No matter whether you’re a dentist, a doctor or a vet, your phone system will be at the heart of how your surgery communicates with its patients. It should make it easy for them to get the information they want, to contact you in an emergency or to speak with the person they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Having worked with surgeries across the South West for more than 25 years we know and understand what you need from a phone system, so does your current provider offer you the flexibility and tailored solution your surgery really needs in the following common scenarios?
When lots of people call at the same time
How frustrating is it to hear an ‘engaged’ tone when you ring someone? The answer for most of us is very! So how do you avoid this when most surgeries face large spikes in call volume as soon as their phone lines open in the morning or at the start of surgery hours?
A simple answer is to have ‘call groups’ within your phone system. This means that if your receptionists are already busy on the other line, the call will simply go through to other phones you’ve designated within the ‘group’. This is an incredibly flexible way of ensuring that calls are always met with a friendly voice rather than a voicemail or that dreaded ‘engaged’ tone.
When someone calls you outside surgery hours
Have you ever phoned a business only to find there’s nobody there to take your call? The endless ringing can be infuriating, as can a generic voicemail when all you want to do is talk to someone at the end of the phone. So what happens if someone calls your surgery out of hours? Do you let it ring? Do you have a voicemail that tells them to leave a message?
We’ve already said that both can be annoying, so you ideally want to be able to tell them when they can call you next or give them the option of leaving that voicemail. Your phone system should allow you to quickly and easily communicate surgery hours and contact times to your patients or anyone else wanting to call your surgery. The ball is then in their court as to which they prefer and you’re giving them the best possible options in your absence.
When someone has a real emergency
But what if you provide “out-of-hours” cover and their call is an emergency? A simple message regarding surgery hours or a voicemail inbox aren’t going to cut the mustard when the stakes are high, so your phone system should also allow you to forward calls to the mobile or landline of whoever is on call.
This functionality is far better than adding the emergency number to your message as it means the caller won’t keep your telephone number for repeated future use and you’ll also save them the hassle of writing it down; in emergencies when every second counts, this can be vital.
When things change
Sometimes things change; it may be the surgery hours, perhaps the personnel or even the telephone number itself. When things do change it’s important to have a phone system that’s flexible to meet your needs not only today, but also in the future. So the important question to ask here is not only if your phone system is helping you to meet all of the daily challenges you face as a surgery, but will it continue to do so tomorrow, next week, next month and over the coming years?
When it comes to working with surgeries we put your patients at the centre of everything we do. We want to make it easier for them to get the information they need and more efficient for you to deliver it to them which in turn allows you to spend more time doing what you do best!
For more information on a specialist phone system for your surgery please give us a call on 01237 420010 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.