Have you ever called the doctor and been met with an automated message? The answer is, most likely, yes. Many doctor’s offices use automated messages to streamline calls from their patients and collaborators.
You might be wondering: what is a doctor’s answering service? What are the advantages of using a doctor’s answering service? How does a doctor’s answering service help patients?
There are many benefits of using a doctor’s answering service. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you why you should use a doctor’s answering service for your practice.
What Is a Doctor’s Answering Service?
A doctor’s answering service is an automated messaging system that answers the phone when someone calls a doctor’s office. This messaging service is the first thing people hear before an actual receptionist or nurse.
A doctor’s messaging service will provide the caller with several options to select before they speak to a real person. The caller must select their reason for calling so that Who can direct them to the right place.
These reasons typically include:
- Calling to confirm an appointment
- Calling to cancel or reschedule an appointment
- Calling to get a refill of a prescription
- New patient scheduling the first appointment
- Inquiring about insurance coverage and payment policies
- Seeking quick medical advice
Some of these options require that the caller speaks to a real person, and some of them do not. In addition, some of them require that the caller be transferred to a specific department in a hospital or doctor’s office.
An answering service can also present some basic information at the beginning of the call if the person calling has a straightforward question.
For example, if someone calls to find out the hours of practice, the answering service can provide that information without needing to talk to anyone.
Who Does It Help?
Doctor’s answering services help both patients and workers. However, it can be difficult to answer every call in a timely fashion, especially if you work in a small doctor’s office.
Customers notice when your phone etiquette is bad. They do not like being kept on hold and are not likely to patronize any bad establishment at quickly answering the phone.
An answering service takes care of phone etiquette for you. The service will pick up on the first ring, keeping patients happy and giving receptionists some extra time to be prepared for the call.
Sometimes, a patient will call a doctor’s office with an inquiry that doesn’t require them to talk to a real person.
For example, many doctor’s offices use automated services for prescription refills.
Patients can call their doctor, select “prescription refill” from the answering service menu, and then leave a message in a designated voicemail box explaining which refills they need.
Every step of that process can be completed without the doctor’s office putting a real person on the phone. That way, the people who work in the doctor’s office can attend to other important work.
Learn More about what features an answering service can come with.
Doctor’s Answering Service For Off Hours
An answering service can help patients feel attended to even when their doctor’s office isn’t open. Consider setting up an after-hours message on your answering service.
Your after-hours answering service should tell patients the vital information they might need when their doctor is unavailable.
For instance, the service should tell patients to go to the emergency room if they call with a medical problem.
The service can also tell patients when the office will be opening again if they can call back the next day and speak to a receptionist or doctor.
With an answering service available at all hours, patients will be able to leave a message for their doctor at any time of day, whenever they think of it.
This makes their doctor more convenient to their schedule and will give every patient peace of mind about their medical care.
Minimizing Wait Times
With an answering service, you should rarely need to put patients on hold. In addition, if your office has multiple departments, the answering service can transfer a caller to the correct place.
Normally, when a patient calls during a busy moment, a receptionist will have to put them on hold before finding out what the caller needs.
Then, they will likely have to be put on hold again while they wait to be transferred to the correct department.
This makes for a bad user experience overall. Even if a patient has to be put on hold while their call is transferred, an answering service will make that feel much smoother.
Being put on hold one time or less is better than being put on hold twice. That is just basic math, and patients know it.
People calling your office are likely to be impatient, especially if they deal with a stressful medical issue. Unfortunately, impatient people are not always the kindest callers.
Minimizing caller wait times will put your patients at ease and also spare your receptionists from unpleasant interactions.
Start Using a Doctor’s Answering Service
Now that you know more about what a doctor’s answering service can consider installing in your medical practice. Your patients and your staff will both love the convenience.
In this day and age, people expect convenience more than ever before. So give your patients what they want and take pressure off your hardworking staff.
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