What happens to your phone calls once you and your staff leave your practice each evening? Who answers your phone? The truth may surprise you. Someone like the lady in the above picture may be answering your patients’ after-hours phone calls. Is this who you want representing your business and answering calls for your medical practice?
She, and a raft of people just like her, may provide the public-facing voice of your practice when you’re closed. Though she and her friends may do an acceptable job, it’s more likely that they fall short in the professionalism department.
It’s a proven fact that people who dress professionally, tend to behave professionally. Conversely, those who are sloppy in their appearance, tend to be sloppy in their work. When it comes to your patients and the image that your practice projects, professionalism is key. Healthcare has no room for sloppiness, and that includes your telephone answering service.
This is the reason why the best medical answering services place lofty expectations on the appearance of their staff. Even though these people seldom meet their healthcare clients in person and may never do a video chat with your patients, looking their best carries into their work and helps them do their best as they’re answering calls for your medical practice.
Your healthcare business benefits as a result.
Did you know that you can hear a smile? It’s true. People who smile while talking on the phone come across as more engaging. They’re easier to talk to. Callers rate interactions with these smiling telephone representatives as higher than their non-smiling counterparts, even if they say and do the same things.
For this reason, telephone professionals sometimes place a mirror at their workstation to remind them to smile as they’re answering calls for your medical practice.
They realize that their callers can hear the difference, and this helps produce positive outcomes. Though some people naturally smile, others need periodic reminders. Yet it’s hard to imagine the woman in this picture ever smiling. This means her callers never receive the elevated level of service that they expect and deserve.
Readiness Is Key
What else do you notice about our friend in the picture? The cigarette, of course. Though smoking was once commonplace at answering services—just as with most every other business in that day—it’s much less likely to occur now than it once did.
Aside from the unprofessionalism and health risk, the point, at least in this instance, isn’t smoking. It’s having her mouth occupied while she’s trying to talk on the phone. Today’s answering service employee may not smoke at work, but do they eat at their workstations?
With many answering services—just as with the healthcare industry—pushing their employees to do more in less time, work too often pushes aside breaks and food. As a result, the harried employee seeks to work and eat at the same time.
The result is hard-to-understand telephone representatives who quickly gulp down their food as they’re saying hello and try to talk and swallow at the same time. And what if their effort to multitask with their mouth causes them to cough?
These events show disrespect for callers and patients. Equally unacceptable is that this thwarts effective communication. This is not what you want to have happen with the people answering calls for your medical practice.
The Next Step
Hopefully, you’re now convinced that you don’t want this woman answering calls for your medical practice. Guess what? She and her ilk don’t work for us.
We carefully screen, hire, and train our employees to provide you with the best possible service. This means that they look and act professionally, provide a smiling voice to your patients, and are ready to give each of your callers 100 percent of their focus.