6 Ways To Reduce After Hours Calls
A medical practice has a primary function of caring for patients’ needs including handling patients’ calls after business hours. It’s very important to reassure customers and offer assistance during emergencies. However, those after hour calls might eat a big chunk of your free time. It’s also likely to increase the payroll while tying up other service providers. Luckily, this article has some ideas on minimizing after-hours calls and customer interruptions. Read on.
Bill non-emergency services
Consider making some after-hours services not free to customers. Notify customers about paying a nominal charge for consultations outside of office hours. This should be for situations that don’t qualify to be emergencies. A reasonable fee is appropriate with a chance to be waived at your discretion. This small fee will prevent some customers from repeatedly making calls after business hours. Such circumstances might require the service of more agents than average.
Don’t just enforce this fee on the customers. Ensure to explain the fee to patients in a thoughtful and well-executed manner before implementation. You have to explain the importance of this procedure and importance in offering better care. Afterward, implement the fee for a provisional period to see how the patients will respond. This will help you make an informed decision on the way forward.
Use an answering service
Most people feel their situation is an emergency on calling a medical service out of business hours. The callers are more likely to believe their need is an emergency when they call and there’s no person to talk to. The solution is to hire a med answering service with live agents to talk to your customers. These live agents help customers identify that actually, their situation isn’t an emergency. This will make the customers opt for another option.
Communicate with your answering service
The doctor answering service is an essential aspect of a medical practice. You have to keep the agency informed about any changes including change in services or providers. Do you receive a large volume of inquiries about particular health problems? Ensure to let the answering service know to help draw up a particular script when responding to customer inquiries.
Work with a professional answering service with options for direct calls to appropriate providers or employees. Giving customers options is better than having a single end of the communication. Knowledge of directing calls to the appropriate person is essential in helping customers get the necessary assistance from the right person. This will keep the customer reassured until the office opens.
Manage prescriptions refills
This is an essential service in a medical practice’s ongoing operations. Additionally, prescriptions might be the reason for the large volume of calls after business hours. This is true since most patients take their prescribed medicine in the evening and morning. It is very important to hire a professional answering team that can give patients appropriate assistance regarding their prescriptions regardless of time.
Professional answering agents have vast experience and training to offer quality service to patients. This allows responding to customer queries appropriately to a positive experience. You have to give the agents appropriate assistance that will help them serve your customers better. This might require details of patients on special prescriptions so the agents are ready when such patients call.
Offer static information
It is very important to have static information with your practice’s generation details readily available to customers. This usually includes details such as:
- Fax number
- Services offered
- Website information
You can as well offer some useful information about medical issues that might occur in the area including disease outbreaks, vaccination clinics, and weather-related issues. This information should be readily available at the beginning of your automated system, brochure, or website. Offering this information is likely to prevent the volume of calls after business hours.
Web-based live customer support
Another way to lessen after-hours calls is to integrate live customer support on your site. Since most customers are likely to check out your site when seeking assistance, this is a convenient and time-saving solution. This will allows a customer to seek assistance while getting immediate responses on your site. Having this on your site is likely to limit the number of people calling your practice after office hours. The best thing is that this service is available 24/7 on your site without waiting the next day to get assistance.
Offering quality care backed by a positive customer experience will separate your practice from others. Achieving this requires careful planning including hiring a medical answering service to handle your calls. This will ensure that customers get the necessary assistance on calling your practice regardless of time or day. Since not everyone who calls after business hours has an emergency, it important to reduce these. The above are some strategies to lower calls after business hours.
My name is Nancy Ahuja and I am a fitness and nutrition expert who believes in a healthy lifestyle. I am also an adviser to the Medical billing Company who provides accurate patient billing, daily fitness tips, detailed fitness guides and reviews of fitness equipment.