We're all looking for ways to be more efficient and reduce costs these days. Here are four ways to reduce your answering service costs.
1. Switch Away from Phone Calls
If you remember one tip, this is the one: Outgoing calls from the answering service to your team are the most inefficient and expensive way to receive messages. When your answering service calls the on-call provider, the clock starts as the number is dialed.
- Each ring takes 6 seconds. If they answer within 3 rings, you've already used 18 seconds.
- Assuming the provider is ready to write down the message, plan on 1-2 minutes being used.
So, at best, phone calls average 1.5 to 2.5 minutes. Multiply this by the number of outgoing calls per month and costs add up fast.
2. Use Secure Texting
Receive the entire message instantly with secure texting apps. The provider can text back to clear the message without calling the answering service back to clear messages.
3. Update On-Call Schedules Online
Instead of emailing, faxing or calling the answering service with on-call changes, switch to web on-call. Relaying on-call changes manually to the answering service will drive up your bill. You are charged for the time their team spends entering on-call information into their system. The good news is that using web on-call eliminates all these charges!
4. Screen Routine Calls with Voicemail Pre-screen
Your office hours may have changed during COVID-19. Using voicemail pre-screen to inform patients of these changes can drastically reduce answering service costs. It is also a great tool to screen callers looking for office hours, prescription refills or other routine calls. Pre-screen can reduce answering service cost upwards of 40 percent.