by: Dez Merrow, Technology Integration Consultant
This article was a little delayed because I went on vacation last week!! Woo Hoo! Anyway, the previous article in this 6 part series discussed the pros and cons of VoIP phones and how they work into a multi-location setting. This article addresses multi-office efficiency and call centers.
6) Consistency is everything. Keep your locations as consistent as possible when creating systems, and choosing technology like cad-cam, digital x-ray, intra-oral cameras, CBCT, etc. This not only makes support easier for your IT company, but it allows you to move team members around when staffing shortages arise. If the systems and technology are the same, a team member from location 1 can fill in at location 3 without ramp-up time or need for training. Using the same materials and storing supplies in the same place at each location makes it extremely easy and incredibly efficient for every team member to perform expediently.
7) Call centers are awesome. Having a call center once a third location is opened is key. Off-loading calls for scheduling, insurance, confirmations, and so on, lets you manage your employee count at each location. The team members present at those offices can focus on collecting payments, scheduling return appointments, patient comfort and customer service. You can then train the corporate team to answer calls a specific way, assign insurance duties in such a way that filing is consistent across all locations, handle new patients the same, etc. Because you have invested in putting your database in a data center, they can access the schedules for all locations and schedule patients accordingly. Patient information can be entered in and available to each location no matter which one or ones the patient frequents. Calls can be transferred via simply dialing an extension with no visibility to the patient creating an extremely professional experience. Billing is consistent and complete regardless of what location(s) a patient visited. Corporate office space is significantly less expensive per square foot than designating call center space in your dental office.
Stay tuned next week for the final article of this series!