“Progress in the healthcare industry happens because of an assured and positive patient experience.”
Patients are real people who need effective communication during every stage of the wellness journey. Call centres play a vital role in building patient trust and providing responsive customer care.
Now, if you’ve decided to upgrade your communication systems, you will probably want to get it right first time.
Based on our experience, these are the 6 key principles for deploying the most appropriate contact centre for your healthcare business:
1. Meet patients wherever they wish
Your patients must be at the heart of your contact centre configuration – but there are more options for communicating that ever before and different patients will prefer different channels. It’s important to ensure that your contact centre can meet the needs of your patients by providing a true omnichannel experience. SMS, WhatsApp, email, voice, Messenger and chatbots provide opportunities to communicate and your modern contact centre should be equipped for all of them.
2. Always remain secure and compliant
Security and compliance are important for healthcare teams, whether they are collecting customer health data or processing payment cards. Your contact centre technology should provide recording and reporting at granular levels for evaluation of specialist handling of care for patients. You can also employ special call handling features such as blocking call line identity (CLI) of the caller to the agent when necessary for counselling services that are not meant to know the ID of the patient. Moreover, make sure to train your team accordingly and conduct regular audits.
3. Develop a seamless, coordinated patient experience
It’s important to get your customers engaged with the right agents at the right time so their (potentially life changing) questions are answered. By employing predictive routing, you can remove friction from any interaction. It gives you the visibility and control to continuously improve your customer experience and agent productivity. Your contact centre reporting should show the agent and supervisor each step of the patient journeys through the call centre, including metrics such as hold times. Throughout their healthcare journey, your customers will also likely transfer between channels. Your agent will need to be up to speed on historic touchpoints and appointments in order to move them forward quickly. The key to delivering clear and consistent messaging across different platforms is maintaining a real-time 360-degree patient profile, made accessible to your agents in a centralised location. Typically, this is achieved through integration with your CRM.
4. Understand your goals and track the right metrics
As with any transformational initiative, goal setting and monitoring is crucial to ensure success. For healthcare contact centres, it’s even more important. Effective contact centres will save lives and continuous improvement is paramount. Besides monitoring call quality and ensuring that inquiries are routed to the right agents, healthcare contact centres need to track relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) so they can improve both agent and patient experience. For healthcare, first-call resolution, average wait time and abandonment rates are among the most important metrics to monitor. But contact centres can provide so much more insight these days. Today’s voice analysis tools enable you to set goals around softer metrics such as increasing consumer trust and agent empathy. They also identify important conversations and key words that need to be elevated to supervisors and/or management.
5. Manage variation in call volume
Spikes in inbound contact centre inquiries can cause chaos for your customer care teams. Your contact centre’s success will largely depend on your ability to anticipate, adapt and plan for demand accordingly. New technologies with embedded artificial intelligence and bots are able to handle excess customer inquiries that don’t require a live agent, freeing up your agents to handle the most critical requests.
6. Provide appropriate agent onboarding
Many companies underestimate the importance of appropriate onboarding for both new agents and new software systems. Unsuccessful onboarding can create stress amongst customer care agents, leading to low productivity and ultimately poor customer service. A robust onboarding program is going to be crucial to ensure quick return on investment for your new contact centre system. The faster they can get up to speed, the faster they can be more productive than previously.
So, there you have it:
“By following these principles and investing in adaptable, high-quality contact centre technology, you can make measurable progress on improving your patient experience.”
Every touchpoint you have with your consumers is an opportunity to build trust and provide responsive customer care.
If you would like further information on how you can modernize your contact center with iPECS, simply click here.