5 Reasons for Small Businesses to Combine Communication Through Their Phone System
Despite their ease of use, communications in the 21st century have become increasingly complex. We’ve come a long way from the telegraph and the Pony Express. In one day, most of us engage in communications as wide-ranging as phone calls, text messages, emails, blog posts, video conferences, and good old-fashioned snail mail.
These various types of communications certainly aren’t limited to our personal lives. In fact, much of this communication is generated and perpetually fueled by business practices. For better or worse, the connectivity that we experience daily is often motivated by the concerted effort of companies and corporations to make a profit.
As the ways we communicate seem to multiply and diversify by the year, the demand for businesses to keep up with this game increases. Some businesses neglect to keep up with this on-going technical revolution, and eventually are left in the dust. In particular, small businesses are often prone to allowing their communication systems to become outdated.
Weave recognizes the dangers of antiquated communication systems and has developed an integrated phone system to combine communications. This system can be especially beneficial for small businesses looking to keep up with the contemporary marketplace. Let’s look at why this integration is so necessary for small businesses and how Weave’s system makes unified communication possible.
Reasons to Combine Communication
- Reliance on the Internet
Much of what contemporary businesses and their customers do to communicate relies on the internet. Customers use the internet to research, to make initial contact with businesses, to check on their statuses and appointments, and to leave reviews. For patients of medical, dental, and optometry practices, most of the information regarding their history is now stored as Electronic Health Records (EHR) instead of stuck in metal file cabinets.
When customers actually call businesses, office staff relies on EHR and other online records to assist them. The standard mode of operation for team members is no longer flipping through planners or appointment books, but scrolling through information on a computer screen. Integrating analog phone systems with the convenience of the internet makes phone interactions quicker and easier.
If the office team needs to forward a call to a doctor or business owner, the practitioner usually needs to reference these very same patient health records. It’s impossible to remember the details of every patient’s history, even if you’re running a small practice. Having electronic records readily available is just as important for doctors as it is for secretaries and patients.
- Laundry List of Tasks
Customers call small businesses with a laundry list of questions, concerns, favors, and inquiries. It’s rare that they need to handle one single order of business. They normally need to pay a bill, check the time of their next appointment, schedule new appointments, and ask about the results of a recent procedure or test.
This barrage of tasks can leave even the most competent and professional office staff frazzled. Small business secretaries have a particularly difficult job, since the nature of such a small practice prevents the business owner from compartmentalizing things like bill pay, appointment scheduling, and health updates. Staff members need a system to help them juggle these tasks in a matter of minutes.
If a call is escalated to the practitioner, she or he will probably want access to all of these same functions. Usually, if the doctor is having to handle a call, the patient is in a very stressful or even life-threatening situation. Again, every possible form of communication and information access should be available to help the call go smoothly.
- Bringing Your Own Device
Patients of small business medical practices, both rural and urban, want to be able to get in touch with their practitioner at any time, but especially in emergency situations. We have the tools to stay almost constantly connected. The problem is that many small businesses continue to stick with analog phone systems that can only be reached from 9 to 5.
Small businesses have small office staffs, sometimes limited to only two or three people. If someone calls in sick or goes to lunch, the administrative side of the practice ceases working and comes to a halt. If a practice has a system that combines communications, linking office phones with personal smartphones and emails, these gaps in functionality stop.
Doctors themselves need this same flexibility, perhaps even more so than their staff. Since smaller practices usually only have a few practitioners, patients have to be able to reach their respective medical, optometry, or dental professional at all times. An integrated communications system allows doctors to give prescriptions, diagnoses, and advice from their back office, their own kitchen, or the beach.
Nobody likes to work around the clock, but sometimes duty calls!
- The Popularity of Online Reviews
Increasingly, customers rely upon consumer tips and online reviews in order to make financial decisions of all kinds, including those involving healthcare. Not only are they reading online reviews, however; they’re also leaving them. These reviews are strewn across cyberspace, from individual blogs to various social media to established review sites.
Staff members are frequently aware of how a single interaction could skew a client’s perspective and end up as a slanderous post on a review site, which leads to more careful and polite interactions with customers. Some businesses even ask their staff to monitor these online reviews. Giving staff the tools to view and interact with online reviews across multiple platforms grants businesses the ability to respond to and learn from these reviews quickly and effectively.
Medical practitioners often don’t realize how important an online presence is in this day and age. Many small business owners think that word-of-mouth is enough to keep their practice thriving. Little do they know, the word-of-mouth conversations that fueled small businesses in the past have moved online.
- Data is the New Currency
Customers have always left a record for businesses to analyze and respond to. This trail of information was much sparser in the past, however. With today’s technology, businesses big and small have the opportunity to capture data regarding consumer activity and preferences across a number of platforms.
This data isn’t limited to patient activity on message boards and the company website. It can also include interactions with office staff, from two-way texting to email correspondences to run-of-the-mill telephone calls. Data from dialogue between business representatives and customers can be just as valuable as the data collected from one-way interactions.
Doctors are learning that all data is good data. Some statistics are definitely more important than others, but first and foremost a business needs a mechanism through which it can collect all of the disparate data created by modern modes of communication. Small businesses should seek out a communication system that consolidates data and allows for easy, smart analysis of the quantitative and qualitative information that, when interpreted correctly, can alter the trajectory of a practice.
How Weave Integrates Communication Through Its Phone System
- Access to Electronic Health Records
Weave’s phone system integrates electronic health records by giving office staff the ability to access them through its interface during a call. In fact, information specific to the customer making the call is made available with the click of a button. When this vital information is readily available, customers get faster answers to their questions, staff feel more confident in their ability to help patients, and practices run seamlessly.
- Combined Calling, Texting, and Emailing
Weave simplifies communication by combining phones, texts, and emails into one system. Customers can choose the way they communicate with the practice and get a reliable response no matter the medium. Plus, staff and owners alike don’t have to worry about jumping from landline to texting app to email box while assisting a patient; Weave’s system synchronizes all communications from a given client.
- Home and Office Together
Weave understands that in the healthcare industry, people have problems and crises around the clock. It’s a hazard of the trade. Weave’s system gets patients connected to the right professional whether that staff or doctor is in the office or not. Your team can respond to patient concerns in a timely fashion over the medium of their choice: direct calls, short emails, or simple texts.
- Review Your Reviews
It’s hard to know where customers will review your business online, for good or ill. Your staff doesn’t need to be overwhelmed by the prospect of scouring every single review site and social media app. Weave’s system makes interacting with online review culture simpler by integrating review platforms on one easy-to-use interface.
- Sophisticated Data Analysis
The majority of customers communicate with their healthcare professional without leaving any sort of feedback. Fortunately, Weave accounts for this fact by providing a telecommunications system that records calls, keeps texts, and stores emails. This data helps businesses monitor staff-client interactions, look for ways to improve customer service, and move beyond mere anecdote to the realm of analytics.
Get Weave’s Phone System Today
Weave understands how complex communication has become for businesses in the 21st century. That’s why it’s created a phone system that meets the demands of modern communication by integrating electronic health records, texting, emailing, personal devices, online reviews, and data storage into one user-friendly platform.
This system isn’t only meant for massive, state-of-the-art companies; it’s meant to support small businesses by revamping their communication systems. Small businesses can implement new technology and see its benefits in a much shorter period of time than giant corporations.
Contact Weave today to see a demonstration of precisely how our system can change your small business practice.