Customer service is a massive industry in today’s global economy. When we think of customer service, we often imagine enormous amounts of jobs being reallocated to foreign customer service centers or hulking domestic structures where thousands of employees sit waiting with uniform computers and headsets to take incoming calls or make outgoing ones. This entire industry is based on the belief that a single good customer experience can change the trajectory of a business.
What are the employees of these customer service centers doing? They’re taking and making phone calls. As customer service continues to evolve, businesses are attempting to refine the experience by unifying their communications and adjusting their approach to the personality of each individual customer in order to increase revenue.
Customer service, however, and one of its most common manifestations, the telephone call, isn’t a skill meant only to be developed for the use of multinational corporations. If anything, customer service and call quality matter more for small businesses.
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, matters in healthcare as much as it does in any other field, if not more. If potential patients have an unfortunate first encounter with your practice over the phone, or never receive that reminder call regarding an essential upcoming appointment, or can’t figure out how to break through a complicated and annoying series of automated attendants to get through to an actual human, they will likely find another office. Bad telephone communications lead to lost clientele.
Weave’s phone system embraces the complex task of providing personalized customer service by making sure each individual call goes smoothly and brings about the customer’s desired result. It is specifically designed to match the needs of the healthcare industry. It is intended to make customer relationship management so seamless that your patients don’t think of your office as a call center, but as a care center.
Before we address the features of Weave’s phone system, let’s look at more detailed reasons why call quality is important for effective communication in your practice.
Reasons that Call Quality is Vital
- First Impressions Matter
When people find out about a new healthcare provider, whether it be via an internet search, a highway billboard, a magazine ad, or through a friend, one of their primary ways of learning more about the practice is through phone calls. Yes, some people browse a website and some use texting services (which Weave also provides), but there’s something comforting and direct about a good old-fashioned phone call. So, the first communication a potential patient will have with your practice is often a phone call.
This initial dialogue, usually a series of questions and answers about things like insurance, availability, and individual needs, can determine whether the caller chooses your practice. If the conversation is herky-jerky, if the employee is snippy or ungracious, or if the time spent listening to elevator music in the call queue is simply too much, the potential client will likely choose another provider. If the conversation is smooth, the staff is helpful and friendly, and waiting time is minimal or non-existent, your chances of obtaining a new client increase noticeably.
- Calls Nurture Relationships
When it comes to a service as essential as healthcare, people want to be in the know. It may sound cliché to state that our health is all we have, but this seemingly trite idea is actually a key to remembering how important good communication is in the medical field. Along with two other components of human security, finances and companionship, health is central to a happy life, and when health is on the line, patients want to be kept in the loop regarding their physical and mental status.
At the same time, businesses need to be careful not to overwhelm their customers. Non-stop reminders and updates via telephone quickly wear down the patience of any client in the same way that constant emails from the bank become aggravating and over-texting from a romantic interest grows irksome. Part of call quality is striking a balance between keeping patients informed and giving them the space to enjoy their free time without being bombarded by medical notifications.
The fusion of consistent updates about personal health and respect for temporal boundaries creates a relationship of trust between a medical practice and its patients. Customers can enjoy their lives and try to focus on healthy living practices while knowing that their provider will contact them in a succinct and timely manner. This approach to call quality builds a relationship that will last for years, if not decades.
- Emotions are at Stake
Healthcare deals with some of the most dramatic, sentimental, and vulnerable moments in life. From the processes of birth and death to all the bumps and bruises along the way, modern humans look to their doctors again and again for guidance on their journey and the journeys of their family members. Patients find out life-changing information, facts both tragic and joyous, in person, but also over the phone.
Bad call quality only heightens the extreme anxiety involved with negotiating the healthcare system. It causes raw emotions to run wild and leads to cantankerous, even reckless patient behavior, and understandably so; healthcare customers deserve the ability to make choices about their future without having to negotiate endless call options, unorganized scheduling, and lengthy wait times.
Good call quality notable for its ability to go virtually unnoticed. When patients reach the desired party immediately, when scheduling is clear and directions concise, and when more time is spend receiving attention than waiting for it, your practice shows its commitment to your customers’ health and their corresponding emotional health. Call quality is vital for effective communication because it allows patients’ emotions the stability and dignity necessary to for them to process the crucial information being relayed to them by your team.
How Weave’s Phone System Helps Assure Call Quality
- Install Digital Technology
The first step to making the right first impression with customers over the phone is installing the right system. Instead of sticking with the plain old telephone system like other medical, dental, and optometry practices, adapt to contemporary demands with Weave’s phone system that utilizes internet protocol to give your callers a truly modern call experience. Minor and seemingly peripheral aspects of the user experience, such as an effective Interactive Voice Response, well-programmed automated attendants, and enjoyable call-waiting music all contribute to making an impactful first impression.
- Maintain Proper Contact
Weave’s system gives you and your staff the ability to schedule callbacks and make appointments in a personable and efficient way. The scheduled callbacks prevent you from nagging at customers, thereby alienating them. When setting appointments, access to the patient’s Electronic Health Record puts essential information at your staff’s fingertips. Additionally, recording calls permits you the oversight to check on your staff’s customer service and analyze call trends that can help you craft a better approach to keeping contact with your clients.
- Eliminate Emotional Distraction
While getting treatment for conditions as disparate as cavities, far-sightedness, and broken limbs can be a positive and healing, the initial distress of dealing with diagnoses, prognoses, and emergencies frequently causes varying degrees of psychological trauma for patients. Knowing that their phone calls will be received by a unified communications system that gets messages to the right parties cuts that trauma down to size. By integrating your practice’s communications through Weave’s system, you permit your clients to breathe a little easier and trust that their health is your number one priority.
Quality of Service and Effective Communication are Synonymous
Call centers have become an important part of the business world because telephone calls provide convenient communication with a company representative. Though many medical practitioners don’t rely on this style of customer service, their offices serve as miniature call centers that are essential for the function of the practice.
Phones calls are often the first communication a potential client has with your office. It’s vital that your team makes a professional first impression. Returning patients need your reminders and follow-ups to be both informative and sparse. They also deserve to have their pressing concerns respected by a communications system that enables them to express and resolve their anxieties.
Weave’s phone system gives you the exact tools you need to communicate effectively. It facilitates clear and simple interaction by bringing your office into the digital realm. It helps you maintain consistent contact with your patients without overwhelming them with a torrent of emails, texts, and calls. Finally, it doesn’t allow calls to distract from care; your call quality will effectively communicate to your patients that their health is your primary concern.