People like to feel that their time is valued, especially when they are trying to reserve dental appointments for their oral health. If you frequently have your patients wait on hold, or if they get sent to voicemail instead of talking to a real person, you are likely to lose their loyalty. In fact, a recent statistic published by Forbes magazine reveals that a shocking 80 percent of callers do not leave messages if they are sent to voicemail. When patients are sent to voicemail by their dentist, they are less likely to feel valued and may search for a more responsive practice.
Thankfully, a medical answering service can help ensure that your callers are taken care of so that you can attend to the patients currently in your office. Here are seven ways an answering service can help your dental practice.
1. Confirming or Booking Appointments
Patients are not always able to book or confirm appointments with their dentist during regular business hours. Employing a medical answering service can be very convenient for your busy patients and may earn your practice even more business.
2. Quoting Services
Sometimes patients call dental offices to receive and compare quotes for specific services. If patients have to wait on hold for a long time or have an otherwise unpleasant telephone experience, they are likely to give up and go to a competing practice.
To illustrate this fact, a Marketing Land study shows that people who have a negative phone experience are 74 percent more likely to do business with a competitor as a result. Keep your patients happy by hiring a medical answering service to quickly take care of all their appointment scheduling and service-quoting needs.
3. Forwarding Calls
You can direct your answering service to field all calls and forward them to you if necessary. By doing this, you can have someone else take care of simple appointment calls while ensuring that treatment questions and other important calls are forwarded to you.
4. Giving Office Directions
If patients are given clear directions to your practice, they are less likely to be late or miss their appointments altogether. A medical answering service can provide patients with concise and practical driving directions and answer any questions patients may have when trying to find your practice.
5. Collecting Contact Details
Rather than instructing your in-house receptionist to devote a large portion of time to collecting patient contact information, try outsourcing this important but time-consuming process to an answering service. When properly trained in HIPAA and other data security procedures, an outsourced receptionist can collect and compile patient payment information, contact details and insurance specifics.
6. Making Follow-Up Calls
According to a study published in The Ulster Medical Journal, approximately 78 percent of patients expect a follow-up call after receiving an operation. While the study focused on the patients of medical doctors specifically, similar results can be expected for dental patients who receive invasive oral treatments. Hiring a medical answering service to take care of your follow-up calls will help you meet your patients’ expectations without taking up the valuable time of your on-site staff.
7. Taking Messages
While it has been mentioned that patients don’t like to leave messages, this attitude changes if the patient is able to leave a message with a real person. When a patient calls after hours and is able to leave a message with someone they know will deliver it to the intended recipient, they are much more likely to be satisfied with the service they receive.
No matter how efficient your in-house receptionist may be, he or she can’t possibly work 24 hours a day. Hiring a medical answering service is a great way to ensure that patients talk to a real person each time they call your practice.
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