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Medical Answering Service Feature Ideas for Small Business

Medical answering services can do a lot for your medical practice. Employing a trusted medical answering service will allow your staff to focus attention on patients rather than on calls. Many features are particularly helpful for small businesses using a medical answering service. Read on to learn more about them.

What Does a Medical Answering Service Do?

A medical answering service will handle incoming calls for your practice with a high level of attention to detail. Medical answering services will also ensure that you are meeting HIPAA standards to protect client data. Using the service can free up the time of your staff and save you money on hiring a receptionist. Using the service will also help to ensure your patients feel valued.

How Do I Know if My Business Will Benefit from Medical Answering Services?

Below are some questions to ask yourself in considering whether you need the help of an answering service for your practice:

  • Does your medical practice have a difficult time keeping up with incoming calls?
  • Does your office have a backlog of voicemail messages on a daily basis?
  • Are you repeatedly receiving “voicemail is full” warnings from your phone system?
  • Is your office taking time from patients in order to answer phone calls?
  • Is your office having to allow the phone to ring for long periods before answering calls?
  • Have you been considering hiring staff to manage your call volume?

If your response to any of the above questions is “yes,” then a medical answering service could be a very smart move for your practice.

How Does it Work?

With a medical answering service, incoming calls to your practice are routed to a remote receptionist. Virtual receptionists handle all types of inquiries your practice receives. This can include questions regarding office hours and location. Receptionists can also schedule appointments, manage new patient information, and forward emergency calls. If a caller needs to reach someone in your practice immediately, the virtual receptionist can forward the call to the specific person. Receptionists can handle calls to your practice 24/7, which is very important for a medical practice.

There are many other tasks that answering services can handle that will help your small business practice grow.

Medical Answering Service Feature Ideas for Small Business
Source: DepositPhotos.com – O#151705872 ID#27446420

Virtual Phone Numbers for Medical Answering Services

Using virtual phone numbers for medical answering is a no-brainer. Your receptionist is virtual and you don’t need to be tied down to a landline, so this is the ideal choice. Using virtual phone numbers also allows you to stay mobile in case you need to switch your answering service to another location.

Features to Ensure the Call Center Runs Smoothly

There are medical answering service features that will help your practice thrive. Some of these include:

  • Call forwarding: to be able to use a phone number for patients, but have those calls forwarded to the virtual receptionist
  • Extensions: to be able to route calls to the intended parties as needed
  • Call recording: to ensure quality assurance and for training purposes
  • Sequential forwarding: so that calls are answered in the order received
  • Time of day routing: in case you are using virtual receptionists in different geographic locations to answer calls at different times of day

The use of a medical phone service for your practice could make your office run much more smoothly. If you can run the office more efficiently, more attention can be given to patients. Considering a number of medical answering service options for small businesses is also a must. Many features will complement the service and, ultimately, support the success and growth of your practice.

Small Business Marketing Trends for 2017

The year 2017 promises to be an exciting year for small businesses, and small business owners will need to prepare for changing marketing trends. This article discusses some marketing strategies that companies will use this year. Some of these may be perfect for your business.

Mobile Friendly Websites

In recent years, more people search and use websites on mobile devices than on desktops. Therefore, your websites should be mobile-centric, i.e. optimized for mobile use. Better yet, get a mobile app for your business. There are many available DIY app builders. Take a look at this list of the Best App Makers of 2017.With them, you can build an inexpensive mobile app. A Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans check their mobiles hourly and use apps 90% of the time.

Consumers are becoming comfortable making mobile payments using mobile pay services. You may want to advertise and offer this service.

New marketing channels that are available to small businesses are mobile-only, downloaded apps such as Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat. These apps are not available on desktops, but they are very popular and have a wide audience.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is not a new trend. However, it continues to be one of the most effective techniques for getting and retaining customers. In a March 2016 survey of US SMB Retail Professionals, over 80% of respondents rated email over other marketing methods for acquisition and retention of customers. Furthermore, a 2014 Email Marketing Industry Census found that 68% of respondent companies rated email marketing over SEO (organic search), content marketing, paid search, offline direct marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, and online display advertising.

Video Content

Consumers prefer to watch videos than to read text. Videos increase the reach and duration of marketing content, drive leads and sales and, as a result, contribute to the bottom line. In fact, predictions are that global mobile video traffic will increase exponentially from 3.6 million terabytes per month in 2016 to 23 million terabytes per month in 2019. Small business owners should consider increasing the video content on their web pages as well as adding videos to their social media.

Improvement of Blogs

SEO practices affect blog writing. However, if a blog is not useful or informative, readers are likely to leave the website. Therefore, this year is a good time to improve the content of your blogs. Use industry experts or professionals for writing and make sure the content is topical and on point. Your business will benefit from the changes.

International Call Forwarding Service

Global Call Forwarding (GCF) provides an international call forwarding service used by many successful global businesses, both big and small. We provide toll free numbers and local phone numbers to clients in over 150 countries and thousands of cities. We have an advanced network structure and provide customers with 24/7 technical support.

Using either local phone numbers or toll free numbers, your business will have a virtual office in your global marketplaces. The local phone numbers and toll free numbers portray a local presence to your customers. GCF forwards calls made to those numbers to specified destinations. It is a toll free call.

In addition to the many standard features that one expects, such as voice mail, customized greetings, and rollover minutes, GCF’s international call forwarding service provides service features that help small businesses manage call flows. These specialized features are Advanced Call Forwarding, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Auto-Attendant.

Advanced Call Forwarding

Incoming calls can be directed to standard landlines, mobile phones, or computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The destination can be anywhere in the world. Subscribers to the international call forwarding service can customize receiving phones based on time of day, day of the week, holiday schedules, etc. The combinations are unlimited. Calls from non-English speakers (such as Thai, Tagalog, Cantonese or Mandarin) can be routed to agents that speak those languages. Advanced call forwarding is a very useful tool for small businesses.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

The IVR is a computerized system that greets incoming callers and transfers their calls to the proper department or extension. You can program the IVR to meet your specific business needs. Customization includes greetings, announcements, prompts, extensions, and email destinations. A free PBX service is part of the IVR. This is what allows customers to establish a private telephone network, which connects incoming calls to the appropriate extension.

Auto-Attendant

The auto-attendant answers incoming calls and gives a pre-recorded message. Users can program it based on their needs. Often, an auto-attendant gives the following options:

  • If you know the extension, dial it.
  • A list of departments and a number to dial to reach that department
  • Dial “0” for operator.
  • An option to repeat the above menu

Global Expansion

Through the use international call forwarding services and by subscribing to local phone numbers or toll free numbers, even a small business can maintain a global posture. Consider the possibilities of being able to tap into markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand. If you own a business in those countries, provide local phone numbers or toll free number to your customers or prospects in North America, South America or Europe and then reap the benefits.

Perhaps 2017 will continue to be a year of growth for small businesses around the world. The Dow has already eclipsed 20,000 for the first time in history. Why not try some of the above marketing trends and supercharge your business.