In your search for an ideal medical answering service, you want one that excels in professional communication. This means that they aren’t too friendly, as well as not friendly at all. There’s a delicate balance that only the best medical answering services can achieve, not too hot and not too cold, but just right.
Just as you don’t want an answering service that is too friendly, you don’t want one that is not friendly at all. To help you gauge if your answering service is just right, here are some questions to ask to help determine if you have an answering service that is not friendly.
Do They Lack Empathy?
Just as a good bedside manner is critical for healthcare providers, it’s equally important for your telephone answering service. When a patient calls, they deserve a listening ear and empathetic response.
Even if it’s the third call in a row that this telephone representative has taken about a baby with an elevated temperature, it’s the first call for the concerned mother. She deserves empathy, but an answering service that is not friendly will treat her urgent concern with dispassionate detachment.
You want better and your patients deserve better.
Are They Cold and Distant?
Some people wrongly assume that professionalism requires them to keep patients at a distance and treat them with clinical coolness. Yet this is exactly what the concerned caller or worried patient doesn’t want. They seek someone who will listen, understand, and react appropriately.
Though their situation may be routine to your answering service, it’s not routine for your patient. It’s urgent. It may be an emergency. And even if your answering service suspects this is not the case, it’s no time for them to erect a wall of apathy, keeping the patient at arm’s length. Yet this is exactly what the not friendly staff at some answering services do.
Is Their Communication Stiff?
A third related example of an answering service that is not friendly is one that is unnecessarily formal and communicates with detached indifference. They function with a robotic, machine-like disinterest.
But they’re wrong to do so. Your patients are people, not machines. They have a healthcare concern to address, not a problem to repair. Yet this wrong approach is the hallmark of an answering service that hires staff who are not friendly.
This is not how you want your answering service to represent you and you should avoid one who acts this way.
Just as a medical answering service can error on the side of being too friendly, they can make the opposite mistake and not be friendly at all. You want a medical answering service that conveys empathy, avoids being cold and distant, and prohibits stiff communication.
Seek a professional medical answering service that finds an appropriate middle ground when it comes to friendliness. Not too friendly. Not friendly enough. But one that is just right.