No matter what type of medical or healthcare practice you’re in, patients are calling your office around the clock.

What do your patients hear when they call into your office?

If it’s a recorded message and a “wait for the beep” voicemail system, you could be turning away potential patients and frustrating current ones.

Sure, using a voicemail service for your medical practice might be appealing initially. You can set up a voicemail system rather easily, and your staff is free to focus on patients in front of them. Directing incoming calls to your voicemail system and then handling them at a later time may be convenient for your staff, but it doesn’t help your patients.

Think about your patients and their experience calling in to your medical practice.

Whether you’re part of a small clinic or help to run a large practice, you have to think about your patients and their experience with your practice. Their experience when they call into your business line is going to form their opinion of your practice, and determine whether or not they will come back and refer their friends.

Patients prefer a live receptionist over voicemail because it helps them get the help that they need more quickly. They feel supported and cared for when the phone is picked up by a real person, versus a recorded message. In times when they need medical care most, a friendly voice at the other end of the line can make the difference between a patient continuing with your practice and finding another provider.

Do you need a medical answering service?

Live receptionists through a medical answering service can provide your practice with the call coverage it needs, without drawing your staff’s focus away from the patients in the office. With a medical answering service, virtual receptionists will answer calls promptly and relay information, confirm appointments and take secure messages from patients. In addition, with live receptionists from a medical answering service, you can have 24/7 coverage on your incoming line – without having to pay an in-house staff member to work nights.

Finally, live receptionists from a medical answering service can help patients feel more secure in communicating with your office. Due to the personal nature of healthcare information, some patients may be hesitant to leave a message on a voicemail system. With a live receptionist, they can leave a message or ask a question without feeling like their privacy is at risk.

Patients want to be valued and feel cared for. The best way to do this at your medical practice is to use a medical answering service with live receptionists. Next steps for your practice? Get rid of the voicemail and opt for a real, live voice.