People communicate differently today than in years past and that has impacted customer service. A younger generation avoids talking on the phone and prefers to communicate virtually. People of all ages have come to like the speed and convenience that technology has given us.
All of which means your office’s customer service has to adapt. Live chat for doctors is a way to meet a changing marketplace where it is.
You may have concerns about adopting this technology for your office. After all, you may be thinking: live chat is great for selling widgets, but if a staffer gives bad advice on someone’s health over a chat—in writing for all to see—you’re looking at a malpractice suit.
That’s very true and we certainly recommend prudence and preparation in putting your live chat service together. However, here are just a few reasons your patients and prospects will like live chat—and may leave you for another provider if it’s not offered.
- In a complex field like medicine, people are more likely to have follow-up questions as they browse your website. This is particularly true if you’re a specialist.
- For simple questions—like verifying an appointment—who wants to call the office and perhaps wait on hold or go through an automated system? It’s much easier to verify in a chat box.
- Patients feel a greater degree of privacy. This is more psychological than anything else, but it’s real. That also means they may be more responsive if your staff asks valuable follow-up questions about their condition.
When you implement a live chat system, you have the ability to monitor how well it’s working. The platform you use will provide data that will tell you how long each session lasts and how long it takes for an initial response.
Furthermore, putting everything in writing also has its advantages—no patient can come back later and claim they were told something they weren’t. You have legal protection.
Live chat is also easy to turn off. Perhaps you’re not confident about taking on a 24/7 chat service where you outsource the responses during non-business hours. No problem. Just treat the website like the office and turn off chat when everyone goes home.
If you choose to go forward with live chat, there’s 1 area to keep an eye on. This platform doesn’t work all that well on a mobile phone. You’re in a field where people might find you by typing “doctor near me” during an emergency and a bad mobile chat experience is a big turnoff.
This is something you’ll want to discuss with your chat provider, to find out how they optimize for the user’s device.