To determine whether an auto attendant might be beneficial for your office, just take an hour or two to sit and listen to the people that answer incoming calls. If they are constantly saying, “Let me transfer you to…,” you need an auto attendant. If they’re repeating the same information over and over, you need an auto attendant. Why? With an automated attendant, your staff won’t be interrupted with questions they are unable to answer, so they’ll be more productive. It’s also great for customer service, because your caller will be sent directly to the person that can assist without having to explain an issue or ask a question more than once.
The first thing you must consider is your caller: in most cases a parent with a sick child. And whether the child is very young or in high school, their health and happiness is always the most pressing issue. That parent is concerned, and looking for the quickest way to help their child feel better. Your auto attendant should connect that concerned parent with an answer to their questions, in the fewest steps possible.
You probably also receive calls from other doctor’s offices, pharmacies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical representatives, and any number of other industry professionals. These callers may be secondary, but they should still be able to get to your staff quickly and easily through your call flow.
Creating the Call Flow
Depending on the size of your staff and their functions, you may want to break your automated attendant into just a couple simple selections, or several selections.
Create a list of your office staff, and their duties. If there is lots of overlap, you can keep the automated attendant simple. However, if each person specializes in very specific duties, you may want to offer more menu selections in your auto attendant.
[Simple AA] Thanks for calling Happy Kids Pediatrics! For appointments or billing, press one. To speak to a nurse, press two. If you’re calling from a doctor’s office or pharmacy, press three.
[Specific AA] Thanks for calling Happy Kids Pediatrics! For appointments, press one. To speak to a nurse, press two. For prescription refills, press three. For billing, press four. If you’re calling from a doctor’s office or pharmacy, press five. For office hours or directions, press six. For our office administrator, press zero.
Need More Direction?
Sometimes, sub-menus are appropriate if you have several offices, specific nurse functions, or static information to share. Let’s assume that Happy Kids Pediatrics has 3 offices, and a staff with specific responsibilities. Using the Specific AA example from above, here are a few sample sub-menus.
[Sub-1] To make an appointment at our Lucky Lane office, press one. For our Smile Street office, press two. For our Delightful Drive office, press three. This will direct the call to the appropriate office where the caller can make their child’s appointment
[Sub-2] To speak with the general nurse on duty, press one. For our lactation consultant, press two. For our nutritionist, press three.
[Sub-4] For questions about your bill or your account, press one. For accounts receivable, press two. For accounts payable, press three. If you are calling from an insurance company, press four. This separates patient calls from insurance company and vendor calls, directing them to the appropriate staff members.
[Sub-6] All three of our offices are open 7am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturday. Our offices are located at 123 Lucky Lane, 456 Smile Street, and 789 Delightful Drive in Happy Valley. For a map and directions, visit us online at Happy Kids Pediatrics dot com!
Don’t Forget After-Hours!
At a medical office, you may also receive calls before or after normal business hours. If you have a 24-hour on-call nurse, or your office offers emergency appointments (or even house-calls), be sure to include that information and allow for an appropriate after-hours call flow. You can also direct callers to schedule their non-urgent appointments via your website, or to leave a message for a call back on the next business day.
[After Hours AA] Thanks for calling Happy Kids Pediatrics! Our office is currently closed. To page the on-call nurse, press one. Regular office hours are 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturday. You may leave a message after the tone for a return call on our next business day. For your convenience, you can also make an appointment via our website, Happy Kids Pediatrics dot com. We look forward to speaking with you soon!
At Spectrio, we have experience with organizing call flow for pediatric offices, and many other types of businesses. Our polished, professional automated attendants can help you accomplish your business goals, provide great customer service, and create a more productive working environment! Contact us here or call us at 800-584-4653 for more information.
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