How did your telephone answering service perform for you this holiday season? Did they delight you with excellence? Or did they let you down? Too often, if they let you down once, they’ll do it again . . . and again . . . and again.
And to let you down during the holiday season—when you want to focus on your family and friends and not workplace problems—is the worst possible time to disappoint you.
Though your answering service could let you down in any number of ways, there are three key constituencies who their shortcomings effect: patients, staff, and you.
Healthcare answering services spend most of their time talking with your patients and your callers. Each telephone representative, on each call, has the opportunity to impress or dishearten your patients.
At a basic level, look at bad communication traits. These include reps who talk too fast, don’t speak clearly, or try to rush callers off the phone. It continues when they don’t listen, ask callers to repeat themselves, or put patients on hold repeatedly. Sometimes they hang up on callers—either by error or intention. But even worse is when they don’t answer the phone at all.
The result is angry patients. It’s also the primary way that they can let you down.
Yes, all these things have happened at sub-par answering services, but they shouldn’t occur. If you’re answering service specializes in producing angry patients, it’s time to find a new provider. Look for an accomplished healthcare answering service that will delight your patients and not drive them away.
The second group of people affected by your healthcare answering service is your staff. This is because they must deal with the aftermath of any problems your answering service causes. This can manifest in many ways, such as taking incomplete messages, documenting incorrect information, or not bothering to verify what they’ve typed into their computer.
They can also cause problems by dropping calls, reaching the wrong on-call person, or holding an emergency call for the office. Each one of these shortfalls causes extra work for your staff.
This results in upset employees, and rightfully so. Don’t subject your staff to the shortcomings of a bargain-priced answering service.
A third concern is the toll all this takes on you. You selected your current answering service, so their success is your success, and their failure is your failure. When angry patients vent their frustration on you, this directly confronts your selection of a provider. When upset staff walk in your office and close the door to discuss the “answering service problem,” you know they’re subtly blaming you.
When angry patients and upset staff dump their answering service frustration on you, the result is a discouraged you.
Don’t allow your answering service selection to let you down again. find a better solution now to avoid a repeat of this fiasco next year.