Technology has not only transformed the way we live our lives, but it has dramatically changed expectations for service. We live in an era of unparalleled instant gratification. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to go to your local library to find the dates of the French Revolution, or you had to call your mother for advice on getting red wine stains out of the carpet. Now you can unlock your phone and find the answers in seconds on Google.
The digital revolution has added speed and convenience for businesses and the consumer public alike, but it has also resulted in a shift in expectations, especially when it comes to services. Patients expect instant connectivity, and as a healthcare provider running a practice, you simply may not have the resources to accommodate. You can’t be on-call 24/7, after all. However, a medical call center can. How can this third party help you to live up to expectations? By answering the phone after hours and doing so much more.
There are two potential problems with medical offices that don’t partner with an answering service. The obvious concern is what happens when patients need medical assistance after-hours. Medical issues don’t fall between the convenient hours of 9 and 5 – they happen around the clock.
As a healthcare provider, you’d probably rather not field calls in the middle of the night, especially for non-emergency questions or concerns. However, patients that are worried about a medical condition may not be able to wait until your office opens in the morning, and they can’t get the information they need from your voicemail.
An answering service helps to meet both doctor and patient needs. Operators provide a live person for patients to speak with and these professionals can either offer information or direct calls according to need. This means that patients get the comfort and care they need, while you only receive after-hours calls when completely necessary.
Answering services don’t just answer calls when your office is closed. They also manage your overflow during high-volume hours. This round-the-clock service ensures that your office never misses an important call or leaves patients on hold. A patient with a simple question can get the answer from a trained operator, instead of waiting on hold for 15 minutes until a qualified individual in the office can pick up the line.
This not only helps to meet patient expectations, but it also frees up staff to attend to the patients in the office that need personal care. When patients feel like they have to schedule a visit, it’s because they’re dealing with medical concerns they can’t address on their own. The last thing they want is to sit in a crowded waiting room for hours only to get shuttled in and out of the exam room in a whirlwind.
An answering service increases the speed and efficiency of a medical practice and adds convenience for patients and staff alike. Medical practices that want to meet new expectations in an increasingly digital world need to provide the connectivity that satisfies customers and relieves the burden on office staff. This is best accomplished by hiring an answering service to handle overflow and after-hours calls.