The Pros and Cons of Medical Answering Services
Many healthcare companies are turning to medical answering services for their customers. Here are the pros and cons of medical answering services.
Are you looking for ways to improve your office’s customer service? Perhaps you have a small staff who isn’t able to answer phones while balancing all their other responsibilities. Maybe you need someone answering your phones that has more of a customer support background.
Whatever the case might be, you can benefit from medical answering services. Before you do, however, it’s important to note all of the different pros and cons. This way, you can make an informed decision when adding it to your business model.
Be sure to read below for an in-depth guide hiring the pros and cons of an answering service for your medical practice.
The Pros of Medical Answering Services
Imagine having more peace of mind, knowing that anytime a patient (or potential patient) calls into your office line, they’re being taken care of. No more lying asleep at night worrying about how many calls you’re missing or walking into the office with 10 voicemails to return.
Here are a few of the incredible benefits that you’ll receive from medical answering services. Take the time to envision them in your practice.
1. Around the Clock Service
As has been alluded to, one of the most stressful parts of running a medical practice is keeping up with the customer service aspect. It’s not something that comes naturally to every doctor/nurse.
The most important part is that someone is there to answer a patient when they call. Whether they have a question, want to book an appointment, or schedule a time to speak with you, their needs will be met by the after-hours medical answering services that you hire.
The answering service will be there day or night for your clientele. They’ll be an extension of your office and represent your brand with around the clock customer service.
2. No Onboarding Necessary
You have enough to worry about with staff training as is. Why train one person to sit at your front desk and answer calls when you could have an entire team you don’t have to train?
Not only can hiring medical answer services help you skip the training process, but you also don’t have to go through the hiring process either. This can help you and your team focus on what matters most: the patients you’re seeing each day.
Many medical practices waste valuable time putting together training programs, searching far and wide to hire the right personnel, and teaching them what you want them to say. Don’t fall for that same trap.
If you’re comparing whether to hire a medical answering service or hire an in-house employee, this is what it really boils down to:
- Spending thousands of dollars on one full-time employee who works from 8 am to 5 pm or
- Paying less for an entire team of experienced professionals that work around the clock.
The answer is obvious. Not only do medical answering services cost less than hiring an in-house employee, but they also give you access to experience. You’re paying for a service that will build your brand as a neighborhood-friendly medical office.
Not to mention that a medical answering service is easier to scale as you grow your practice. If you go the in-house employee route, you’ll have to take on even more salaried workers to manage the call flow of your patients.
The Cons of Medical Answer Services
This should be prefaced by saying that any “cons” of medical answering services can be avoided with frequent communication. As long as you stay in the loop with the company you outsource to, you won’t have any issues.
That said, here are a few cons that medical practices could experience if they pay for the service, but never follow up.
1. Complication of Communication
If your medical office makes a sudden change without notifying the medical answer service that you’ve hired, there could be improper communication as a result.
For example, say you changed your hours on Thursday to close at 3 pm instead of 5 pm. Then, without knowing, an employee of the medical answer service team places a patient on the schedule for next Thursday at 4 pm.
Since there wasn’t proper communication between your practice and the answering service, a patient is going to show up on Thursday at 4 and be wildly disappointed.
This entire dilemma can be avoided by scheduling weekly calls with the medical answering service that you hire. If you make any major changes, be sure to schedule a call with them to discuss the details. That way everyone is on the same page!
2. Risk of Operators Giving Incorrect Medical Advice
Just to be clear, this will never occur with our service team. It’s one of the first things that we teach them in our training protocol.
However, there have been instances with other medical answering services have had team members give out medical advice when they aren’t qualified to.
Be sure to ask the medical answer service you hire about how they teach their staff members to respond to a call in which one of your patients is asking for medical advice. Make sure you agree with their way of responding before you hire them.
Invest in Medical Answering Services for Your Business Today
Now that you have seen several pros and a few cons about medical answering services, be sure to find the right company to invest in.
Make sure to check out this page to learn more about our answer services and how we can benefit you and your practice for many years moving forward.
To get started, please be sure to visit this page to receive a free quote for our services and we will be happy to assist you further.