How much revenue have you lost because of missed calls or no-shows? Missing potential new patient phone calls or having high patient no-shows can ruin any practice. Medical practices have reported losing as much as 1 million dollars in revenue because of no-shows. For this reason, scheduling and managing appointments are the lifeline for many dental practices.
What if you could increase revenue and lower costs with one service? Dentists are turning to a dental scheduling service to do exactly that. But with so many options, how do you pick the best company for your practice?
A Dental answering service specialize in managing calls for dental practices. Scheduling and appointment setting is part of their suite of services. It is important to know that not all the services are the same and some do not deliver the quality of service you, your practice, and patients deserve. For example, dental practices must comply with HIPAA law and thus the dental answering services must follow these same laws as they are interacting with patient information. When looking at a dental answering service, confirm that they are HIPAA compliant. Before hiring a service, do your homework by talking to references, asking questions, and doing research online for reviews and any bad press.
There are two main forms of billing that you can choose from. The first is paying by the call. You will be billed each time a live agent answers your call. A flat rate for each call will be given to you based on your call volume. The more calls you get, potentially a better rate you can receive. The main drawback to this model is that many services will charge you even if the call does not connect or it is a wrong number. Imagine 10 people call a day with the wrong number, what are you paying for?
The other model, which most businesses prefer, is to pay for live agent talk time. Instead of paying per call, you only pay for the time an agent is on the phone with your caller. When choosing this model, be sure to verify that the service will not round the talk time to the nearest quarter, half, or full minute. You should only pay for the time you use.
In addition, very few companies work to optimize call time. At Unicom Teleservices, we are constantly looking to improve call time for our customers. This is done by analyzing your processes, constantly training agents on your account, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
There is a vast number of scheduling platforms that are available to support dental practices. Many dental answering services would want you to switch to their preferred platform as it is easier for them. But, anyone with experience of switching a technology platform in an organization will tell you how arduous of a task it can be. It is recommended to find a company that can use your software. All that is needed is a user login with the appropriate permissions to manage your appointment and scheduling tasks.
There are a variety of factors to consider when determining your level of service, including; call volume and call length, schedule, and processes.
Call Volume and Length
Knowing your call volume and call length is not always easy to do. If you have used a previous service, review your statements to obtain the necessary information. If hiring a dental scheduling service for the first time, there are several things you can do to get an estimate of volume and call time. The following questions will help you get a better idea:
A quality dental answering service will work with you for the first 60 to 90 days of starting your service to determine your call volume and length if needed. This is important because it protects you from being over billed or receives a rate that doesn’t match your practice’s needs.
Make Your Own Schedule
Running a practice is not an easy task. You need to be able to count on your dental answering service when it matters most to you. No matter if you need call filtering, overflow call management, afterhours support, or 24-hour support, a top dental scheduling service will provide you with the flexibility to have your calls managed whenever you like. You shouldn’t be stuck in a contract that limits when your calls can be managed.
Processes are Key to Success
It is recommended you plan your processes from the beginning. At a minimum, have the broad strokes in place so you can clearly communicate your practice’s needs. Work with the dental scheduling service from the beginning to discover and implement the appropriate processes. You should also be given the flexibility to modify your processes based on your practice’s needs. An efficient process today doesn’t mean it will be efficient tomorrow.
If you’re you require a top dental scheduling service, consider Unicom Teleservices to be your provider. We have been supporting the medical industry for over 20 years. Most of our medical customers are referrals from doctors, practices, and medical centers. Our success stems from the ability to customize solutions to meet each customer’s needs.
Request a free quote with no obligations today. Learn how Unicom Teleservices can lower costs and increase revenue for your dental practice.