Your Guide to Choosing a Healthcare Flat Rate Answering Service
A customer service call center will ensure your patients get the service they need. Find out more about a flat rate answering service and if it’s right for you.
The billing practices for healthcare flat rate answering services have change, a lot. And for good reason. Here’s what you need to know.
In years past, call centers offered a flat rate price for unlimited calls. The problem was, only side benefited. The medical practice. It was the equivalent to paying $175 for unlimited car repairs. The only medical offices that were buying it were those with widely high inbound calls. A medical answering service is heavily labor intensive. In fact, every billable minute requires human labor. So, when labor costs outweigh billable time, you can’t sustain the business model.
However, there remains a form of flat rate answering services. In todays world you have options to pay a flat fee for a predetermined number of minutes per month. There are usually multiple packages to choose from, and as such small – medium – large health care practices can all take advantage of a mutually beneficial solutions.
Ask anyone who is seeking healthcare how much they hate automated phone services and menu systems and they’ll talk your ear off. When people call their doctor for care, they don’t want to talk to a robot but a real person who can help them with what they’re going through. When you choose a flat rate answering service, you ensure that you get quality customer service without having to spend more than you need to.
Here are four things to look for when choosing an answering service.
1. Flat Rate Plans Are Great For Controlling Costs
If you choose flat rate answering services, you get control over the cost that you’re paying for your phone calling. Standard phone plans can result in high bills if you get an unexpected call volume. This is one of the reasons medical professionals seek out a flat rate answering service.
However, you get a fixed amount of minutes for a fixed price. If you want to get control over how much it’s going to cost you, flat rates ensure that you’re able to get a handle on what you’re paying at a granular level. While you might think that you’re going to be limited, you might find that you’re paying for more services than you use.
As you use a flat rate service for your healthcare practice, you’re going to find that you won’t be dealing with a high invoice out of nowhere. If you know that your business is going to expand, then you can order more services. With flat rates, you’re not going to have to go back and forth with your accounting department because of these fees.
What’s great about medical answering services is that you can rest assured you’re not going to get ripped off either. Your flat rate answering service provider is going to be quick and efficient with their calls.
If your calling changes, then you don’t have to worry that your answering service isn’t going to pick up. They’ll still pick up your calls, but they’ll charge you a different rate. They’ll let you know if your calls spike and won’t leave you or anyone else hanging.
2. Get More Than Phone Calls
When you use answering services, you get more than just people answering your healthcare practices phone calls. You get additional services that your customers need and offer them things that they might not expect from a calling service. Some customers want to get full service 24 hours a day, seven days a week and when you offer additional features, your customers won’t care you’re using a service.
With some calling services, you get the chance to have translation services. Depending on where you’re located, you might need bilingual services to ensure that you don’t lose any customers at any time of day.
If you give enough information to your answering service, your receptionists can fulfill orders and process payments for you. For medical offices, it’s important to have people who can manage and manipulate your schedule at all hours of the day. If someone needs to be squeezed in for an emergency checkup, then a flat rate calling center can handle everything for them.
Friendly agents are trained in every aspect of customer service to ensure that customers always feel taken care of. You can even have a special hotline for your employees who need to change their own schedules, call in sick, or see if they have any messages.
If you want to just try things out on a trial basis, call now to see what options are available.
3. Expect Consistent Professionalism
When people call into your answering service, they should be greeted in a friendly and professional manner. This should be the case no matter what time of day or where they’re calling from. Anyone who speaks on behalf of your healthcare services should offer the kind of service that you’d offer that person.
Just as people judge intelligence over the phone, they’re judging what you provide by how you respond to them.
The answering service then asks a series of questions to help triage the call. While some people will just want location information or to pay their bill, other callers will have more urgent needs. Based on the instructions you provide, they’ll process the call accordingly.
Under normal circumstances, an emergency call will be routed directly to 911 or the caller will be sent to the nearest emergency room they can find. Any non-emergency calls will be handled where callers can leave a message or can be asked to call back the next day. Under the best circumstances, if there is access to the software for scheduling or an interface for messaging, callers will be logged so that reception is notified.
For a call that’s truly urgent, callers will be asked to leave their message for a doctor. If you’ve defined them as able to do so, doctors will be paged or texted immediately so they know what’s happening with patients. Medical providers can be connected when it’s a truly urgent call.
4. Ask The Flat Rate Answering Service About Their Escalation Process
The way calls are handled and escalated will inform you as to what you can expect from service providers.
In most cases, on-call doctors will be texted immediately. If no response is given, then another text is sent in five minutes. After 10 minutes, the on-call doctor is going to be called.
When these calls don’t go through, home and alternate phone numbers are called.
If you’d prefer to map out another type of escalation process, that can be hammered out with your answering service. The more details you give to an answering service, the better the service is going to be that they provide you. You can have customized service at a low price with a flat-rate medical answering service.
A Flat-Rate Answering Service For Healthcare Practices is Priceless
When you choose the right flat rate answering service, you ensure your customers feel attended to any time of day. This is the kind of service that people are expecting in the on-demand era and you need to provide it to them.
For more pricing options when it comes to these kinds of services, check out what we have to offer.
Author: Michael Cynar
Michael Cynar has over 30 years of executive call center and answering service experience. He is a successful business owner and lead generation expert and shares tips to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their business through leads generation and lead capture solutions. His mission is to share carefully guarded marketing tips that will help small-medium business compete on a smaller budget.