People at the front desk make an impact on every person that calls you. This fact becomes even more critical when you are in the healthcare industry. A friendly and cordial service will improve patient experience and patient satisfaction. Not only that, but it also affects the HCAHPS score as well.
Politeness, providing on-call facilities and speed of redressal are some of the factors which help in building the rapport of the provider among the patients. In a case of emergency, it is the swiftness of handling administrative duties that make a significant difference for the devastated person and his/her family.
When someone calls you on the phone, they are looking for immediate resolution and not hours of waiting on the call. It can only be done when the front-office personnel is handling calls efficiently.
What Is Call Handling?
Call handling is the management of telephone calls. It includes politely greeting the caller, listening to their request/ problem, processing the request/ offering the solution, booking the appointment and finally asking the caller for any further help before saying the goodbye. A call would be efficient if the request/ problem is resolved quickly. The whole purpose of having a front office staff is to provide ultimate care to your patients, and that is what they are supposed to do: give help to the patients. It should be done in such a way that the relationship between patient and providers gets stronger.
Why Is It So Important?
The phone call is the first impression that a patient or the family gets from you. In a way, it sets the tone for the rest of the experience. If one doesn’t have a pleasant experience while enquiring on the call, do you think they would like to visit that doctor? Similarly, a good call experience decides the brand image of the provider as well.
In healthcare, the caller is looking for empathy, assurance, and confidence from the front-desk. He/she should feel that they are in good hands.
When you hire your front-desk staff, you need to recruit candidates observing their politeness, knowledge, and eagerness to serve. You need to train them so that they can handle the calls professionally. Alternatively, you can outsource front desk support service so that one gets to hear warm and welcoming tone everytime they call to your office.
Call Handling Mistakes That Might Be Driving Away Your Customers
It is a time where customer experience and customer service has become as important as the sales in a company. A bad experience can turn into a negative comment on the internet, and it will only make the matter worse for you and your service. Some call handling mistakes should be avoided to provide an efficient patient experience:
- Do not confuse the patient with unnecessary information and too many options. Be to the point and handle to issue/ request in a precise manner.
- IVR is not for a hospital where people are waiting for redressal. They are looking for immediate action. Putting the call on IVR seems inconsiderate and impolite.
- Do not prolong the call unnecessarily by asking them to repeat themselves. It is rude and annoying. Also, respect the privacy of the patient. Do not ask for anything which they might not be comfortable with.
- Ask your patients for feedback. This is the most organic way of getting to know your problem areas and working towards them.
Inexperience in handling the call can be a major turn off for the patients/callers. A well-spoken person, who follows the phone etiquette and is trained enough to provide solutions at once is something that is admirable in front-desk personnel.