Call overflow refers to any incoming voice calls that your contact center agents are unable to answer. These excess calls may arise due to short staffing, peak periods, or even an emergency or crisis situation.
When a patient first calls healthcare, that is the first interaction they will experience. The importance of patient service has been stressed countless times in the healthcare profession. The first call is the most important call for your profession, because not only does it set up a connection, but it is also your chance to satisfy the patient’s needs in a productive way that preserves their faith.
First impressions always count with the patient, so if you’re not quickly obtainable when the patient is, you could miss out. 85% of patients will not call back if their call goes unanswered, resulting in missed opportunities for your healthcare occupation.
To make certain you always make the right first impression, call answering services can help provide a consistently high level of patient service.
Importance of Handling High Call Volume:
Ringing phones are usually a normal part of the daily routine at most medical practices. Patients often call to schedule appointments, cancel other appointments, or simply make general inquiries. But during busy days, a ringing phone can be overlooked if your employees have more pressing tasks. Unanswered phone calls can make patients unhappy, if this becomes an ordinary regularity, they may think about switching to a different healthcare provider with whom they can communicate more easily.
High call volume can be a difficulty for patients. Mounting call volume may cause a block in service and make patients feel disappointed. Then it becomes important to presume proper strategies to pick up high call volumes. One way to combat this is by using conversational AI chatbots. According to a report by IBM, conversational chatbots can answer 80% of collective questions, leaving room for your staff to commit their time to what is important.
4 Ways to Manage Your Call Flow:
Your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic depends on obtaining and retaining patients.
The patient often calls to ask questions about appointments, procedures, or costs but the hospital staff is not able to attend to every phone call due to more urgent tasks. Missed calls can also make it more difficult to keep an updated schedule, respond to potential patient inquiries, and keep your practice’s operations simple and efficient. Here are some ways in which medical practices may choose to manage overflow calls:
- Outline the process and identify patient touchpoints:
- There are many points of contact patients may make in order to get information, schedule appointments, and communicate with your practice.
- For example, they may use your website to schedule or cancel appointments, then use social media to speak with a representative about definite concerns they may have.
- Other points of contact include the office, telephone, email, and letters.
If patient contacts your practice to schedule an appointment, you must take the following steps:
- Answering the phone within a specific time limit.
- Examining the patient’s medical records and service history.
- Investigating the availability of medical staff.
- Registering the report from medical staff.
- Recording the details of the appointment request.
- Guiding the customer with the appointment date.
Your on-site staff will answer all your phone calls. This is the course of action that many practices take when they begin to get several phone calls. It may seem like the most logical choice since it allows you to work with the staff you already know and trust. Assistants working at a medical practice generally have to handle countless responsibilities daily. They may have to record patients’ information, schedule appointments, arrange supplies for different procedures, contact providers, and perform other various tasks daily. It may not be complicated for on-site staff to handle calls as long as your practice only picks up a few phone calls per day. But if your staff becomes overworked, their work performance will likely increase. They may also be unable to operate each phone call beneficially, and callers won’t get the response that they want from your practice.
If your current on-site staff is unable to handle all of the phone calls your practice receives while also fulfilling their other responsibilities, you should consider establishing a call center at your practice. The process of advertising for a new position, holding interviews, choosing the right candidate, and then providing training is a long and expensive process. Moreover, continuing the call center may not be profitable unless your overflow call volume is entirely appreciable on most days. A call center can also still leave gaps in your practice’s customer service hours, since hiring employees to work shifts that balance your phone lines 24×7 would enlarge the price even more.
Here’s where a third choice occurs: a virtual answering service.
Virtual answering services supply trained operators who are able to answer each phone call warmly and politely. You can modify an answering service to fit your practice’s demand, and you won’t have to panic about teaching each operator. Your practice will demand a certain number of calls that operators have to respond to, which means that you won’t have to be rewarded unless the service is working for you.
How AI 24×7 Bot call Answering service can help:
AI doesn’t take days off for holidays, evenings, or weekends, which means patients can get the answers they need every time they desire them. AI-powered support results offer businesses the capacity to provide definitive customer support, anywhere, anytime.
Compared to staff or human-based call center organizations, it is considerably less expensive.
Simboconnect is one recent example of an AI-powered communication platform that has grown in popularity. It is a medical scheduling tool driven by AI that can place and receive phone calls. It helps medical professionals reduce their workload as it can address up to 30% of queries on its own.
SimboConnect can help with:
- Appointment scheduling requests
- Refill requests
- Callback related inquiries
- Billing requests
- Regular queries like office addresses or hours.
SimboConnect can also automate all outbound calls and triage patients to collect key clinical information or deliver information like post-procedure follow-up, medication change check-ins, and filling out custom patient intake forms, among others.