Do You Want a Vendor or a Partner Answering Your Phone?

answering service partners

What do you look for in a medical answering service? What are the things that matter most to you and your practice? Many medical practitioners struggle to answer these questions. Instead, they default to something they can quantify, something they understand: money. 

As a result, they shop for an answering service based on price. The lowest cost of service gets their business. This approach, however, is shortsighted. At best, the lowest cost provider will become your answering service vendor. At worst, the lowest cost provider will drive away patients, damage your reputation, and hurt your bottom line.

That’s why you need to select a medical answering service that will become your business partner—not in a legal sense but from a functional perspective. In contrast to a vendor, a partner will help you retain patients, bolster your reputation, and improve your bottom line.

Vendor Versus Partner

If the distinction between business vendor and answering service partner doesn’t resonate with you, let’s do a comparison.

An answering service vendor is someone who answers your phone for a fee. It’s straightforward. Each call is a business transaction, nothing more. Contrast this to a medical answering service partner. Yes, they still answer your phone, and they still charge a fee, but there’s more to it. As a partner, your medical answering service works with you to achieve a common goal. They know that the only way for them to succeed is to help you succeed. That’s the difference between a vendor and an answering service partner.

Let’s recast this vendor versus partner discussion. Do you want patients who view you as a healthcare vendor, someone who works fast and charges less? Or do you want your patients to view you as a healthcare partner, someone who puts their best interest first, someone who only succeeds when they successfully meet your healthcare needs?

Vendors Handle Transactions 

A vendor looks at each phone call as a business transaction, a way to make money. The profit motive that each one of your phone calls represents is what drives them. It focuses all they do and how they do it. They seek to maximize the billable nature of every phone call, while at the same time trying to squeeze more phone call transactions into every hour.

Their answering service becomes a call-processing factory, cranking through as many calls as they can in as short of time as possible. And if quality issues arise, they’ll deal with them after the fact. But they hope you won’t notice their shortcomings and errors.

Partners Promote Relationships

Having a medical answering service as your partner gets away from the standard mentality of maximizing output and billable work. Your medical answering service, as your medical answering service partner, wants to work with you to achieve your goals of serving your patients with excellence, both today and in the future. That way you retain them as patients and your medical answering service retains you as a client, a valued partner of your practice. 


If you want to cut costs and don’t care about call quality, go with an answering service vendor. However, if your patients’ well-being and your practice’s viability matter to you, be sure to select a medical answering service that will work with you as your practice’s partner.

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.