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Call Center Strategy for Hospitals

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Hospitals are ignoring a major patient touchpoint for improving patient satisfaction. This touchpoint is also frequented by prospective patients and yet nobody knows if it is delivering a positive or negative experience.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business

Call Center Strategy for Hospitals

  1. 1. What is the Business Reason for a Hospital Call Center? paul@palerhinoconsulting.com
  2. 2. Do not have a call center because you think you can manage the customer/patient relationship—you cannot. • Patients are issuing virtual RFPs and managing the relationship via Social- CRM • The call center is a major Patient Touchpoint • A hospital’s best chance to improve satisfaction is to enhance the major patient touchpoints (Call centers, Web Access, In-person). • Hospitals manage it well by giving patients the information they want when they want it. Traditional CRM is Dead A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 2
  3. 3. Most call center strategies are focused on the wrong things; improving the efficiency of the call center, not on improving its effectiveness. Typically the thought process is: • Make the call center efficient—fast • Efficiency lowers costs—enables more calls per hour and fewer employees • Enable best practices. These metrics have nothing to do with resolving why the patient called. Best practice metrics focus on minimizing these metrics. – Wait time before an agent answers – Wait time before the patient abandons the call – Percentage of abandoned calls – Average call duration • Following this philosophy, the best call centers are those that have been closed—zero wait times Typical Call Center Strategies A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 3
  4. 4. Most call center strategies are designed to answer the most calls with the fewest people. • The fully loaded cost per call averages $25-$30. • Call centers reduce the cost of each call by reducing talk time. • Reducing talk time does nothing for call resolution—did the caller get what was needed? • If patients have to call more than once to get the right answer, the cost per call doubles. • If the patient talks to two people they get two different answers. Typical Call Center Strategies A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 4
  5. 5. Call centers should improve patient satisfaction. If they are not increasing satisfaction, they are decreasing it. Patients call to: • Get an answer • Deal with a complaint or problem • Request something Any answer, complaint, or request that cannot be met correctly, 100% of the time, at a time convenient to the patient does not enhance the patient’s satisfaction. Why Have a Call Center? A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 5
  6. 6. The call center should meet certain business goals including: • Increasing patient satisfaction • Reduce readmission and improve patient safety • Reduced missed appointments • Increase payment timeliness and amount • Increasing Patient Retention, Referrals & ‘win-backs’ • Resolving complaints & disputes • Increasing Patient Lifetime Value (PLV) Why Have a Call Center? A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 6
  7. 7. Every facet of the call center should be tailored at increasing the satisfaction of an individual patient, not the efficiency of the call—speed kills. • Do the call center hours suit the needs of the patient? • Do the agent’s responses meet the patient’s needs? • Do all of the agents give the same response to the same question? Why Have a Call Center? A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 7
  8. 8. Call centers should have fewer calls over time. • Patients call for a reason • Hospitals should know by reason, why patients call • Tracking the reasons patients call does not increase satisfaction • Improving the processes that cause patients to call improves satisfaction • Some calls can be served better by being offloaded to the web Typical Call Center Strategies A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 8
  9. 9. There are some call reasons for which the hospital wants an patient to speak with an employee. There are other call reasons that can be more effectively addressed via a ‘real’ website or patient portal. • Offload to a patient portal call reasons that are transactional, repetitive, and simpler to answer. • Patients can get what they want, when they want it, and on whatever device they want it. Have The Call Center Do What It Does Best A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 9
  10. 10. • Define a Global Patient Experience Strategy • Learn why patients call • Determine patients’ expectations of their calls • Interview call center employees to determine what they need to create a remarkable experience • Determine what business problems you want the call center to address • Create a call center strategy • Determine if the current CRM can support the strategy • Determine which call reasons would be better served via the web Let’s Develop a Call Center Strategy Together A remarkable experience for every patient every time on any device (paulroemer@gmail.com) 10

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