Do you ever feel like your answering service doesn’t give your practice the attention you deserve? Maybe it’s the lackluster way they answer your phone calls. Perhaps it’s giving out incorrect information to your patients. Or could it be that they take incomplete messages? This shows they have a lack a focus on your practice.
Do you ever wonder what their employees are doing when your phone rings? Are they fixing their hair, doing their nails, or blowing bubbles? Yes, we know that chomping gum is unacceptable in a professional customer service situation, but it does happen.
It shouldn’t, however, happen to you. Maybe it’s time to evaluate your answering service and make sure they have a true focus on the needs of you and your practice. Here are some key ways to make that determination.
A Professional Answer
Each time your answering service answers one of your calls, they make a first impression for that interaction. What they say and how they say it can make the difference between a successful outcome and a communication failure.
They should say the name of your practice clearly and with confidence. A mumbled greeting is unacceptable. They need to speak at an appropriate level: not too loud and not too soft.
Your callers should never have to guess if they reached the right number. If they’re unsure, that means your answering service failed to properly answer your phone. It means they have a lack of focus on your practice. You deserve better.
Give Out Correct Information
Just as most websites have an FAQ section, you should equip your answering service with instructions on how to respond to questions that your patients and callers commonly ask. The details vary from practice to practice, but the essential requirement is that they have this information and correctly share it when appropriate.
What’s frustrating is when you provide this information, and they fail to deliver it when needed. Either they never checked, or they don’t care. But the root causes a lack of focus on your practice.
What’s even worse is when a patient asks a question that your answering service isn’t prepared to answer, and they wing it. Instead of saying they don’t know, they make something up. They tell the caller what sounds good, may seem like common sense, or is what they sense the caller wants to hear. Regardless, this represents miscommunication and a failure to give your practice the focus it deserves.
Take a Complete Message
We’ve addressed answering your phone calls and giving out information, which covers the beginning and the middle of the interaction. How well does the call end? Does your answering service take a complete and accurate message from your callers? Or do they take shortcuts because they’re in a rush to end the call?
It doesn’t matter if they’re in a hurry to answer another call or if they want to get back to filing their nails. The result is a bungled message, and you pay the price. This comes from your staff needing to work harder to respond and a loss of confidence by your patient in your practice’s abilities.
Focus on Your Practice Conclusion
Though you don’t know what happens at your answering service, you can make an informed guess based on their results. If they fall short in how they answer, give out information, or take messages, they have a lack of focus on your practice.
Don’t pay for their attention deficit. Switch to a client-first medical answering service that places their focus on your practice.