There are several unique challenges that plague contact centers within the healthcare community. These shared concerns are what have come to shape the unique processes and strategies that are aimed at the patient experience — a similar but slightly nuanced variation of the customer experience.
These key differences typically center around the elevated level of empathy, compassion, patience, solidarity, and connection that is necessary for creating a truly exceptional experience for the patient. While these are certainly beneficial for any contact center operation, they are even more crucial when dealing with a potentially sensitive or vulnerable population. Beyond actual visits or scheduling an appointment, contact centers serve as the only other means of communication that a patient, or potential patient, has with your healthcare center.
So, what are these roadblocks that stand in the way of successful contact centers within the healthcare arena?
- Disconnected or siloed operations
- Inability to add value
- Inefficient processes
- Trouble integrating with existing objectives
- Disjointed patient journeys
Sure, there are certainly more issues that may affect a healthcare contact center — but these five are without a doubt the most popular. As the customer experience continues to grow, evolve, and become more and more important — the same can be said for the patient experience. It can be challenging to convince leadership teams or executives of the value associated with adding more effort into patient satisfaction. Even if there are ongoing initiatives or campaigns in place, bettering processes that fall within the five roadblocks can greatly benefit a healthcare center’s success.
Well, we know the challenges that you face every day — how do we get everyone on board with making the right changes? Here are some of the advantages that come with making the right pivots with your healthcare center’s contact center operation.
Create a centralized platform for your customer’s data and experience. Any disconnect during the patient journey can negatively affect your patient’s experience. As we mentioned, the value of the customer experience has never been higher than it is now — and it will only grow tomorrow.
Customers aren’t cutting you any slack during any stage of their journey, and patients won’t either. Therefore it’s essential that healthcare centers are really honing in on every interaction and every customer. Every touchpoint matters. But what’s standing in the way?
Well, most healthcare centers simply lack the tools to deliver consistent, synchronized, and efficient experiences for their patients. It really comes down to adopting an omnichannel approach or methodology. Not only will this help consolidate patient data and information so that interactions are smoother and more enjoyable — but it will also open up a network of self-serve options that your patients will love.
Self-service has become a staple of the customer experience, as many people would rather find answers on their own. A healthcare center should be a trusted source of relevant information. Having informative FAQs or knowledge bases available will empower your patients to find the answers and solutions they need.
Aside from this, providing an HCRM-enabled contact center will only further your omnichannel efforts. This will consolidate all your necessary data, including components such as patient data, provider data, scheduling, logs past inquiries and much more. All of these moving parts contribute to providing an omnichannel experience that will exceed your patient’s expectations.
Better Patient Engagement
One of the main goals that should be tied in with your contact center is creating patients for life. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to create a truly customized experience for every potential and existing patient. To achieve optimal engagement and conversions, a patient needs to feel valued during every part of their journey.
Now, most of these tips that we give go hand-in-hand. But that’s the way your contact center should be operating. If your representatives are well-equipped with the right tools and omnichannel approach, you’ll be able to provide the type of experience that will increase engagement and subsequently drive revenue. With strong caller profiles and the right data at their fingertips, agents are able to quickly and efficiently handle patient inquiries and look ahead for possible opportunities that could further engagement.
There are so many variations of anecdotes that we could give to illustrate this point. For instance, if a patient schedules an appointment because they are having issues with their back — a representative could schedule them an appointment with a specialist near their home. They could set up an email reminder, an SMS reminder, possibly even a phone call reminder. There may even be a chance that the patient is due for a Tetanus shot. Maybe they need their annual physical. This is an opportunity for continued engagement and continued care by scheduling their necessary appointments.
This is yet another example of how an omnichannel approach can empower representatives and better patient engagement. Without the proper information at their disposal, an agent would never be able to provide continued or proactive patient support.
Unlock Your Contact Center Representatives
Your employees are investments. That means they are either a sunk cost or a necessary asset. If you want to get the most out of your employees you need to consider how you are equipping and preparing them for the task and objectives at hand. If you’re able to unify your representatives, goals, and initiatives instead of leaving them in individual silos — you’re empowering your efforts.
The better-prepared agents are for each patient interaction the more they will be able to actually engage in the dialogue, listen to inquiries, provide empathetic solutions, and proactively approach issues that a patient may face down the road. Having the right tools and processes that allow agents to continue from where they left off instead of pressing restart at every stage of the patient journey is invaluable. This allows agents to foster a personalized relationship and experience for every patient, every step of the way.
Connecting all of these moving parts will also help inform other departments. Contact center interactions can do wonders for a marketing department — and these two can and should work in tandem. This simply provides more insights and data that can inform decisions and campaigns.
Pivot Your Contact Center Today
There’s really no time like the present, especially when it comes to customer (or patient in this case) experience. Every day these experiences become more and more important, and companies everywhere are searching for the best possible means to serve patient needs and improve satisfaction rates.
The healthcare industry is no stranger to this, as keeping patients for life is the ultimate goal. The better experience you are able to provide the greater the chances of retention. Building a contact center can be a huge burden, but there are certainly other options out there. Certain contact center solutions like ours are able to handle the complexities involved in healthcare support.
Contact us today if you’re interested in improving your patient’s satisfaction rates.