We know that you get a lot of calls at your clinic. Answering so many calls can be disruptive and pull your staff away from other duties, like patient care. So, what can you do to manage your calls better? Here are tips to help improve your patient’s experience and get the most out of your team too.
Is your phone greeting long and complicated? It might seem like no big deal, but if you have an overly complex and lengthy phone greeting you’re adding time to each call, and that adds up. Keep your phone greeting short and straightforward but still include information patients need like:
- Short greeting
- Clinic name
- Staff member’s name (if needed)
Studies show that as much as 35% of call volume to clinics are patients calling repeatedly. Why do patients keep calling back? The top reasons are:
- No one answered the first time.
- No response from the previous call.
- Not enough or unclear information given the first time.
These are all easily fixable and will have an enormous impact on your call volume. Try these tips to curb repeat calling:
- Shortening the number of rings before your calls go to voicemail, and make it clear when the patient can expect to hear back from you.
- Be specific, let your patients know exactly when you’ll follow up with them. For example “We will return your call before 5 pm today” or “We will only call you if you need to come in to discuss your test results.”
- Give your staff the information they need to answer the most common questions so they don’t have to keep following up with patients and patients don’t need to call back.
Make your clinic accessible in other ways that are more manageable for your clinic staff. Take a look at the reasons patients are calling your clinic, can you direct them to other resources for the information they require. Consider these examples:
Phone calls are the only way patients can make or change appointments
Maybe it’s time to try software that allows them to self-book.
Patients calling to for clarification on exercises or instructions
Provide them with printouts, email them with details about their treatment plan, or consider using an online patient portal to help relay information. This allows your patients to go over the information at a leisurely pace.
General inquiries about your clinic as well as billing or payment options
Make this information available online in the form of a website or Facebook page. We’ve discussed the importance of filling out all your contact information, hours of operation, payment methods, and parking options in a previous post. Once you’ve made this information available online, you can direct patients to that resource to help decrease your call volume.
Transferring your calls to a live agent call answering service might be your best option. A service like Connect can answer your calls as your clinic, answer detailed questions about your clinic, and free up your staff to focus on the patients in your clinic. Better yet, you can turn Connect on at any time to cover your clinic’s phones. Not only that, we offer custom phone greetings, appointment scheduling, reporting on your calls and more.
The ultimate fix to your high call volume is to let us answer your phone. Learn more about Connect here!