Call Centers and Answering Services—What Are the Differences?

Call Centers and Answering Services—What Are the Differences?

Staying on top of communications with patients is critical for success in the healthcare industry. Consistent and clear communication keeps patients informed about appointments, test results, and any changes in their health plan. It also reduces uncertainty, anxiety, and misunderstandings, ensuring a positive patient experience.

Call centers and answering services are commonly employed by healthcare practitioners and organizations to streamline communication with patients. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they differ in a few ways. Understanding the differences between a call center vs an answering service is key when deciding which one to employ in your organization.

What Are Call Centers and How Do They Work?

Call centers are centralized hubs designed to handle a large volume of inbound and outbound calls for businesses. In a call center, skilled agents manage customer inquiries, provide support, or conduct outbound campaigns like telemarketing or surveys.

Call centers operate using advanced technologies, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems for efficient call routing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, to streamline operations and enhance customer service. They are scalable and capable of adapting to fluctuating call volumes. Moreover, they employ specialized agents to handle different aspects of communication, ensuring a high level of efficiency in managing customer interactions.

What Are Answering Services and How Do They Work?

Answering services are specialized communication solutions offered by telecommunication companies to help businesses manage incoming calls. They ensure you never miss a call, especially after business hours.

When someone calls, a professional answering service takes the call, gathers relevant information, and may provide assistance or take messages. This ensures your business maintains a professional and responsive image, even when you’re unavailable.

Answering Services vs Call Center Services—Which One Is Better?

While answering services and call centers provide similar services, either may be better suited to your organization, depending on your circumstances. Call centers are equipped to handle large call volumes, owing to their specialized staff and advanced tech. They also provide better customer support thanks to their emphasis on quality assurance. However, their operational costs can be high, which makes them expensive for a small start-up. By contrast, answering services are cost-effective and great for after-hours support. Even so, they may lack the scalability and specialization of call centers.

Ultimately, the right choice boils down to your business size and needs. If you’re a large organization that requires customer-centric services, a medical call center might be better for you. For smaller operations prioritizing cost-effectiveness and basic call management, an answering service might make more sense.

Looking to Outsource Your Healthcare Organization’s Communication Infrastructure?

If you’re looking to streamline communication with your patients, Sequence Health has the perfect solution for you. Our medical call center is equipped with the right tech and manpower to take on all your administrative tasks. Contact us today to learn more about our services.