In today’s uncertain times, it’s important to continue your medical practice’s growth at a steady rate. In order to do that, you need to recognize what may be holding you back. The biggest danger for healthcare practices today is not having 100% of your calls answered.
Here are some common scenarios on how not answering all of your calls is hurting you.
Your front desk personnel provide the first impression a potential patient gets of your office. They can be the kindest, most helpful person to talk to, but they can’t always get to every phone call that comes in.
When a new patient calls your office and they don’t get an answer, they might think you’re temporarily or even permanently closed. In the past, they might have given it five minutes and called back, unfortunately that luxury is gone.
When the pandemic first hit many office hours changed, and in some cases, they still are. This can lead to a lot of confusion. You could have a huge banner in the front of your practice that says, “We Are Open,” and people will still call to make sure. Google isn’t even trusted anymore for whether an office is open, or what their hours are. That’s why it’s extremely important to have the phone answered at all times.
People Don’t Leave Messages
If you don’t answer the phone, 90% of people will not leave a message or call back. Most people are searching for direct gratification. If they make the effort to pick up the phone and call, they want to book an appointment at that moment.
Research shows that more people prefer text over calls, leading to the decline of the voicemail in general. Your practice could be missing out on hundreds of new patients and you wouldn’t even know.
Once things go back to normal, you might lose some of your patient base because you’ve been so busy, or your team has been down and they have not been able to answer the phones.
You have to be intentional with your plan when things go back to normal and you are steadily gaining your regular and new patients back.
How to Combat This?
Your #1 priority should be to answer every single phone call. Sounds simple- and it is-- because there is a perfect solution.
Someone will be there to take your calls during business hours and even after hours, if your front desk cannot pick up. They take all the caller’s details, like name and why they’re calling, and then send that information over via instant message, email, or even text.