With so many telephone systems that are automated, it’s always a surprise to a patient when he/she gets a live person immediately. Whether they reach a live person at the beginning of their hone call or after pressing a few prompts, periodically, it’s a good idea to remind your medical office staff to use “proper telephone etiquette.”
Having a mirror attached to their computer and smiling into it prior to answering the phone is a sure fire way to sound cheerful when greeting the patient on the other end of the line.
Be polite and identify yourself and your practice when you pick up the telephone. Since patients often share personal information, they have a right to know to whom they are speaking.
Other good suggestions when speaking on the telephone:
—Answer the telephone promptly within three rings or less.
—Avoid putting the patient on hold, but if you must, ask permission first and wait for their response.
—Speak slowly and clearly so you are understood.
Remember, the person on the other line is important to your practice. Listen intently and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
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