Prepare Your Phones for the Holiday Season: The Ultimate Phone Handling Checklist
November 7, 2023

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and for healthcare practices, it can be the busiest and most crucial time of year. For providers, your patients are eager to maximize their insurance benefits before they reset on January 1st. However, this period can be challenging due to holiday season staffing shortages as employees take time off to be with their families. Call Box has prepared the ultimate phone handling checklist to guide your practice through the busy season!

Staffing and Training:

Ensuring your practice is adequately staffed is the most straightforward approach to preparing for the holiday rush. According to Call Box data, in 2022, there was an 18% surge in the total number of incoming patient calls from early November to the week of Thanksgiving. From early December to the week of Christmas, there was a substantial 25% increase in total call volume. Furthermore, from early December to the week of New Year's Day, the total number of calls saw a 13% uptick. Utilize this data to proactively manage your practice's staffing needs around the holidays, whether that means hiring temporary staff or extending the hours of your current team. Also, it is important that your staff is well-prepared to deliver exceptional patient experience amidst the demanding holiday season. Leverage your Call Box call recordings for insightful training opportunities aimed at reinforcing the importance of maintaining excellent communication on the phone, demonstrating empathy, and upholding any specific procedures for handling holiday-related inquiries.

Optimize Call Routing:

Review and optimize your call routing system to ensure that calls reach the appropriate department or staff promptly. This step is essential to handle the increased call volume effectively during the holiday season and to address any potential disruptions. To achieve a smooth and efficient patient experience, be sure to incorporate phone bridges and inclement weather recordings. These can provide callers with up-to-date information on schedule changes, office closures, and alternative contact methods during adverse weather conditions, along with fallback options for routing calls to backup locations or remote staff. These strategic measures guarantee uninterrupted service even in challenging situations, reinforcing your practice's commitment to responsiveness and patient-focused care.

Communicate Holiday Hours:

Determine your holiday hours and make sure they are clearly communicated to your patients. A simple and effective way to do this is to update your phone bridge greeting, stating your holiday hours. If your practice plans to temporarily close, reassure patients by specifying when they can expect a callback and how to reach your team in case of an emergency. You can also update your practice's website and social media profiles with holiday hours information. Ensure that the details are consistent across all digital touchpoints to avoid confusion. Finally, email or text your patients a notice in advance, informing them of your holiday hours and the recommended emergency protocol.

Overall, the holiday season presents opportunities and challenges for healthcare practices. By following the ultimate phone handling checklist, you can ensure that your practice is well-prepared to navigate the holiday season with ease. With proper staffing, call routing, and customer communication about holiday hours, your practice can deliver an exceptional patient experience, even during the busiest time of the year.

Want to learn more about how Call Box can enhance your practice? Request a demo today!