Holiday Blues

Once upon a time we just went on holiday and everything we did when we were away was part of the holiday experience. Nowadays it seems as though spontaneity is out the window as we have to have a clear idea before we go and our every intention is scrutinised in detail by those responsible for booking and insuring the trip.

Completing a holiday insurance form recently, a colleague was struck by the number of exclusions and ‘do you intend to..’ questions. They felt that having to think up and list activities in advance killed the joy and anticipation of being able to relax and just ‘go with the flow.’

Admittedly activities such as base jumping and volcano boarding are not in the usual run of chill-out holiday activities. But an activity such as ‘walking on a mountainside for more than an hour’ is hardly a dangerous pursuit, particularly if you are visiting areas of Switzerland or Austria where it is hard to avoid strolling on gentle slopes.

Of course, the insurance strictures do have a basis in fact as some activities are more likely to result in injury than others, particularly when combined with a relaxing glass of your favourite holiday tipple. In fact, statistics from the FCO last year revealed that of the 19,000 people who asked for help whilst abroad, just over 3,500 had been hospitalised. But whether or not hospital treatment is required there are still a fair number of people who do need further help when they return to this country. From broken limbs to strains and misaligned joints; the chances are that those working as chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths are likely to be called upon this summer to treat those holiday injuries.

When the call comes, it is good to be able to respond at once; but this is not always possible, particularly if answering the call means pausing an existing treatment session. That’s where a virtual assistant service comes in handy. Calls can be switched seamlessly to the service with callers being greeted as if from the health practice itself.

Not only does this mean that your potential clients receive a swift and positive response right from the start, it also helps to ensure that your appointment book is kept as fully up-to-date as possible. And of course, if you don’t have to interrupt a treatment session in order to answer the phone, using a virtual assistant service also enables you to provide a first class service to those who attend treatment sessions.

Additional benefits of using a virtual assistant service include the ability to take card details at the time of booking, thus helping to smooth out cash flow and reducing on administration time. Pre-authorised card payment also enable health practices to take a no-show fee in accordance with their published criteria, should a patient fail to attend an appointment. Add in an appointment reminder service, and the chances of missed appointments are considerably reduced.

With appointment booking and card deposits taken care of the health practice can concentrate on what it does best, treating those in need.  If your clients are going away this summer, encourage them to think carefully about how they answer the holiday insurance questionnaire. But if the worst comes to pass at least, thanks to some virtual assistance, you may well have time to treat them on their return.