Just like other businesses, medical practices have to be profitable to remain operational. As such, practice owners have the responsibility to maintain and increase the profitability of their businesses.
Maintaining this profitability involves not only providing quality healthcare services to patients but also properly managing other business aspects of the practice. These include reception, marketing, patient acquisition, and patient retention.
The significance of the front desk
The front desk is an integral section of medical practice. The front desk facilitates all reception activities and is the first stage at which a patient is engaged once they contact a medical establishment.
As such, it is paramount for front desk operations to be as smooth and as efficient as possible. An efficient front desk service helps to make a good impression on both existing and prospective clients leading to higher patient conversion, acquisition, and retention. This in turn boosts revenue and increases profitability.
It, therefore, follows that increasing the operational efficiency of the front desk has immensely positive implications on the profitability of a medical practice. And what better way of doing this than integrating cutting-edge technology into the reception of your medical practice?
What is a remote backup front desk?
A remote backup front desk is essentially a software reception platform that utilizes innovative technology to perform the same roles as human receptionists do. However, a remote backup front desk is much more efficient as it leverages technology to overcome productivity limitations that regular receptionists grapple with.
By streamlining front desk operations, a remote backup front desk not only increases customer satisfaction but also improves profitability and the cost-effectiveness of reception services. These are all outcomes that are highly desirable by every practice owner.
How do virtual receptionists work?
The main goal of a remote receptionist is to make front desk operations more efficient. Therefore, virtual receptionists work in a coordinated, systematic, and highly organized manner to achieve the desired objectives.
The following is a comprehensive outline of how a remote front desk functions;
- A new or existing patient/client rings your practice’s telephone
- If your receptionists are unavailable, the call is directed to the backup front desk
- A skilled and experienced remote receptionist takes the call on your behalf
- The virtual receptionist cordially greets the patient with a customized greeting and listens to their request or inquiry
- The remote receptionist then attends to the customer by either answering their question, booking an appointment, or taking a message.
The benefits of a remote front desk
Now that you understand what is a remote front desk and how virtual receptionists work, it is important to get a clear understanding of what benefits a medical practice stands to gain by using a remote front desk.
1. Instant response to calls from patients
One of the main objectives of a remote front desk is to maximize customer convenience and satisfaction. It is common knowledge that callers (and especially so patients in urgent need of medical attention) detest being held on a phone line for too long. The idle suspense is just too frustrating and greatly dampens a caller’s mood.
Calling customers can be held on a line for too long if there are many other callers or if there is a shortage of front desk attendants. To avoid the customer dissatisfaction that comes with this inconvenience, a remote front desk immediately directs incoming calls to a virtual receptionist who can then attend to the patient immediately and resolve their need.
5) Make Your Front Desk More Efficient
Last but definitely not least, ensure that your front desk operations are as smooth and seamless as possible. This is because both potential and existing clients first come into contact with the front desk whenever they try to establish communication with your practice.
As such, whether they leave satisfied and willing to return or dissatisfied and frustrated with your practice depends on how they are handled at the front desk stage. If their call is missed or they are kept waiting long before their call is answered, spoken to in an unfriendly manner that is not inviting, or given less-than-satisfactory service, they are most likely not going to return.
Rather, they will seek alternative health providers whom they feel are more professional and efficient. This will in turn undermine your chances of converting such patients into return clients with whom you’ll have a profitable working relationship.
Therefore, it is essential that you have a remote front desk that will help ensure you don’t miss any calls from patients, send engaging conversational texts to clients, and offer reliable backup front desk services whenever your team is not available.
2. Reduced number of missed calls
In all actuality, missed calls greatly undermine a practice’s profitability more than practice owners realize. This is because when calls are missed, you never get to establish initial contact if the caller was a prospective client. On the other hand, if the caller is an existing client, they become offended and dissatisfied with your practice’s front desk service.
Both these factors can push the clients to seek other healthcare providers whom they feel will be more efficient and competent thus denying you revenue. A remote front desk ensures that you miss no calls as a remote receptionist is always at the ready to attend to a patient.
The virtual receptionists in remote front desks are also even outside business hours to pick calls and engage with clients. In the unlikely event that a call is missed, a remote front desk captures the caller’s information so that a follow-up can be made immediately someone is available.
3. Callers can speak to live receptionists
Automation is one of the great benefits associated with technological innovation as it makes work easier. However, automated responses are just not the best when it comes to engaging your patients. This is because they are robotic and devoid of any personal touch.
On the other hand, patients are more likely to be acquired and retained if they speak to a live receptionist. They can express their needs better and they get to enjoy the warmth and cordiality of a real human being. Therefore, remote front desks add that vital personal touch to receptionist services thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
4. Higher cost-efficiency
As noted earlier, one of the most important objectives of any business is to minimize operational costs and maximize revenue. A good remote front desk helps you do this as you are only charged as per your usage. This means that you only pay for outgoing calls to patients and not incoming ones.
Also, practice owners can save on the fairly high costs of maintaining full-time front desk personnel and instead outsource the work upon need. This not only saves you money but the time and effort spent on management and supervision of the extra personnel.
The secret of all successful businesses lies in exploiting innovative strategies to accelerate growth and gain a comparative advantage over competitors. Seeking new clients is without a doubt a great way of increasing revenue. However, maximizing the value of existing clients is a far more sustainable and cost-effective approach.
This is exactly what a remote virtual receptionist allows you to do. With a remote front desk backup, your practice can prevent the loss of revenue that occurs due to operational inefficiencies at your reception.
By ensuring that;
- All calls are instantly responded to and no calls are missed or held
- Calling patients are engaged and treated cordially
- And more appointments are scheduled,
a virtual receptionist increases patient engagement and retention, drives up client acquisition, and maximizes the long-term profitability of your practice. This way, you as a practitioner get to have a solid and loyal clientele that assures you of steady income.
A remote backup front desk is an indispensable tool for all ambitious medical practitioners and UPbook is the 5-Star front desk you need to take your practice to the next level of profitability and front desk efficiency.
Contact the UPbook team today to learn how this 5-Star remote backup front desk works so you can integrate it into your practice’s reception operations. Want to set yourself apart as an efficient and reliable medical practice? Choose UPbook Concierge today and watch your business grow exponentially.