What Size Medical Answering Service is the Right Size?

When it comes to medical answering services, bigger isn’t always better. A larger size doesn’t imply better service or enhanced quality. In fact, it could be the opposite. Conversely, a smaller service might carry a different set of problems. Their scope is simply too small to operate efficiently.

Too Big: A large telephone answering service could have up to one hundred operators, or more, working at peak times. Why is this a concern? Consider the commotion of having that many people talking on the telephone at the same time. While this may be an efficient configuration, it might not be an effective one. There’s simply too much going on for them to give your account the focused attention it deserves.

With a larger size comes larger problems. This includes effectively managing staff, finding enough qualified employees, and challenges in providing quality.

Too Small: The antidote to a large operation, however, isn’t a small one. Small answering services have a different set of problems. Their staff simply lacks the depth needed to cover the demanding work schedule required and make effective adjustments to an unexpected influx of calls.

Whereas effective supervision is a problem at large telephone answering services, many small ones suffer from minimal or no supervisory oversight. This happens because they’re not big enough to afford around-the-clock supervision. This could mean each person or each shift is largely left on their own to do the work as they see fit. As a result some operators will do a good job and others won’t. And some shifts will excel, while others will struggle.

At a smaller operation, there’s also a temptation for operators to rely on their memory rather than enter information into their system. This becomes a problem when that person’s shift ends and someone else takes over. Information gets lost and miscommunication occurs.

Small is not the way to go.

Just Right: The ideal answering service is neither too large or too small. They smartly avoid the supervisory complications of too large and dodge the inefficiency issues of too small.

This middle ground is the ideal place. The midsized medical answering service can properly manage their staff, provide professional service, and operate at an efficient level.

How Can You Tell? Determining the size of a medical answering service, however, presents a challenge. There’s no sure way for you to measure size. However, there are some things you can do to find out if they’re the ideal fit.

First, ask them how big they are, and listen to what they say. More importantly listen to what they don’t say. That will be even more telling.

Also consider how they market themselves. If they talk about the benefits of being small, they’re likely trying to cover for the limits of their small size. If they talk about the benefits of their large scope, they’re probably trying to gloss over the challenges they grapple with from their hard-to-manage size.

Third, listen when you call. Do you hear background noise? Does the atmosphere seem filled with confusion? Does it sound like a circus? Do they have trouble finding the right person for you to talk to? These all hint at a large operation, one that struggles to manage it size. At a small answering service, however, people may often wear multiple hats. If the manager, salesperson, or bookkeeper also takes calls, this suggests a small operation, which lacks the depth needed to serve you with excellence.

Like Goldilocks, who searched for the perfect solution, you should look for the ideal size medical answering service: not too big, not too small, but just right. Then when you find the right size, you can rest easy.

Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your clinic or practice and get a free quote to find out just how affordable their critical communication services are. Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.