7 Ways to Improve Service for Incoming Calls at Your Medical Office
As pandemic restrictions ease up, your medical office may be overwhelmed with patients. While this is great for business, you want to maintain your high levels of customer service. Ensuring your patients receive excellent care in your office is just as crucial as ensuring incoming calls receive the same quality of care. You can accomplish this with a medical office voicemail greeting and other tips we’ll share with you. We’ve helped many medical office clients and have an effective customer service system that keeps your patient happy.
Why Improve a Medical Office Voicemail Greeting
How long should you wait for a doctor to return a phone call? A medical office’s phone system is an essential form of communication between a doctor and a patient. In a busy office with many incoming calls, the reflexive solution is to add more phone lines with staff ready to take calls in the back office. While this may seem like the right solution initially, it does not address the root of the problem.
There are many reasons why patients call a doctor’s office. It may be the only way for patients to schedule appointments, refill authorizations, or gain clarification on directions given during a recent visit. However, adding more telephone lines and transferring calls to the back office may hide the following issues:
- The greeting may be too long and complicated.
- Call volume may be higher if they call back before receiving a response to the first call.
- The average call length is long.
- The staff hasn’t been trained to gather the correct information promptly.
How to Deliver Great Customer Service Over the Phone
Now that we’ve addressed some underlying issues of delivering consistent customer service over the phone, we can discuss how to make improvements. Your medical office greeting is your first point of contact with your patients when they call. You want to ensure that it is uncomplicated and efficient at guiding your patients with the best information. To make sure your patients end up in the right place when they call, follow these tips:
- Improve the phone greeting – When it comes to medical office greetings, we recommend keeping it simple. Most calls will fall into a few categories: physician or hospital calls, pharmacy calls, patients looking for the provider, or patient requests of the medical staff. For best results, we suggest ordering the options concerning the volume of calls you receive. If you’re not unsure of how to create a greeting, there are a number of medical office voicemail greeting examples available online.
- Fewer rings – No one likes to wait forever to leave a message, including patients calling into a doctor’s office. If they’re looking to leave a voicemail anyway, you don’t want to make them wait too long. By reducing the number of rings before the voicemail comes on, you increase your medical office’s efficiency.
- Set expectations – How long should you wait for a doctor to return a phone call? When your patients leave a voicemail, they should have an idea of how long it will take to get a response in the medical office phone message script. By managing your patient’s expectations, they will know when to expect a callback and won’t call again before that time has passed. This information should be included in your medical office voicemail greeting as well as in-person information given to new patients.
- Train staff – Implementing improvements in your phone operation efficiency is no good without trained staff. They should be familiar with the medical office phone message script when they are answering phones. When training staff, you should emphasize courteousness and attentiveness while maintaining a businesslike and task-oriented phone demeanor. If any phone calls require action from your unauthorized staff or when a patient calls with a complaint, be sure they capture the relevant information needed for other staff members to fill their requests. Whoever answers the phone should inform callers when they can expect a response, and those immediate responses may not be possible.
- Patient communication portal – One of the most convenient ways to maintain patient satisfaction is by implementing a secure website to serve as a patient portal. A patient portal will allow patients to send messages directly to their provider from a list of topics similar to the medical office voicemail greeting.
- Educational materials – After each encounter, you can provide informational materials and, if applicable, mention where the materials are on the website. When patients have routine questions, these materials conveniently address general concerns and lesson time spent fielding phone calls.
- Visit summaries – Another important resource is a patient summary. It’s an effective way to anticipate general questions from a patient’s visit and a way for them to maintain a record. A summary will also help to minimize calls for clarification.
When a Patient Calls with a Complaint
No medical office wants dissatisfied patients. You should train your staff to handle patient complaints. Here are a few tips on how to handle complaints:
- Recognize the problem.
- Acknowledge their issue and frustrations.
- Listen actively to what they say.
- Clarify and confirm your understanding of their issue.
- Find out what the patient wants.
- Share information and recommend alternatives.
- End the call confidently.
We Can Help Your Medical Office
You won’t have to worry about sifting through medical office voicemail greeting examples or creating a medical office phone message script when you partner with us. Our live 24-hour business phone answering services can handle when a patient calls with a complaint and provide the guidance they need to keep your business running. We make it easy for you to focus on providing your patients with exceptional care while we handle your call volume.