As a healthcare professional, you know there are many steps you can take to keep your patients returning to you to address their healthcare needs. Mishandling a healthcare situation or communicating disrespect to patients will push them away from your practice or clinic and toward another one. When that happens you lost a patient, both the opportunity to address their healthcare needs and to generate revenue from doing so. Instead, you want to keep patients coming back.
You and your staff work hard to serve your patients with excellence. Each interaction that every staff person has with the patient can serve to cement your relationship with them or drive them away. Words like efficiency, effectiveness, and empathy guide what you do throughout the day with every patient contact.
Despite this emphasis on quality service, many healthcare professionals fail to extend this vision for excellence outside the walls of their facility. They forget that their answering service represents them to their patients. They make the error of treating their answering service as a commodity, a cost to control, not an asset to cultivate.
Here are some ways a professional medical answering service can help you keep patients coming back.
An Answering Service Is Essential
Lest there be any doubt, being available for after-hours communication is vital for the patient-practitioner relationship. In today’s environment of lofty expectations and low patience, an unanswered phone call is lost business. At a minimum, a person must answer your phone around-the-clock. Technology—such as an answering machine or voicemail—is insufficient. You need a real person from answering service to handle every phone call when your office staff is unavailable to do so.
Quality Interactions Are Crucial
Having a person answer your phone calls is a great start, but it’s not enough. You need quality communication. Your best way to achieve these valued interactions is from a committed answering service that specializes in healthcare. A generic, all-purpose telephone answering service will almost always fail to meet patient expectations. Instead, you need a medical answering service with an exclusive focus on healthcare to keep patients coming back.
Invest in Your Answering Service
As we’ve already mentioned, don’t treat your answering service as a commodity or an expense to control. Instead, view them as the asset that they are. Your answering service is an integral part of your practice or clinic’s success. They are your after-hours representatives to your patients and to your community. In short, the right medical answering service can enhance all that you do during the day in your office or facility. Or they can detract from it, undoing much of the positive things you accomplished. Invest in your answering service because they’re facilitating your operation’s success.
Do Your Patients Dread or Delight Reaching Your Answering Service?
Ask some patients what they think about trying to contact you when your office is closed. Do they admit trying to hold off their phone call until the next business day? Or do they have a glowing appreciation for the prompt and professional ways your answering service treats them and their concerns when they call?
Your patients’ responses are telling. The right medical answering service or accomplished healthcare call center can make all the difference.
How to keep patients coming back? It starts—and ends—with professional telephone interactions from an accomplished medical answering service.
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.