Handling reception requires lots of multi-tasking—the front desk needs organization, patients in the waiting room need assistance, and the ringing phone can be source of stress. Here are helpful phone answering tips for healthcare receptionists to improve patient care.
Be prepared and organized
Don’t let the front desk area become a collage of Post-It notes. Organized receptionists can help patients more efficiently and will appear more professional. Create a binder with tabs for referral numbers and scripted responses for frequent questions, categorized alphabetically.
Listen for what patients want
Customers may not always make it immediately clear what help they need, particularly in stressful situations. Asking questions about the services needed can help resolve the call efficiently while leading to happier outcomes for the patient.
Treat patients as respectfully on the phone as in-person
Some people feel tempted to treat phone customers more briskly or nonchalantly than they would in-person. Many patients have urgent questions and cannot come to the office in-person. A positive, respectful attitude on the phone can help reduce stress for everyone in the long run.
Take notes regularly
The receptionist should have a pen and notepad ready whenever answering calls to prevent asking patients to repeat themselves. Also, taking notes while talking with doctors and nurses also helps develop a knowledge base that leads to better customer service over time.
Use technology to make the job easier
Communication tools empower the receptionist to focus on providing great customer service. With a unified communications platform from MedConnectUSA, many calls can be directed to providers as much as possible to alleviate the call load at the front desk. Modern voicemail and messaging services also help streamline communications, allowing the receptionist to focus on helping callers with general questions.