Phone Etiquette: A Polite Guide to Answering Phone Calls in a Medical Office
Whether hiring an answering service or following up with a client, phone etiquette is important when answering phone calls. Here’s how it’s properly done.
Answering the phone is a pretty mundane activity. But, when you’re answering phone calls for those in the various medical fields, it calls for some special skills and dispositions.
What many of us learned as children is still valid. When on the phone with professionals—especially those you don’t know—you need to engage with them in a friendly yet professional manner.
Think of the tone and vocal expressions you would use if speaking with someone you applied to for a job. That way, you should have the communication down to the last detail.
What Are Professional Phone Answering Services?
A professional answering service is a paid service wherein those on staff answer phone calls on behalf of one or more other businesses. The businesses often are in related fields.
For example, a medical answering service might take calls for a radiology practice, a primary care clinic, and a gastroenterologist. It’s because phone answering staff need to have a degree of familiarity with what callers might say or inquire about.
Professional Phone Etiquette for Daytime Business Calls
There are some fundamental rules of etiquette for those working for professional answering services. A few require special skills, but all call for politeness and presence of mind. Here is one list:
- Don’t let the phone ring more than three times before answering.
- Introduce yourself by first name (unless instructed otherwise) when you pick up the phone.
- Speak clearly and take your time.
- Listen attentively and take notes, asking the caller to restate something if necessary.
- Use proper language, not slang.
- Be cheerful and express understanding or empathy, as appropriate.
- Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring them to someone else
- Be honest if you don’t have an answer and note the question for someone who does.
No doubt, it will be more protocols that are unique to the specific position and company.
Phone Etiquette for Those Calling 24-Hour Answering Services After Hours
24-hour answering services generally have clients in the medical fields. They also serve home repair businesses and other occupations that need constant availability.
When it comes to medical answering services specifically, those answering the phones must be attentive and detail-oriented. This is especially the case when the calls come at unusual times, like nighttime or on holidays.
The staff person answering the phone when one of these calls comes in is likely to have a panicked person on the other end. That staffer needs to note quickly what the problem is and recommend they call 911 if appropriate.
It Isn’t Just About Answering Phone Calls
Answering phone calls for businesses like medical practices is a job you should take seriously. Those who answer the phones do an excellent service to both the care providers who hire them and those who need and rely on them to take messages.
If you’re someone who knows how to communicate effectively with a broad range of people, you might be well-suited for an answering service. If you’re good at maintaining your composure under stress, even better.
If you think working for Doctors 24/7 Answering service might be a fulfilling job, why not let us know?