If you run a medical practice, you likely do not have time to answer every phone call. You might consider hiring an employee to answer your calls, but when they cost a certain amount of money by the hour to only be there for eight hours or so, you’d quickly find that it’s not a worthwhile decision.
Rather than hiring a receptionist in-house, you have two other choices that both sound logical: Setting up a voicemail or hiring a physician’s answering services.
When you hire an answering service, a call that doesn’t get answered in your office will be transferred to a call representative standing by. With voicemail, the caller can listen to a pre-recorded message and leave theirs for the recipient to listen to later.
Voicemail Vs. An Answering Service
Which is better for physicians to use? The short answer is that answering services are. Allow us to explain why in greater detail.
Voicemail is handy to have around, no doubt about it. It doesn’t involve any ongoing fees, you can listen to voice messages remotely from your smartphone, and of course, nobody is needed to stand by your phone. However, that could be where all of its benefits stop.
Where Voicemail Comes Up Short
Leaving a message may be ideal if some callers want to leave one and do not have the time for a lengthy conversation, but in many cases, they call you because they simply want to talk to you. Voicemail does send out your message faster, but when callers, especially your patients, are experiencing problems, they want them to be solved right away. Voicemail simply isn’t capable of resolving issues quickly, and if anything, troubled callers won’t even bother leaving a message at all, and will just try to call later.
Not to mention, some customers just hate voicemail. When it comes to new, potential patients, customers will want physicians or offices that are responsive and can quickly set up an appointment for them. If you are busy or away, voicemail cannot do this for them. Callers will instead call another doctor that can help them, and that means you have lost business.
The last pitfall for voicemail is that there is a limit to how many messages you can save. If you often do not check your voicemail, it will quickly fill up and you aren’t able to save any more. When a caller tries to leave a message with you, they’ll hear an automated voice that says that the inbox for their voicemail is full.
There was a time in which voicemail was widely acceptable throughout various industries, but times have quickly changed, and that is due to callers wanting great customer service and the ability to talk to another person on the phone rather than listen to a pre-taped recording and leaving a voicemail.
Why Choose an Answering Service?
Answering services simply solve problems without creating new ones. By paying a flat monthly fee, these services can assure you that every call will be answered and every concern from patients will be taken care of. Answering services not only guarantee a live person will be on the other end for callers, but it is also available around-the-clock, so callers can get what they need no matter what time it is in the day; Noon, midnight, or whenever.
Best of all, physician answering services can make you lots of money! Patients will catch on to the services they receive that they will quickly turn to you over other physicians for all their problems.