A popular way to improve customer satisfaction and increase customer engagement is to use a contact center to handle interactions across different channels. Unlike call centers, which focus only on receiving requests by telephone, a contact center takes inbound and outbound communications over multiple means. For example, web, chat, messaging apps, email, or social media – something particularly important for healthcare businesses that want to place patient experience above all.
The goal of a contact center is to help customers, or patients resolve their issues quickly and, at the same time, capture performance data and track engagements. In addition, many of these centers can enable customers to perform routine tasks such as scheduling doctor appointments or accessing test results using personalized self-services.
If your organization wants to modernize its operations and deliver exceptional customer service, you should consider turning to contact center solutions to provide you with more flexibility and agility. Using the right customer service strategy can help you respond to rapidly changing customer expectations and grow your healthcare business, focusing on patient experience and satisfaction.
What is a Contact Center?
A contact center is a physical or virtual department that helps companies handle customer inquiries by quickly connecting them to an agent. Contact center agents are trained to deal with service issues using different channels such as calls, email, chat, or messaging. In addition, most contact centers use some form of automation software, such as digital messages to specific agents or a contact distributor (ACD) to route calls.
The goal of a contact center is ultimately to deliver exceptional customer experiences. To do this, businesses use a combination of technologies that can include omni-channel routing, workforce optimization, automation and artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics.
Handling Communications in Healthcare
An issue with many healthcare organizations is that their communications technologies are often isolated, clunky, and outdated. This makes offering outstanding patient support more challenging. We’re not just talking about customer satisfaction; companies working in care need to manage the patient experience as a whole.
Whether you operate a clinic, health insurance company, hospital, or wellness center, your contact center is the critical link between your patients and your physicians, administrators, and providers. Agents working in the healthcare industry often need to schedule appointments, handle premium payments, answer queries, and make referrals. This creates particular communication challenges that are exclusive to care providers – making an effective contact center a must-have for any organization.
What are the Benefits of a Contact Center?
Contact centers offer several benefits, including improving patient and customer relationships and customer retention and enhancing efficiency and visibility.
Many people use “call centers” and “contact centers” interchangeably. There are, however, some differences. Call centers focus primarily on telephone interactions, while contact centers support multiple channels so users can switch between them as needed. This is why contact centers, overall, are able to offer more benefits. These include:
Improving Patient and Customer Experience
Customer satisfaction can be a vital differentiator for your company or healthcare organization. Often, the contact center is the primary channel that customers use to interact with your business. This is why it’s essential to provide capabilities that can help them resolve their issues quickly. For example, self-service features that can deal with the most common tasks like making appointments or getting reminders.
Being able to offer multiple channels is also a great way to improve customer satisfaction as a whole and increase engagement while providing a cohesive experience.
Another benefit of using contact centers as part of your customer service strategy is that they can significantly increase efficiency and productivity. For example, it can allow a single agent to respond to numerous patient requests (usually coming from different channels) and provide real-time updates.
A contact center can also allow your company to scale staff if you get more customer inquiries, automatically rerouting any new requests to the most appropriate resources or departments.
To provide valuable insights, you can bring together the data analysis of all customer interactions with your agents (across calls, email, or messaging).
As the patient moves between different communication vehicles, it’s essential to preserve the context of all interactions. By identifying patterns and problem areas across this customer journey, these insights will help you inform crucial business decisions and improve the customer service strategy across your entire organization.
Using a virtual contact center can reduce capital expenses (and, consequently, generate more revenue growth) because it allows agents to work from any location. This can include smaller contact centers, branch offices, or from home.
There is no need for additional office space or equipment, so virtual call contact centers can also provide more scalability – something vital for hospitals and healthcare organizations.
Using Technology to Improve Your Customer Service Strategy
Poor customer service can have severe consequences for your business growth, particularly in healthcare. Providing a good customer experience and accompanying the customer journey is essential, so many companies turn to technology to help them manage all their patient and customer interactions.
Automation technology can provide significant cost savings. Imagine that every second that a bot handles a request, that’s a second saved from human agents. Of course, it’s not about replacing people with automation but about giving employees the ability to work more efficiently with the aid of technology. Bots won’t be able to handle complex requests from patients, nor should they. The best strategy for growth is to blend automation with a human report.
Some common features included in call center solutions include:
Omnichannel Routing: Omnichannel routing is an excellent way to interact with patients and customers, as it provides the possibility for agents to work across digital and voice channels. Typical solutions include automatic contact distributors (ACD), proactive outbound dialers, and interactive voice response (IVR).
Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI): One of the benefits of using A.I. in combination with contact center software is that it can help eliminate mundane tasks and speed up the resolution of customer issues. AI can, for example, provide self-service interactions, automated alerts, and automated patient actions.
Data Analytics: By making data relevant and easy to follow, your healthcare organization will be able to drive measurement improvements to grow your business. Analytics can help you understand the omnichannel experience of patients and create actionable measures to improve customer experience and patient satisfaction.
Workforce Optimization: Contact center technology can help your team enhance self-improvement and amplify quality management while improving customer experience and reducing labor waste. Some popular features related to workforce optimization are workforce management (WFM), recording and performance management (PM), and quality management (QM).
Cloud Technology: Cloud technology can help organizations scale securely and deploy improvements quickly. This is a particularly valuable feature for large healthcare organizations that need to handle multiple channels such as phone calls, messages, and chat. Cloud technology can also provide businesses with better call routing, agent managing, and data analytics.
Improving Customer Interactions with Disruptive Innovations
Healthcare contact centers have a unique purpose: They help patients navigate the health system. When someone calls, they aren’t inquiring about a delivery date or returning a product; they want to improve their health outcome. It is then essential that your call center agents are able to provide relevant resources and engage with patients in a meaningful and helpful way. And to do this, they need access to the best tools technology has to offer.
At Disruptive Innovations we specialize in aligning technology with a business vision – always keeping your patients in mind. We can help your organization provide better support across various channels and empower your business with the latest technologies. Let us help you re-imagine what your healthcare contact center can do for your business and patients.