You’re aware that it’s critical to have a real person answer your phone calls outside of regular business hours. You know that frustrating voicemail and unreliable answering machines will irritate your patients and callers, driving them away. But when it comes to answering your telephone, not any person will do. You must have the right person answer your phone calls.
This also means that not any medical answering service will do, either. You need the right medical answering service, one that hires the right people to do the right job. Just because someone likes to talk on the phone or has the gift of gab, doesn’t mean you can trust them with your important after-hours phone calls.
First, you want a person who represents your practice or clinic with a professional, above-reproach demeanor. While you also want someone with a personal approach, you don’t want someone who crosses the line and comes across as too personal. That’s not the right person to answer your phone calls.
This goes both ways. Just as someone can be too familiar, they can also be too distant, even cold. Neither extreme is good when it comes to answering your healthcare phone calls. Professionalism stands as the guiding paradigm in how to provide the proper level of personal interaction.
The solution is to seek a medical answering service with professional staff who understands the importance of the proper amount of personal interaction: not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
Next, you want the person who is your public-facing voice to be knowledgeable about the healthcare industry—and not some other industry. Though it isn’t feasible—or even wise—to have medically trained personnel answer your routine phone calls after hours, you do want telephone representatives who understand the healthcare industry.
The right person should be knowledgeable about medical terms and common procedures. By possessing a basic level of rudimentary familiarity with the provision of medical services, the worries of concerned patients, and how the healthcare industry functions, they can make the difference between a patient feeling heard and cared for versus not heard and dismissed.
A third critical consideration of the people who answer your after-hours phone calls is that the right person must be appropriate in what they say and how they communicate. The opposite, of course, is inappropriate. We’ve all squirmed under the agony of inappropriate telephone communication. You certainly don’t want to subject your patients to that.
Instead treat them to a telephone service representative who knows just what to say, how much to say, and the right way to say it. This will confirm to patients that their placing their healthcare concerns with the right medical provider and not in the wrong hands.
The right person answering your phone calls will produce the quality outcomes that align with your medical practice’s standards of excellence and your patients’ expectations. In the opposite way, having the wrong person answer your phone calls will drive patients and their business away. You, your practice, and your patients will suffer.
That’s why it matters who answers your patient phone calls. That’s why you need to go with a dedicated medical answering service that’s committed to quality. You want a provider with professional, knowledgeable, and appropriate staff.
This is the right person for you and completely the opposite of the picture in this post.