If you own or manage a medical practice, you may be unsure about the difference between using a receptionist that you hire in-house versus a virtual one. Don't they do the same thing? Will one cost more than the other? Here is a rundown of the similarities and differences between the two as well as the ways that partnering with a medical answering service can benefit your business.
How Are a Virtual vs. Traditional Receptionist Similar?
Both a virtual and on-site receptionist will handle many basic administrative duties for your medical practice. This includes scheduling appointments, giving out general information, taking messages, and offering customer service.
Both types of receptionists will also greet your callers in a customized manner. This means that the phone is answered with the name of your practice and whatever other message you choose.
The Differences Between a Virtual and Hired Receptionist
These two types of receptionists vary widely in their availability as well as few specialized services.
A hired receptionist is generally a full-time employee who works 40 hours per week. This means that they will be available to answer your practice's calls during office hours, but you would have to pay them overtime to answer beyond those times. This type of receptionist is also entitled to breaks, sick time, and vacations, which are all time that you will need to cover with other staff.
A virtual receptionist is available to answer your phones whenever you need them. This could be just a few hours per day, after hours, on weekends, or around the clock. There is always someone available to answer your calls, so you don't have to worry about finding coverage. A virtual receptionist can also provide some special service to your practice, such as bilingual English-Spanish support, when needed.
Benefits to Your Medical Practice of Using a Virtual Receptionist
There are several benefits to choosing a virtual receptionist over a traditional one. The first one is cost. When you have a full-time employee, you not only pay their salary, but also payroll taxes and benefits. You may also be exposed to overtime and the cost to cover that person when they are out of the office. With a virtual receptionist, you only pay for the services you use and avoid these costly overhead expenses.
The other benefit of using a virtual receptionist is reliability and consistency. Even if you have the best traditional receptionist on staff, they can't be there around the clock. This is a position that tends to have a fair amount of turnover, which is one more burden on your practice. When you use a medical answering service with a virtual receptionist, there will always be someone available to answer your calls, giving your patients the ultimate level of accessibility to your services.
Having a full-time receptionist might initially seem like the right move for your medical practice, but many businesses are finding that this isn't the case. Considering the benefits that a virtual receptionist can provide, you may want to think about this option before you place that want ad. Even if you do have someone on staff, a virtual receptionist service can fill in when you have a need.
Get Answering365's medical brochure today to receive more information about the ways that our virtual receptionist and medical answering service can benefit your healthcare practice.