Can a virtual receptionist really help your office?

October 18th, 2008

This seems like an easy question but I realized I’m not clear on what this “back up” receptionist will do, and I like knowing about new options, features, or anything that might help make my life easier. Maybe many other people are curious about it as well, so what is a virtual receptionist? Is it online or the phone? Or both? Would it be helpful, cut costs, and keep people from being put on hold? I’ve heard those things and wanted to see for myself.

I searched around to see what features are offered and found out this online or automated (through the phone) program can really help out in a medical office. Actually, it’d be like having several assistants answering the phone because the program can talk to several patients at once. And it looks like this medical receptionist is always there at your front desk to answer the phone when the staff is busy or the office is closed. That part sounds good – everyone hates being on hold. The virtual receptionist can handle all those calls and sort out the emergency calls too.

So what else can this receptionist do? One big thing is to make those reminder calls. It’d be a better use of time to have this making those calls instead of your office staff that could be helping patients in the office, or taking more important calls. This would actually help the office and patients. I like getting a reminder for appointments, but it’s nice if it’s a computer that I can hang up on if I’m busy. I receive the call and remember, “Oh, yeah, that’s tomorrow.” And then I don’t need to stay on the line if I’m busy.

This reminder service probably cuts down on missed appointments, which should make the office happier! But it’s good for patients too. Don’t you have having to make another appointment because you’ve been busy and didn’t see it on the calendar?

Better yet, this receptionist can make appointments for patients. So they can call in and get through to something right away instead of waiting for someone to have time. That’s another great feature that makes it easier for patients to schedule their appointment. And if it’s easier to schedule, they’re more likely to make one. It can also pull patients to your office if they know you offer different options for making appointments and getting through when you need help.

Incorporating something new like this usually involves a lot of cost, but this really sounds like it’ll save money by being several employees at once and speeding up several different processes in the office. Since the office can help more patients at a time, with less employees, that’s going to make this an easy financial decision. If the benefits far outweigh the cost, it’s a good idea. And having a virtual receptionist sounds like a great idea since it helps your medical office and patients. I’m for that.

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