Busy Medical Centre Handles Over 1,000 Daily Calls With iSMS Automation
Integrating SMS with VoIP Phone System Saves Time, Money, and Increases New Business
In late 2021, when the government announced a new pathway to residency for over 160,000 migrants living in New Zealand, it created a rush on medical centres authorised to conduct approved immigration medicals, which are required to apply for the visa.
One such medical centre in Auckland experienced such a massive increase in call volume – receiving over 1,000 calls per day for immigration medicals alone – that it couldn’t keep up with answering its phones. That’s where Sri, a Voyager Wholesale Partner, stepped in.
“I got a call from Andy at the medical centre, concerned over how he was going to manage this flood of calls for immigration medicals,” said Sri. “He didn’t have the staff to handle such a huge call volume – we’re talking call centre volume of calls – on top of all the other admin, appointments, and unrelated phone calls.”
Sri spoke with one of Voyager’s Voice Architects and they quickly came up with a solution: they would integrate the medical centre’s VoIP phone system with iSMS to trigger automated responses via text message.
Now, when patients ring the centre to book an immigration medical, they’re instructed to press ‘Option 2’ on the IVR menu. They then hear a custom message explaining that the centre is experiencing high call volumes and can’t take the call. When the call is terminated, the custom API between the centre’s Cloud PBX and iSMS solution immediately sends a text message to the caller’s mobile that includes a link for them to book their immigration medical along with instructions on what they need.
“This was especially important because it means the centre is not losing any potential new business,” explains Sri. “If patients can’t get through on the phone, they’re likely to go elsewhere. But now, every patient is assured their call is being attended to because they receive confirmation via text message. It meets the expectation of the caller.”
Previously, a staff member would not only need to take the call, but also spend up to 30 minutes per booking on the phone taking down all required information. Now, patients can completely self-serve.
“It’s made a huge difference,” says Sri. “This automation has allowed the centre to not only respond to every call, but to also save a huge amount of time and money on staff resources and admin. At mere cents per SMS, it’s much more cost-effective than having staff manually answer the phones.”
Andy and his team also have real-time, automatic reporting on incoming calls and confirmation of sent SMS to ensure that no calls are being missed. Callers that ring from a landline (rather than a mobile) and can’t receive texts are tagged so they can easily be filtered in the reporting, and staff manually return those calls.
“The live reporting gives the centre certainty that nothing is being missed because the minute the caller hangs up, the call is displayed there. And the caller receives the text within minutes, sometimes before they even hang up the phone,” explains Sri. “There’s no wondering; the caller knows right away they’re not just being fobbed off and they can book their appointment.”
Though it may sound like a complicated process, Sri and Voyager were able to implement the automation within a day.
“I approached Voyager in the morning, we worked out this solution, and by the next day I was able to demonstrate it to Andy,” says Sri. “The centre was able to start using it right away, and they saw improvements immediately.”
The power of iSMS doesn’t stop there though, says Sri. It can be implemented in so many different ways unique to the individual needs of any business. It’s important to talk to experts who can help businesses think outside of the box to find solutions to any problem they may have.
“It’s such a cool tool because it’s cost-effective, it works, and it can automate nearly everything,” explains Sri. “It all happens within itself. And the customer is happy. At the end of the day, that’s always the goal.”