Use an Answering Service to Take Drug Trial Applications

The array of services that telephone answering services can provide is limited only by imagination. But lest you think this next example is theoretical, it comes from the real world of answering services. Yes, answering services are an ideal resource to take drug trial applications. Pharmaceutical companies focus on producing medicines. Answering services focus on communication. When it comes to pharmaceutical companies that need to communicate with potential participants in a drug study, the answering service can ideally fit that need. All the pharmaceutical needs to do is put out the word. This could be a local media buy, a well-distributed press release, or some targeted online advertising. In this promotion, they give a special number that the answering service provides for them to use: Initial Screen: When properly promoted many people will respond to the opportunity to earn money by taking part in a drug trial. Some are curious. Others want cash. And a few are good matches for the study. The goal of the first call is to eliminate those who don’t fit. They may fall outside the target demographic. They may not have the required availability. Or perhaps a prior or existing health characteristic precludes them from taking part. The goal of this first call is to screen them out. While this initial screening call can be automated, the impersonal nature of the technology may dissuade some otherwise qualified candidates from applying. Plus, if a flaw is discovered in an automated solution, it may require a complete overall, whereas a live process can be tweaked in a few minutes. Gather Additional Information: The pharmaceutical company reviews a summary of each applicant that passes the first screen to pick the ones they want to pursue. The answering service can place a follow-up call to these people and gather an additional round of information. These calls require more time and detail, which is why this information isn’t gathered on the first call. During this phase, prospects will likely have some questions, and the answering service can provide basic answers to the more general inquiries. In this phase, some potential participants will self-select out. This is good because testers don’t want subjects dropping out in the middle of the study, so it’s good to remove those not fully committed before the study begins. Verify Interest: Armed with this new information, the pharmaceutical a makes a final list of participants, along with a pool of suitable alternates. The answering service can mail or email additional information to this group to solidify their interest. A phone call may be part of this process. Confirm Involvement: Once the selected group has verified their interest and returned their paperwork, the answering service can provide a final contact to remind them about the study, increasing the likelihood of the participants following through. The contact may be a phone call the day before, and email the morning of, or a text one hour in advance. Now the testing group has a qualified and committed group of people to participate in their drug trial.   Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry—and who helps businesses and organizations find the perfect answering service. Contact Janet at or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.