It is very frustrating for patients to call your medical practice and don’t get through. Perhaps the line rang without anyone picking it or rang and hung up. This is a very frustrating experience for patients especially when they are calling in for assistance during an emergency. They are most likely going to end up calling another practice. Read on to discover some of the situations when patients can’t reach your customer service line.
A medical practice doesn’t necessarily have to operate around the clock. However, it pays to have a 24/7 customer service. This allows connecting with patients after official business hours, on public holidays, and weekends. Patients can encounter various situations that require talking to their doctor. Additionally, some patients are too busy and only get some free time after business hours. It is important that you make an effort to ensure that you guarantee that patients can reach your customer service line all the time.
Not using an answering service
Using a professional answering service is part of medical practice management. Apart from helping with customer communication, an answering service forwards important messages to the appropriate physician during an emergency. The ideal answering service usually offers a medical practice a designed customer service line. It is very important to ensure that the number is always available for patients calling your practice.
When looking for doctors answering service, put call forwarding at the back of your mind. The company should have the capacity to forward calls to the appropriate physician for patients to connect during an emergency. Additionally, the agency should have trained and experienced call agents that route calls correctly and to forward calls remotely to the right individuals. The agency should also schedule appointments with physicians and patients appropriately to avoid appointment no-shows.
Phone is off the hook
When you allow in-house staff to handle phone calls, there is a likelihood of leaving the phone off the hook. These employees usually handle a lot to handle making them unable to remember putting the phone back on the hook. Callers to your practice are likely to hear a busy signal or beeping sound. You might take long to realize why your call rates have drastically reduced. Checking the phone several times might not help much unless you allow a professional answering service to take control.
Not paying the phone bill
Managing a medical practice involves various expenses including the phone bill. However, some periods of shortages might see you forgetting to pay the phone bill. Well, this leaves your customers without a means to get to your customer service. When patients call, they are likely to hear a message telling that them they are calling a non-working number.
Perhaps you forgot to pay the toll-free number, virtual number provider, VoIP telecom provider, or main business line. Patients are obviously going to hang up and call another practice. Apart from losing customers you are likely to end up with significant reputational damage.
Using a mobile number
Perhaps your practice is just starting up. Well, in an effort to cut costs, you might decide to use your mobile number for the business. However, you are likely to lose more in the long run than you are saving in the short run. When moving, there is a possibility of reaching places with poor reception for the mobile telecom service. This is going to make it hard for callers to go through.
Phone line experiencing problems
Various problems might make your phone line go down including power outages, storms, and internet shortage when using a VoIP phone. With your phone line experiencing problems, patients are less likely to go through to your customer service. Fortunately, an answering service can allow patients unlimited access to customer service. The answering service usually has a backup plan even for such eventualities.
Having a single line
When having a single customer service line which is always busy, patients will find it hard to talk to their physician. All incoming calls are likely to join a queue, be directed to voicemail or hear a message telling them that the line is busy. Frustration is likely to set in for patients who need immediate assistance. To ensure that this doesn’t happen,outsourcing call answering to a professional agency is a smart move.
The answering service has the capacity to handle all calls. This limit call overflow and prevents customers hanging up and calling another practice. The ready availability of your customer service will maximize customer satisfaction to encourage repeat customers. With this, you will notice a significant improvement on your bottom line.
Avoiding calls by picking and hanging up
Managing a medical practice requires effort especially when for startups. Perhaps you usually get bogged down with various tasks making you neglect others. Too much work might make you try to dodge calls by picking up the phone and hanging up. It is okay not to feel like talking sometimes but you should when looking forward to getting your business off the ground. You risk losing out on potential customers and repeat business.
Efficient management of a medical practice requires outsourcing call answering to professionals. Fortunately, outsourcing an answering service is affordable but helps avoid some of the pressure that comes with handling patients in a medical practice.