Archive for the tag 'CALL CENTER SERVICE'

The benefits of an automated virtual receptionist versus a call center live agent

December 5th, 2008

Call center is one of the most frequently heard complaints by small business owners or medical practices these days. And one of the most frequently heard complaints about call centers is that you can never make yourself understood.

Whether the company you are trying to reach has made call center outsourcing to Scotland, or Mexico, or Bangalore, having a simple conversation such as making, checking or cancelling an appointment can sometimes become a real hard task. This is no reflection on the person on the other end of the telephone, as doubtless anyone would have the same problem if they worked for a foreign company whose customers were based abroad.

Even if the call center is based on home soil, there is the potential obstacle of regional dialects and accents confusing both caller and operator, or human factors such as the receptionist having a cold, or a sore throat that may make them less intelligible.

However, the fact remains that in the current financial climate, a centralised medical answering service is a viable and sensible way to save your practice money. So why not cut out the risk of your patients not being able to make themselves understood through an automated virtual receptionist?

A virtual medical receptionist uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) software to speak to patients naturally, in their own language, and in a neutral accent. If you have used IVR in the past, you should know that speech-recognition technology has come a long way in the last few years in terms of the quality of IVR based self-service systems.

But perhaps one of the greatest advantages of a remote receptionist service is that it has back-up options.

If your patient calls a live agent call center and struggles to make themselves understood, they have little option but to get frustrated with the situation, slam the phone down and hope that when they try again – if indeed they do ever call again – they reach a different agent who might understand them better.

There is no such problem with a virtual receptionist, as they have a process to go through in the unlikely situation that your patient cannot make themselves understood.

On the rare occasion that the IVR software fails to communicate with a caller, perhaps when their medical complaint prevents them from speaking or hearing clearly, a virtual receptionist will firstly re-prompt the question and ask the caller to try and answer the question again.

If this fails, it will give the caller the option of entering the answer via the telephone keypad – something which in nearly all cases will solve the problem.

However, if for some reason they can still not get their message across, the patient will be immediately connected to a live staff person immediately.

There is even a backup to the backup.

Every call that is made to a virtual receptionist is detailed and recorded on the instant call log.

This log files all the details provided (name, phone number, time of and reason for call (i.e. emergency, appointment or voice-mail). Therefore if a patient is unable to be connected to live staff, someone can always call them back to resolve the situation.

Automated Answering Service is Medical Office’s Best Helper for the Holidays

November 30th, 2008


The holidays are a wonderful time for brightly colored lights, office parties and goodwill. It is also the time that your medical office receptionist and other staff members will want to take a big chunk of their vacation days off. They have worked hard for you all year round dealing with often chaotic office conditions. They need time off to rejuvenate and it’s the holiday season.

Holidays or no holidays, patients get sick and need to see you. You still need a medical office front desk receptionist, as well as other valued staff. Patients command attention. Appointments need to be made and tracked. Emergencies never seem to understand holidays. As the crunch comes, you have to juggle factors like who has seniority and who worked extra hours throughout the year to decide who gets what days off. All you really ever signed up for was to treat patients. This business management stuff is probably not your strong suit. I know it was new to me.

I would suggest moving to an automated medical receptionist as your answering service. This automated answering service will make appointments, answer phones, and coordinate many medical front desk issues. There are reliable remote receptionist services that can do reliably handle routine, but very important parts of your medical office operations.

Automated answering service will be any medical office’s best Helper, brought to you by modern technology!

No matter what you need to do in order to manage your office holiday vacation requests, a 24/7 back up receptionist can handle the appointment scheduling and keep your office running smoothly. You will have a virtual answering service, online appointment scheduler, automated reminder service and web-based backup technology to assist in those short staffed times. The right virtual medical office receptionist will give you the room to let your real receptionist take time. The programs work so efficiently and do so many office tasks that you may have to be reminded to schedule your medical receptionist for work after the new year!

A web-based doctor appointment scheduling service not only takes the hassle out of holiday vacation musical chairs, but it can be used all year round. Medical staff turnover is high in medical offices, especially the medical receptionist position. While you are trying to make everyone happy during the holidays, certain programs can lessen the load all year long. With mundane responsibilities taken off your medical staff’s shoulders, they are freed up to provide better patient care. Unhappy staff members project their displeasure onto patients; patients that may already be apprehensive about their care. When your staff is happy, they are better able to make patients feel welcome and important. Whether you realize it or not, patients that feel good about their care in turn, perceive you as a good doctor. While you may be the best doctor this side of Galen, patients must realize that you are a good doctor for it to matter. Happy patients mean healthier patients (and fewer lawsuits!).

When you have a medical assistant online all year, office staff can focus on patient care, the job detail that attracted them to medicine in the first place. Then by next holiday season, you will not be juggling so many schedules and maybe, just maybe, your remaining staff may not be so anxious to take time off!