May 28, 2020 | Appointment Setting
The Rise of Telehealth
Covid-19 has swept through the Canadian provinces, bringing with it the recommendation to stay out of public spaces as much as possible. Medical clinics and hospitals are clocking in as some of the riskier places to visit. As a result, it seems, telehealth is finally on the rise.
Telehealth, or telemedicine, allows patients to meet with doctors and other medical personnel through secure video conference. In Canada, this has been a slow adaptation. In fact, for most physicians, the use of email or text messages is often an exception, rather than the norm. A lack of reliable infrastructure and support and unsatisfactory compensation for physicians have been the most common deterrents.
Telehealth: Forced Innovation
It didn’t take long to realize that the most effective strategy to fight the spread of the disease was to create physical distance. This left many medical professionals scrambling to find a way to help their clients from afar. Finding a system that could protect patient information and link to their electronic medical records (EMRs) was the biggest hurdle.
Many physicians and medical professionals are finding this to be time consuming and problematic. Toggling confidential patient information with their video conferencing software is less than ideal. Another draw back for many was the less than adequate pay structure for telemedicine. While there have been some recent improvements in this area, fee for service payment is still a relatively new concept and largely available within the private sector.
A current necessity
However, regardless of the pitfalls, the move to telemedicine is timely and important. Keeping people out of busy emergency rooms is paramount to keep Covid-19 at bay. This keeps potentially immunocompromised patients away from possibly infected patients with Covid-19. For many providers, this was the urgent push needed to get their telemedicine products ready for market. Jane, which offers online booking, charting, scheduling, secure video and invoicing on a secure system is one of such providers leading the cause in Canada.
Here to stay
While telehealth isn’t considered a full replacement for traditional healthcare, it may be here to stay in some facets. Certainly virtual appointments can not replace physical examinations. However, it can help to alleviate some of the demand on busy emergency rooms and walk in clinics now, while we face this global crisis, and perhaps well into the future.
If you have questions about implementing Telehealth with our services, we are happy to help!
Feb 28, 2020 | Appointment Setting, Backup Reception, FAQ, Virtual Reception
When is an answering service right for your business?
It can be difficult for busy business owners to measure when it may be time to hire a virtual receptionist. The most obvious question is when does the benefit outweigh the cost? Luckily, there are several key indicators that can help determine the answer.
If your business requires the image that you’re ‘always on’ or that you have a large support system in place, missing calls can be a huge red flag for clients. As a business owner, you may not be able to answer every call that comes in. Or if you are, chances are you’ve been caught with your dog barking in the background or sounding out of breath as you run out to complete an errand. Even with a full time receptionist or support team, between sick time and vacation days, gaps will arise. If your professional image can’t afford to have missed calls, it may be time to look into receptionist support.
Business Growth Opportunities
As your productivity grows, so do your opportunities for growth. I can be overwhelming as more calls come in while you’re trying to hold everything else down. A professional answering service can alleviate the pressure of mounting inquiries, allowing you to focus on building your business. If you’ve noticed that your call volume has increased to a level you can’t keep up with, it may be time to hire a virtual receptionist.
It may seem like a frivolous expense to hire an outside company to answer your calls. However, if you look at the cost to set up a similar service in-house, it may not seem quite as daunting of an expense. Not only will it cost much less to hire a third party, your team won’t be interrupted incessantly by the phones ringing each day, lending to higher levels of productivity! So, if you’ve been thinking about expanding your support team, it may be time to consider a third-party instead.
If any of these indicators sound familiar, it might be time to take your business to the next level by working with a virtual receptionist. If you’d like a quick demo of how Smiledog works for our clients, click here!
Jan 31, 2020 | Appointment Setting, Backup Reception, Virtual Reception
It may sound like a gimmick, but believe it or not, answering the phone with a smile makes a difference. Not only that, there are scientific reasons to back it up. We believe in this so much at Smiledog, we named our company based on this premise. Today on the blog, we’re going to identify how it works.
Smiling affects your vocal tone
The acoustic effects of a smile’s stretched lips on speech changes the tone of your voice. In fact, when you’re auditory smiling, your tone is upbeat and friendly. Often the effect is so obvious that you may not even realize it until you’re smiling yourself in response!
This response is so powerful that we train our Smile Team to start smiling before they even answer a call. Try it, you’ll find that regardless of what you say, if you say it with a smile, it will have a positive outcome.
Moods are contagious
Moods are as contagious as the common cold. Psychologists call this phenomenon emotional contagion. It is actually a three step process where one person’s feelings and demeanor transfer to another. The first stage is called non-conscious mimicry, where you mimic the other person’s actions, often subconsciously. Second, you experience the feedback from the action, meaning if you frowned you may feel sad and conversely, if you smiled, you may feel happy. Lastly, you begin to synchronize your emotions until the nonverbal cues of those around you physically alter your own behavioural state.
When customers call in a frustrated or angry state, greeting them with an upbeat and positive tone and demeanor can change the course of the call nearly instantaneously.
Smiling actually makes you happy
Having a bad day when you work in customer service just isn’t an option! That’s not to say it doesn’t happen from time to time. Research suggests that even forced smiles can boost your mood. A smile spurs a powerful chemical reaction in the brain that can make you feel happier. We encourage our team to smile before, during and after their calls. Hopefully they’re mostly genuine, but if needed, our team knows they can quickly boost their mood by forcing a smile, in most cases, it doesn’t take long before they’re smiling for real.
There you have it, smiling is a simple, but effective, action that can improve your mood and in our case, also improve the experience that your customer receives. If you’re not convinced, give it a try and see for yourself how powerful a simple smile really is.
Sep 2, 2014 | Appointment Setting, Virtual Reception
Virtual reception services have the potential to improve productivity in your physical therapy office and free you up to focus on what you do best: patient care. Smiledog offers physical therapy offices virtual reception services that are second-to-none. By choosing Smiledog for your virtual reception needs, you can grow and develop your business whether you’re experienced and established, or just starting out.
Appointment Setting For Physical Therapy Offices
One of the more simple and repetitive tasks in a physical therapy office is handling appointments. Every client must make one, and sometimes they have to reschedule them. By letting Smiledog take over this aspect of your physical therapy office, you are left with more time to focus on your patients. We use state-of-the-art web calendars that are dynamically updated instantly. You never have to worry about double-booking of patients, because the calendar is always up-to-date.
For a physical therapy office just opening its doors, establishing a client base is vital. By using virtual receptionists from the start, you get maximum productivity from any existing office staff. They can focus on the patients in your waiting room — not juggling calls and appointments.
Grow Your Business With Virtual Reception
Using virtual reception services can really ease your mind as you continue to establish and grow your practice. On those occasions when you are ill and have an emergency, you need not panic about the appointments set up for the day. Not only can Smiledog set appointments, you can direct us to call your patients and reschedule them in the event of an illness or emergency. Smiledog is always ready to accommodate your schedule, and help you keep things running smoothly at the office.
Time To Get Started?
Are you ready to use virtual reception services to improve your physical therapy office or are you interested in learning more about how we can help you? Visit our GETTING STARTED page for more information now! [sc:GuideCTA]
Aug 26, 2014 | Appointment Setting, Virtual Reception
Virtual reception services might just be a great addition to your massage therapy office. How you can use the services depends a lot upon your needs. At Smiledog, we try to meet our clients where they are — in other words, we want to help you grow and develop your business, whether large or small. Our valuable services can help your massage therapy office grow while also improving your productivity.
Providing Virtual Reception Services For Your Growing Business
If you are running your massage therapy office on your own, Smiledog can really help you streamline things and keep your day running smoothly from patient to patient. We can take your incoming calls and schedule appointments as you treat your patients, never having to worry about missing a call or having to send anyone to voicemail. If you’re sick, we can also handle rescheduling your day, while you stay home to get well.
One of the biggest obstacles to growing your massage therapy office if often bridging that middle ground between needing a receptionist to grow your client base and having enough clients to justify hiring a receptionist. Smiledog relieves you of this stress with its affordable, scalable virtual reception services.
Dedicate Support Staff To Patient Care
For busier offices using virtual reception for appointment setting, support staff is free to focus entirely on patient care, rather than tedious appointment setting tasks. Where clients are in and out of your office daily, it’s really best to let front office staff focus on the immediate needs of in-office patients, instead of having to ask them to wait while handling a phone call. Switching to virtual reception can help your staff more fully-focus on your patients’ needs, which in turn, increases their patient satisfaction.
Time To Get Started?
Are you ready to use virtual reception services to improve your massage therapy office or just want to learn more about how we can help you? Visit our GETTING STARTED page for more information now! [sc:GuideCTA]