Monday, July 19, 2010

Custom On-Hold Messages Promote Stronger Office-Patient Relations!

In addition to presenting a professional image and creating a warm, friendly environment for patients, most private medical practices employ a principle in customer care that has been proven to work well in all types of businesses: the team effort between doctors and medical assistants that involves assistants acting as a liaison, making interim contact with patients while they are waiting in the exam room for the doctor.

But a close look at the most successful practices reveals the presence of a second team that is hard at work: the front office staff that makes phone contact with patients being assisted by customized messages on-hold!

Meeting the challenge of managing multiple patient visits throughout the day while making patients feel they are receiving individualized care requires serious strategy. This cooperative "tag team" approach may be simple, but don't underestimate its effectiveness.

Once patients find themselves waiting in the exam room the dynamic of medical assistants periodically checking-in on them helps bridge the gap and make the wait seem shorter.

Aside from gathering vitals and verbal data for the doctor and reviewing patient history, assistants also have an opportunity to reassure patients that they have not been forgotten. For example, think about how comforting it can be to hear the words "the doctor will be right in".

Note: the "second team" as referred to above is actually the first team. Front office staff or receptionists are often the first line of contact with both new and existing patients. When interacting with callers they must be welcoming and exhibit a cheerful attitude as they bear the responsibility of communicating a positive first impression for the practice.

In exactly the same way messages on-hold serve as support for these staff members. Once callers are placed on hold the messages and music on-hold take over with the task of periodically reassuring the patient that they have not been forgotten and that their call is appreciated. Of course the music and voices should convey a professional sound and the verbiage should be fine-tuned to reinforce the attitude of staff.

Hold messages may also include important information about insurance and office policies, office hours, location and directions, doctor's curriculum vitae, as well as answers to other frequently asked questions. This helps reduce the amount of time staff spend on the telephone, freeing them to assist other callers and perform additional office duties, etc.

Augmenting the front office staff with a custom on-hold message production is a great way to complement other marketing and advertising efforts the practice has put in place.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to convey a warm, caring attitude with positive sounding music, and relaxed, conversational voices speaking words of reassurance goes a long way to bolster office-patient relations. That kind of teamwork produces lasting results, ultimately causing patients to feel loyalty toward the practice they visit!

By : Tom_Tramposh

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