For healthcare practices planning on or in the process of expansion, there are a number of communication problems to consider. With the right tools, however, these problems become opportunities for quicker expansion, easier consolidation, and optimal business health.
Rapid expansion requires that businesses have the ability to merge data from newly acquired offices. If the locations you’re adding to your organization can’t sync with your existing locations, it will be difficult for them to work together as a cohesive unit.
Without consolidated communication, offices remain islands unto themselves instead of being an interconnected network of cooperative units. Offices that can easily communicate with each other are able to support each other, learn from each other, and increase revenue together.
A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system is the type of communication solution that optimizes business health for businesses looking to grow and expand their reach. It increases the value of your practice, makes retention simple, and enhances your ability to add new customers at each of your locations.
This blog post discusses the ways a unified phone system can give your multi-location practice the insights it needs to succeed in today’s business world. A multi-office phone system unifies offices, empowers staff, replicates the success of top-performers, provides flexibility, and lets your team communicate from anywhere.
1. Unify your offices
Businesses with multiple locations need to be on the same page. If call tracking is only available at individual offices and not as a collective unit, it’s hard for office staff from various locations to help each other and impossible for business owners to view their calls for the organization as a whole. Unifying your offices with a VoIP system is key for filling your schedule, reducing no-shows, and ensuring critical communication is conveyed.
Fill your schedule
When offices are connected with the right phones, they can use each other’s databases to see scheduling and share clients. If one location is booked on a given day, week, or month, staff members can communicate with other offices to find a place for a customer. This scheduling is done with reminder calls, texts, and emails.
Reminder calls, texts, and emails serve to eliminate no-shows. Even if a customer is going to a different office than usual, your team can customize appointment reminders to let the client know the physical address of the alternate location. Text reminders can be scheduled to go out in advance to prevent front office staff from forgetting about contacting customers.
Ensure critical communication
A VoIP phone system allows offices to communicate effectively and make certain that vital information is conveyed. Employees can view call histories for each customer, so offices don’t have to worry about repeating messages to clients or neglecting to communicate with them at all. Staff can easily communicate with each other as well by using call transfers and an intercom system.
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2. Empower staff
With the right phones, employees have all the information they need during inbound calls. This information includes not only call history, but also personal details like names, birthdays, family members, scheduled appointments, and outstanding balances. Having this information on hand for each of your office locations lets employees answer questions, schedule overdue family members, and collect payments.
If a caller can’t get through to their usual office, a VoIP phone system makes it possible for another location to resolve their concerns. That’s because a unified system puts detailed information in front of unfamiliar staff as soon as the phone rings. Even if an employee has never met the customer, they have the resources available to see upcoming appointments and outstanding payments.
The ability to view a customer’s history with your business, as well as the histories of their family members, lets employees set up appointments while they have a client on the line. Though they may have only called to get a question answered, customers can be reminded that they’re due for a visit to your practice. This improves your business’s efficiency and keeps customers engaged.
A third item employees can address over the phone is payments. Software that’s connected to VoIP phones notifies you of outstanding balances customers might have. Your staff can remind clients of overdue payments and collect them quickly by taking card information over the phone or by sending out a text message with a link to a payments page.
3. Replicate success
Multi-location businesses see varying success rates in their offices. It’s only natural that certain offices will bring in more revenue and serve more customers than others. However, it’s important that less successful locations learn from the habits and processes of their counterparts by identifying trends with data.
VoIP phones can collect huge amounts of data on things like call volume, missed calls, and call sources. Businesses need to be able to see the aggregated data alongside location-specific data. Understanding why some offices are succeeding can often be linked to how their communication is being handled.
Identify areas for growth and improvement
With analytical software, businesses can evaluate their communication as a whole and drill down into the particulars of each location. If an office is experiencing a high number of missed calls, they may be short-staffed and in need of expansion or more support. In other cases, they might be approaching their communication inefficiently. Analytics show how these inefficiencies can be prevented.
4. Match your business’s flexibility
Growing businesses are dynamic and responsive to their environment. A phone system should be able to match your business’s flexibility to responding to its day-to-day needs. Features like phone trees, call transfers and forwarding, and automatic missed-call texts improves your offices’ flexibility in today’s marketplace.
Set up and adjust your phone tree
VoIP phones make it easy to link your various offices through a phone tree. A well-designed phone tree routes callers to the right location and the right person, in addition to catching annoying robo-calls. Adjusting your phone tree is clumsy and complicated with traditional phones; VoIP phones simplify the process of changing a phone tree as your practice grows.
Transfer and forward calls
Although a phone tree significantly reduces confusion for callers, it’s still likely that some customers will reach the wrong location or wrong person. Instead of asking them to hang up and call another number, keep them on the line by transferring the call to the correct office or forwarding the call to the right employee.
Follow up with missed-call texts
VoIP phones allow multi-office businesses to contact missed callers immediately with automatic text messages. If a caller can’t get through, the system sends an automated missed-call text that lets the caller know your business is aware of the call and will call back shortly. This message opens up the opportunity for a two-way text conversation with someone from your team.
5. Communicate from anywhere
These days, it’s crucial that employees have the tools to communicate not only from the office, but from any offsite location. With owners constantly on the go and staff members working more frequently from home, a mobile app that’s connected to your phone system drastically improves communication for businesses. The right mobile app allows you to quickly fill your schedule, control employee access, and respond to the challenges of the COVID-era.
Use Quick Fill lists
No-shows and cancellations can be reduced, but they’re still going to happen from time to time. A mobile app with Quick Fill option lets offices identify and contact customers that are most likely to come in at the last minute. Once clients are selected, employees can send out text blasts in the hope of finding someone to fill the schedule.
Control employee access
Not everyone in your offices needs full access to your phone system. Administrators can determine which employees have which tools in the mobile app. This type of control isn’t meant to limit staff members, but to allow them to specialize and to avoid confusion and overlap.
Respond to COVID-19
A mobile app has become even more of a necessity due to the pandemic. Employees in many offices have spent less time at the physical location because of temporary closures and reduced hours. That’s why it’s critical for them to be able to set up curbside waiting rooms, send wellness forms, and collect contactless payments with their mobile devices.
Learn about Weave Unify Early Access
At Weave, our team has developed a VoIP phone system for multi-office practices. Weave Unify is designed to provide your business with the insights and tools to help you expand, stay connected, and optimize your offices. It achieves this optimization by unifying your offices, empowering staff with vital information, allowing offices to learn from each other, giving you flexible tools, and making sure you can communicate from anywhere.
To find out more about Weave Unify, contact our team today for a free demo.