We've already looked at the factors to consider when calculating the ROI of hiring a medical answering service. But the success of your healthcare organization is about more than numbers; it's also about people. Cost aside, there's a human aspect to providing a great telephone experience for your callers and patients. Though this is much harder to evaluate than doing an ROI calculation, it's still important—perhaps even more important.
The volatile consumer mindset trickles into the healthcare industry. Although people aren't as likely to switch healthcare providers over the smallest of slights, as they might do with their dry cleaners, restaurants, or mechanics, they're still much more likely to jump ship now than they used to be.
Just as bedside manner is critical to nurture a positive provider-patient relationship, so too is a good phone manner. This includes you, your staff, and your medical answering service. Especially your medical answering service. This is because people who reach your answering service are often at a heightened emotional state. Therefore, they're more sensitive to how they're treated.
Here are three ways you can win when your calls are handled professionally by a leading medical answering service:
Existing Patients Saved
Whether it's a practice, clinic, or medical facility, gaining new patients is both challenging and expensive. For this reason, it's critical to keep the patients you already have. After all, it costs several times more to win new business than to retain existing business.
When you have the professionally trained staff at a medical answering service handling your calls for you, you make a great impression on every call. And it's essential to win every time because every call is an opportunity to keep the patient, a patient.
Make sure your answering service is part of your strategy to retain patients.
New Patients Gained
Just as impressions count with existing patients, they mean even more to prospective ones. When a potential patient calls, you only have one chance to make a first impression. You want to make it memorable—and for all the right reasons.
When a potential patient calls your organization, they may be intentionally looking to change healthcare providers, or they may be facing a critical situation in which they need answers fast and their current provider is unavailable or unresponsive.
The next few seconds can draw this potential patient into your organization to become a new patient. This isn't just one appointment or procedure. It's a lifetime of appointments and procedures.
Make sure your answering service is part of your strategy to gain patients.
Excellent Customer Service Provided
Sometimes people call who aren't a current patient or looking for a provider. They're calling for another reason. Perhaps it's to get information for someone else, or maybe they're a caregiver for one of your patients. Whatever the reason for their call, you have a chance to wow them. And if you impress them enough, they'll remember you when their present provider lets them down, and they realize it's time to make a switch.
Who will they call first? They'll call you, because of your phone excellence.
Make sure your answering service is part of your strategy for providing excellent customer service.
Trying to save a few pennies a day with a bargain-rate answering service doesn't make sense when you factor in the lifetime value of just one patient. When you hire the right answering service for your practice, clinic, or facility, you're not taking on a new expense; you're making an investment, an investment in your future. Make sure it's a good one.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.