
Shorter wait lists are beneficial to patients, who won’t have to wait so long to receive the care that they need — and by doing this, you will also increase their satisfaction with your services.