AUTOMATION PUTS OFFICE ON PATH TO BETTER SERVICE, LOWER COSTS
You might think that psychiatric services would be among the least likely of healthcare services to turn to an automated, instead of a “live’ phone answering system. And yet, that’s exactly what Dr. Veronica Motiram’s five-physician practice at Boynton Beach, Florida’s West Boca Medical Center did recently; they, and their patients are glad that they did.
Even though customer surveys continuing to indicate a preference for a “live” person answering the phone, and popular wisdom assuming the same, the reality is that the variation that occurs when phones are answered by “real people” can often result in just the opposite of good service.
From Troubling Variation to Service Consistency
In this case, despite customer service training and a strong focus on service expectations, Dr. Motiram’s patients complained about the unprofessional attitude of some live answering service employees. She and her partners decided it was time for a change. They turned to AccessDirect to update from a live answering service to an automated answering system, improving customer service and reducing monthly costs, an essential for any small business.
“We needed a solution that would be cost effective,” said Dr. Motiram. “Our current staffed voice answering service was too expensive—more than $1000 a month.” In addition, she said, their former system didn’t offer some of the services provided by AccessDirect, like voice mail messages, caller ID and emailed voice mail recordings.
But, an even greater concern than the cost, was the inconsistency in quality of operators on duty. “Sometimes our clients experienced unprofessional behavior,” says Dr. Motiram. The straw that broke the camel’s back, she said, was the response from the service’s staff one day when the phone had to remain on service. “They were annoyed that no one in the office was able to answer the phones. I had to remind them of their role in serving customers.”
Big Benefits From Automation
Those concerns are in the past for Dr. Motiram’s practice. The new technology through AccessDirect allows for instant access and provides call triage that is more efficient than traditional means. As Dr. Motiram points out: “With simple menu prompts and voice mail messages, we’re able to retrieve more information about the nature of the call.” This detail, she notes, “has allowed us to resolve issues or set appointments more quickly for our clients.”
Listen to Dr. Motiram’s main IVR greeting…
AccessDirect has provided Dr. Motiram and her colleagues with a consistent way of accepting calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no surprises. She points to a number of ways that the automation has helped:
- The office now has the ability to monitor both the number of calls received, and the reasons for the calls. This data has revealed that 80 percent of the calls regard appointments, verifying, changing or canceling, leading to the adoption of an online appointment management tool that is client-facing, which has further reduced call volume.
- The caller ID and email of the voice message allows the staff to set priorities for callbacks.
- Staff can systematically respond to clients by having a better understanding of their needs and nature of the call.
- The automated services from AccessDirect dramatically reduced monthly costs – from more than $1,000 a month to only $99.95 a month; that’s significant savings.
Many others have experienced the same benefits: a big boost in customer service and a dramatic drop in monthly fees. Interested in learning how your business could also benefit from automated phone services? If you’d like to experience similar benefits and customer service advantages, please contact us about automation services and options that are scaled to fit your needs.