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Prescription for the Doctor’s Office

What’s up, doc? We know you want to make sure we show up for our appointments and procedures, but we also know you can do a better job of reminding us. Here’s our communications prescription: pay the same attention to your customer contact that you do to our health. It will help our well-being.

Doc, here are the symptoms that raise our blood pressure when you send us appointment reminders:

  • We get robocalls that don’t show up as your office on our caller IDs. So, we might not answer them – because we’re disgusted with spam-type phone calls that tell us our car warranty is expiring or that we’re going to be arrested by the FBI unless we pay back taxes. Or we might answer the phone because we think it’s your office – only to find it’s a scammer.
  • We get text messages from unknown numbers at any time of the day. The dings can wake us up if your service texts us at night. And that might add to our sleep deprivation that might be affecting some health issues we need to see you about.
  • We get repeat messages and/or messages by multiple means: phone, text, email. We realize we probably gave them permission to contact us by all three methods, but that’s because we want to make sure we get important diagnostic info about a health problem.

One side effect from all of this is anxiety that your communication technologies don’t talk to each other. If we don’t respond to one of those multiple reminders, does that mean you’re going to cancel our appointment?

BTW, doc, you’re not the only one guilty of this. We get multiple reminders from other service providers, but yours are most vexing right now. What can you – or any other provider – do to help?

First, if you use a call center to make your outbound appointment reminders, have them display your name and/or phone number. That should be an easy request for them to fulfill. We’ll be more likely to pick up the call without any question knowing somebody’s not going to solicit us for money or try to foist a scam.

Second, if your outbound calling service also provides text and email notifications, have them set up their system so that one confirmation eliminates the remaining messages.

Third, if you have a real person make the phone call – whether from your office or a call center – make sure they speak clearly and at a normal pace. Nothing is more frustrating than having to replay a message three or four times to understand everything.

But back to the first recommendation, absolutely demand that proper identification information be displayed. In today’s world, every legitimate caller – or texter or emailer – needs to make sure the message can be received.

If you have an office that depends on outbound communications to reach customers, clients or patients, we can help you set up a system or help you get a provider that can reliably reach your important contacts. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it. Or tell your provider to contact us about it.