Top Priorities for Clinic Receptions

Have you recently taken the bold step of going it alone and setting up your own private healthcare clinic? Are you in the early years of growing your clinic business? Maybe you’re established but you’re struggling to find opportunities to expand. We want to lend a hand by giving you some top tips on how to run one of the most important aspects of your business; your clinic reception. The clue’s in the name; receptions play a vital role in how your clinic is received which, in turn, can affect many other aspects of the business. Here, we offer advice on how to ensure the face of your clinic is opening, not closing, doors.

Call Answering

One of the top priorities of any clinic should be to make sure that whenever a call is made to your company, it is answered. For healthcare facilities, in particular, this is crucial, as the consequences of missing calls can potentially be fatal for your customers. More than 50% of customers across all age groups typically use the phone to reach out to a service team, making it the most-used channel for customer service. This also means that prospective customers are most likely to choose this kind of communication to create the first impression of your company. So, the more calls you answer, the more your client base grows. 

You might be thinking that being able to answer every call is easier said than done, especially when you’re in a busy clinic, but there is a new solution to this age-old challenge; outsourcing. In essence, outsourcing means accepting help from a third party company that offer particular services, such as call handling. It’s a great way to bridge that gap between demand and supply during unusually busy periods, and it’s far more affordable than hiring new, in-house members of staff, thanks to the fact that providers usually work on a pay per minute basis. 

Call Hold Times

Similarly, one of the main causes of frustration for customers trying to contact your company is being placed on hold for excessive amounts of time. This is a sure-fire way to give the impression that your customers are not your priority, and for this reason, reducing hold times should be another priority for your clinic reception.

Outsourcing your call-handling is a great solution for this problem too, as it allows you to make the most of another company’s body of staff, who can help pick up the slack during busy periods. For healthcare providers, in particular, making sure your customers aren’t waiting too long to receive the help they need, is crucial.

24/7 Phone Lines

Another significant benefit of outsourcing your call handling is that some providers, such as Cymphony, operate for 24 hours, 7 days a week. Handing over the reigns to them between the hours of 5pm and 9am not only allows your in-house staff to maintain a good work/life balance, but also allows you to easily stand out from the crowd by making communication with your company the easiest option for those in need of healthcare services.

24/7 phone lines are the ultimate in customer care, as it makes contacting your company extremely convenient for the vast majority of your clients, who are restricted by their own working hours. A surprising number of clinics haven’t tapped into this lucrative option, making it an obvious choice when it comes to beating your competitors. Furthermore, spreading customer calls out over a greater amount of time allows for a more efficient workflow during the day. It’s a win-win! And don’t be fooled by the myth that 24/7 phones have to be expensive, as outsourcing has created a solution that makes it affordable for businesses of any size.

Experienced Call Handlers

When you outsource to a company like Cymphony, you also get to benefit from the skills and experience of their staff. Providers who specialise in a certain aspect of business, such as customer care, are able to focus on and therefore excel in that area of expertise, which means an excellent experience for your customers. Smooth integration into your business is also a key aspect of the service they provide, so your customers are none the wiser when it comes to whether they’re speaking to an in-house team member; every call-handler is just as knowledgable as the next.

84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. As you can see from this statistic, making the most of a team of ready-trained customer service representatives is a no-brainer. Some companies have even switched to a business model that entirely swaps an in-house team for an outsourced team because as well as helping to improve their customer service ratings, it also helps to cut costs thanks to the return on investment promised by pay per minute plans. Compare this to the costs and complications of hiring full-time members of staff, and you’ll see why it’s becoming such a popular approach. 

Diary Management 

I’m sure you’ll agree that the administrative aspect of running a clinic is one of the most important in terms of its success. Diary management, in particular, is key. Incorrect handling of appointment cancellations and alterations can cause severe financial loss as a result of the wasted time of healthcare practitioners, and angry clients on your premises can be a fast track to ruining your reputation with other existing customers, not to mention word of mouth and the impact it can have on prospective customers. Outsourcing this responsibility to the experts helps to ensure that mistakes are minimised and your clinic runs smoothly.

Reminders

Sending appointment reminders to your clients is vital when it comes to running a successful clinic, as this is another way to ensure that valuable time is not wasted. Thinking outside the box in this way helps you stand out from the crowd, so you want to make sure the responsibility is in the hands of someone you can trust.

Follow-Up Calls

Finally, going the extra mile for your customers is the best way to retain them, and the perfect example of this is by carrying out follow-up calls after their appointments. Follow-up calls not only let your customers know that you have a genuine concern for how they felt their appointment went, and 95% of people say customer care is vital to make them loyal clients, but also allow you to make sure any treatment or medication they have been given has been successful. 

For clinics, this is a particular priority as misdiagnosis not only threatens the health of your patients but also brings with it damaging lawsuits in many cases. So, in order to ensure that every appointment is followed up with a call from your clinic, make sure you have the manpower and the expertise to make it happen, by outsourcing.

In conclusion, every clinic reception should have a list of priorities to help ensure that they offer the best possible customer service and keep your clinic running smoothly. Firstly, outsourcing to a call-handling provider can help to ensure that every call is answered and your customers aren’t waiting on hold for too long. Secondly, offering an out of hours phone line is a great way to stand out from the crowd of your competitors. Healthcare emergencies don’t follow a 9 to 5 schedule, so neither should your clinic.

Enlisting the help of a body of trained, skilled and experienced call handlers ensures that your clinic’s diary, one of its most valuable aspects, is managed to perfection which, in turn, keeps your customers and your cash flow happy and healthy. Lastly, going the extra mile by making follow-up calls to check on the progress of treatment, is a fantastic way to boost customer service ratings and your reputation. Following this set of guidelines and considering outsourcing to help you do so, will enable your clinic to go from strength to strength.

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