Every patient calling your practice deserves immediate and personalized help. If patients are frequently being placed on hold, or not being helped at all, that leads patients hanging up and calling the competition down the road. You want to capture that new patient opportunity by connecting every caller, every time.
There is a key difference between an answered call and a connected call. An answered call is determined based on a technical pick-up signal, whether initiated by a person or a machine. But a connected call is when the customer reaches a qualified agent who can actually help address their questions or concerns.
Patient experience can decrease tremendously if the patient spends minutes trying to get to the desired individual or area of a practice and will often result in that patient hanging up.
When a patient calls a practice, it is essential to establish a connection promptly and professionally. Effective call connection ensures smooth communication with patients, improves patient satisfaction, and contributes to the overall efficiency of the practice.
We understand it's not a perfect world. Not every call will be connected. However, we have a few tips and tricks you can implement to improve the call connection rate at your practice.
The first tactic to improve call connection is to leverage warm transfers. Let’s say your receptionist picks up a call but can’t assist the patient with their inquiry or the requested individual is currently with another patient. That’s when Call Box recommends a warm transfer. The receptionist ensures there’s an actual person on the other end of the line before blindly passing off the caller. If no one is available after three rings, the receptionist takes the caller off hold and offers to take down the patient’s name and set expectations for a follow-up call.
Another way to improve call connection at your practice is to implement a phone bridge. A proper phone bridge typically resembles, “Press 1 to schedule an appointment, press 2 to speak with a nurse, press 3 for billing, or press 4 for prescription refills.” After analyzing thousands of healthcare practices, Call Box found that the practices utilizing a phone bridge had a 5.27% higher connection rate compared to practices without a phone bridge.
The phone is your biggest asset when booking new and existing patients at your practice. Prioritizing and optimizing call connection contributes to and fosters strong patient-provider relationships.
To learn more about strategies to improve call connection, download our free data study, Research-Driven Strategies to Improve New and Existing Appointment Conversions at Your Practice, HERE.