In today’s competitive healthcare environment, when your phone rings you better be ready to answer it. If you don’t, it’s possible you’ll never get a second chance. In a society that seeks instant answers, patients will often hang up and phone someone else. That’s where a 24/7 medical answering service fits in.
Don’t assume patients will call back if you’re not able to answer the phone. And don’t subject them to the automation of voicemail or the unprofessionalism of an answering machine. That will drive them to someone else who answers their call with a real person.
Consider these benefits of 24/7 medical answering service:
Always Available: Gone are the days when your patients will be willing to wait until regular business hours to phone you. Instead they’ll call when they have time. They’ll call when they have a need. They’ll call when they can squeeze it in. And they expect you’ll be available whenever they decide to reach you. Whether it is 7 a.m., 10 p.m., or 3 in the morning, you need to be ready to answer when they phone. And that’s where 24/7 medical answering service fits in. Always available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 52 weeks-a-year, they’re ready any time your phone rings.
Personal Touch: Patients want a real person to talk to when they call. Though they may tolerate the automation of voicemail or the mechanics of an answering machine, they won’t be pleased. Before their first in-person interaction with you, they’ve already formed a negative impression of your organization.
The personal touch of a 24/7 medical answering service is what they desire. Are you ready to provide what they want?
Professional Quality: Not only do callers want a personal touch, they also expect professional-grade quality with each interaction. Sending a professional message to them over the phone prepares them to view your entire organization as professional.
A failure to communicate a professional image from the onset, that first phone call, will make it harder for them to perceive that you provide them with professional healthcare services.
HIPAA Compliant: Though most medical answering services claim to be HIPAA compliant, not all are. Don’t trust the security of your patient’s personal health information to just any answering service. Verify they’re HIPAA compliant, and only after you’re satisfied they meet today’s stringent security requirements should you trust them to handle your patients’ personal information.
Retain Patients: It doesn’t take much for today’s self-focused consumers to switch their alliances at the smallest of slights. The same holds true for healthcare. And if their disappointment happens at their first contact, they’re poised to call someone else. Though everyone in your organization is tasked with retaining patients, the first point of contact—the telephone—is often the most critical.
That’s why having a professional medical answering service is essential. And when you consider the lifetime value of each patient, you can’t afford to lose a single one of them.
Lifetime Value: A missed phone call doesn’t represent the potential to lose one appointment, but it signifies a lifetime of healthcare interactions with that patient. As a result, one mishandled phone interaction can have enormous financial impact on your organization’s revenue that spans many years, or more likely, many decades.
To realize these essential elements from an answering service, don’t go with any medical answering service, but seek an advanced answering service that focuses on healthcare providers, is 100 percent US-based, and only employees fully trained experience staff to handle your calls.
That’s a 24/7 medical answering service you can’t pass up.
Learn more about essential health care communication services from MedConnectUSA and get a free quote to find out just how affordable these critical communication services are. Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.