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Patience With Patients: Answering The Phone

This is the first part in our series about phone systems for doctors offices. Click here to read Part II about how to choose the right phone system for your doctors office. For further information, click here for Part III and Part IV of this series.

Sick, tired, anxious, frustrated, new or existing, and busy. Answering the phone at a doctor’s requires a lot of patience and multitasking.

Handling the calls professionally while orienting the urgency of the situation to the doctor’s schedule is critical to the practices’ success.

Adhering to a precise and consistent process that is engineered for efficient growth starts and ends with your patients satisfaction.

The outcome can be controlled with a sound operational, technical and marketing strategy which starts with introducing yourself both digitally through rich, quality, targeted online marketing and with your initial contact with patients that call you through your phone system.

Keeping the harmony between man and machine while increasing your practice’s growth is necessary to deliver a high quality experience to both employees of the practice, and people visiting the practice.

Your Phone System

Take nothing for granted.

From the quality of your phone line connection to the headset your office administrator uses to prevent a cervical neck injury, an efficient phone system that provides a high quality and crisp voice connection, and proper equipment for your staff will increase productivity and help alleviate inevitable stress that will happen as two human beings are communicating with each other, often with one of them not feeling well.

A crackly or static laden phone call, can lead to a distracting and unprofessional experience which can adversely affect both repeat and new prospective patients.

The first step is to ensure that you have a modern, responsive phone system, capable of a high quality HD call, and that gives office personnel answering the phone the most information prior to picking up the handset and answering the call.

Hosted or on Premise?

Your new Voice over IP (VoIP) system can either be hosted in the cloud, or located inside your practice, known as being “on premise”.

Ensuring that you have a good quality SIP and internet provider, a good grasp of support and installation options, and how you depreciate your assets (one lump payment, or monthly payments) are a few of the things to consider during your decision your decision to choose a hosted or premise phone system.

How’s your internet service?

Each VoIP call takes roughly 87.2 Kbps, with that in mind it’s important to have two things in your office:

A high quality “business” class internet connection, both up and down speed are critical!
A way to prioritize the VoIP traffic on your network (either through a managed switch or two separate LAN’s).

Provided these two requirements are met, it’s generally advisable to go with a hosted system.

For one thing, you can always “grow into” a premise system, since many hosted service providers allow you to “BYOD” (bring your own device), and you can therefore purchase (and own) the IP phone of your choice.

Additionally, hosted phone systems are usually much easier to install and maintain (hence your monthly bill), and receiving support from the provider can often be easier and less expensive than hiring someone to install a phone system.

Check in for my next post about how to select the right phone system and service provider for your doctors office.

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