When most people select a telephone answering service, their first question looks at answering service cost. This is the wrong approach and leads to disappointing results in most all cases. The only people pleased by selecting a low-cost answering service are those who don’t care about their callers’ experience. Yet with this perspective, why not just use voicemail?
The real reason most medical answering service clients focus on price is because it’s something they understand. They’re comfortable talking about it, so it becomes their focus. What they’re really concerned about, however, is how the answering service will treat their patients and how well the service will handle their routine and emergency calls. This should be the focus and not cost.
Here are some reasons why fixating on answering service cost is the wrong approach.
Low-Cost Providers Must Cut Corners
If you select a low-priced answering service, know that to stay in business, they must keep their expenses low. This means they’ll cut corners. They can’t charge what they charge and still cover other expenses, such as they would incur by trying to provide a full-service solution. As a result, they must streamline their processes and force their clients to fit into their procedures, not providing customized solutions to meet each client’s exacting needs.
Another area they scrimp on to save money is on their equipment and system software. They may be running their service on an old platform because it’s cheaper. This means it’s more subject to problems and less likely to offer the advanced features today’s medical practices expect.
A final area of cost-cutting—and the biggest—is on staff compensation. If they charge you 10 percent less than someone else, expect that they pay their staff 10 percent less too. This makes it hard for them to attract and keep quality employees.
Quality Costs More
Achieving call excellence starts with staff. The people who answer phone calls are the backbone of any answering service. To attract the best people, leading medical answering services pay their staff more. And to keep the best employees, they offer more benefits and provide regular raises. This costs money, and their rates reflect it.
You Get What You Pay For
If you pay for a cheap service, you’re going to realize a corresponding low level of service. If you pay a bit more for quality medical answering service, you’re going to achieve far better outcomes. How much more might you pay? How much better might the results be?
A small difference of 10 to 25 percent in answering service cost can make a huge difference in the answering service quality you experience. And this is a small premium to pay when it comes to keeping your patients happy and using your healthcare services—and not somebody else’s.
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.