Be Aware of Your Tone
People that call a doctor’s office can be on edge and sensitive, especially if they are sick or waiting for important results. Because the caller cannot see your face, she only has your tone to gauge how you are reacting. Maintain a calm, soothing tone, even if you are being screamed at.
Use Key Phrases
When patients call the doctor’s office, they want or need help and are looking for someone that can provide that help in a kind and effective manner. Using certain phrases can acknowledge what they are saying, possibly ease their concern and let them know you will try to help. Use phrases such as “I will be happy to help you” and “I understand.”
Make Promises and Keep Them
If a person asks you for help, give them the earliest possible time you will be able to help them and how you will go about it. For example, if a patient requests a paper mailed and you can get it done by the end of the day, say something to the effect of, “I will get started on it soon and it will be done by the end of the day. You should receive the information by mail in a few days.” This statement gives them assurance. Because they can’t see you, your response acknowledges everything they requested of you.
Return Calls Appropriately
Return calls according to the time that they called. If it is a time sensitive call, then move it to the top of the list. You should return those calls first thing in the morning. An hour before closing, return the calls of additional patients that called throughout the day and needed information. The reason for calling an hour before closing is so you give the patients an opportunity to call you back and speak to you before you leave for the day, especially if it is important and they need to speak to you immediately.
Do Not Release Private Information
You don’t know for certain who is on the other end of the line, so if a patient requests test results or asks for any other type of personal information, leave that up to the doctor to make the judgment about releasing that information.
Another article teaching doctors how to behave!!