Medical answering service keeps patients happy

October 29th, 2008

Many medical providers are starting to recognize that delivering quality customer service to patient and prospects in the healthcare industry is more complex than it used to be. Most patients prefer the ability to speak with live front desk receptionists when possible. The live receptionist has the best ability to offer a personalized service solution to the customer. However, in many practices that are overwhelmed with more traffic than the receptionist can handle, patients are being placed on hold or having to wait to have their concerns addressed. In these situations, patients would clearly rather have their needs handled immediately by a best in class technology solution such as a virtual answering service.

Through a top of the line virtual answering service, a medical practice can set up a call transfer on “busy” or on a “no-answer” incoming call. This enables the medical practice to offer the most optimized customer service solution available to consumers. When available, the live receptionist answers the telephone. When busy or not at the desk, the virtual answering service steps in as the backup receptionist. This way, patients can have immediate or basic needs met quickly. Some patients simply need to make an appointment. The virtual 24/7 medical answering service can manage this process quickly and efficiently. Other times, patients need immediate help in an emergency. The virtual answering service can quickly connect these callers with the right emergency contacts.

Customer service has certainly taken on a new meaning in today’s fast-paced, immediate gratification culture. People are just as concerned with efficient service as they are personalized service. The internet economy has ingrained consumers with the mindset that convenience and concise service are equivalent to quality personalized service, at least when compared with inattentiveness as the alternative. Customer relationships are undoubtedly still a key to long-term medical practice success. A moderate up front investment in a high-tech virtual answering service is a good addition to a complete customer retention program.

Medical emergencies can be traumatic for people, or those close to them who help out. A medical answering service can connect callers to the doctor or provider without any delay. The same cannot always be said about human service providers. Human receptionists sometimes struggle to relay a patient’s message. The patient then must wait for the doctor to call back.

Another benefit of the virtual answering service is that it is a 24/7 medical answering service. This means that patients can now call and schedule appointments or get immediate support after hours. Previously, many medical practices had not after-hours response system and callers simply had to leave voice messages that likely did not get returned until the next day of operation. The 24/7 medical answering service is the answer to many of the customer service challenges faced by medical practices looking to compete in the new economy. It can also be a great support as a backup receptionist to the overwhelmed receptionist who deals with patients and also needs to complete necessary insurance claims.

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