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How To Effectively Run Your Virtual Appointments & Visits in 2019
We all have phones in our pockets that are as functional as computers and access to the internet available everywhere from your local coffee shop to the shopping mall to your doctor’s office. Everything from virtual appointments and booking travel can be done online instead of in person.
In order to make the best use of your time in 2019, it makes sense to take advantage of virtual appointments. However, these need to be run differently than in-person meetings in order to be efficient.
Best Practices for Virtual Appointments & Visits
Virtual appointments and visits can range anywhere from a doctor’s appointment to a weekly team meeting to a lecture-oriented class. Different types of virtual visits call for different protocols.
There are a handful of best practices that cover all industries to help ensure you are effectively preparing and executing your virtual visits. Let’s make sure that you know some important tips before you get started.
Choosing the right platform
Once you’ve decided that you’ll host virtual visits and appointments, the most important step is to choose a video conferencing software that meets your needs.
Before choosing a software, ask yourself a few questions about what you’ll need this software to accomplish. Do you need to be able to share your screen? Maybe you need the option to have audio-only calls. How many attendees will you have? Do you have a budget to spend or are you sticking with the free options? Are your virtual visits going to be longer than some pieces of software allow on the unpaid option?
Think about the bare minimum requirements you’ll need this software to meet. Once assessing your needs, choose the one that’s best for you and your attendants.
Simple booking & confirmation
Virtual appointments and visits are wonderful because they eliminate travel logistics. However, in order to ensure people are encouraged to book these appointments, you need to make sure that the booking process is as easy as possible.
Learning how to take bookings online can help increase customer satisfaction. Allowing your clients to book themselves provides them with the freedom to book at any hour of the day and eliminates unnecessary back-and-forth email communication to try to coordinate a time.
Many online appointment schedulers allow for automatic appointment confirmations without any of your own interaction. Whether or not you make use of an appointment scheduler, in order to best run your virtual visits and appointments, you need to ensure that you confirm the appointment with your attendees. This can help reduce the amount of no-call no-shows that you experience.
Preparation & standards
Meetings are best run when everyone is able to come prepared for the meeting.
How you define prepared is up to you. Perhaps you will distribute an agenda beforehand so teams can formalize their updates before the meeting. If you’re a healthcare professional, you can have your clients fill out a questionnaire with their symptoms so you can speed up the required time of the meeting. If you’re a physical trainer, maybe you’ll have your client complete a stretching routine before their virtual appointment.
Additionally, you should establish a set of standards for your meetings so that your clients feel a sense of organization and know you are using their time efficiently.
If you’re using virtual appointments as a health care professional, perhaps you have a set order that you ask questions in. Your team meeting is a kind of virtual visit that requires a more strict set of standards. Will you allow for team members to mute their microphones or hide their video screen? Will one person run the meeting or is it more informal? All of these decisions will impact how you run your meeting, so it is best to prepare these beforehand. Will you be screen recording your appointment?
No matter what industry your virtual appointment falls under, a structure will help make the meeting more efficient and lead a better meeting.
When booking a virtual appointment or visit, clients will assume that this meeting will take less time compared to in-person. You want to make sure that by using
Try to stick to the agenda that you set. Make sure that clients know ahead of time if they’ll need to download any software. Try to simplify the process as much as you can before the meeting begins.
An added benefit of virtual appointments is the ability to record a session or visit, which gives the patient the ability to rewatch their appointment later. Many screen recorders and online appointment tools have these features, and many of the best free video editors are simple enough for offices to put together a simple video for the patient.
At the end of the virtual appointment, you and your guests need to establish whether or not future steps need to be taken. Do you need to send a prescription out for your patient? Do certain teams need to take action before your next meeting?
Make sure that you
The ability to do just about everything online has simplified meetings and appointments by providing virtual alternatives. Some individuals may still prefer in-person interactions, but for the most part, your clients will still value that they can complete the visit from a location of their own choosing. Try using virtual appointments and visits with these best practices to make sure that you are accessible to everyone!
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Anastasia Masters is a Content Marketing Associate at G2.com. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in history. In her spare time, Anastasia enjoys eating her way through Chicago’s different neighborhoods, exploring new places to visit across the globe, and watching college basketball. You can follow her on Twitter at @anastasia_mm0.
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