How to Benchmark Hospital Call Center Performance
The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly competitive while patients are expecting faster and more responsive services. A hospital's call center is a major component in delivering an outstanding patient experience that will increase patient acquisition, satisfaction and retention. Not to mention, a great patient experience can generate word-of-mouth recommendations that will bring in more new patients.
Do you know how your call center is measuring up? Is it generating the results that will improve your ROI and bottom line?
Establishing hospital call center performance benchmarks can help you understand where your organization stands within the industry so you can focus on making improvements that will move the needle for your hospital's efficiency and profitability.
Here are the key performance metrics (KPIs) for your hospital call center benchmarks and the protocol for tracking these data.
Key Metrics for Hospital Call Center Benchmarking
Before you can gauge the effectiveness of your hospital call center, you need to define what you need to measure — what's important for acquiring and retaining patients? What's going to help improve care quality and patient experience? What's going to ultimately boost the bottom line for the hospital?
Here are some of the KPIs and key benchmarks for hospital call centers and why they're important:
- Average abandonment rate: Thirteen percent of calls in the healthcare industry were disconnected before the caller was routed to an agent, and 67 percent of these callers hung up the phone because they were frustrated that they couldn't speak to a representative.
- Average time in queue: On average, callers spend 2.25 seconds waiting in the queue before they're connected to an agent. Among those who hung up, 75 percent did so because it took too long to reach a live agent.
- Average time to answer/average hold time: It takes an average of 3.22 seconds for healthcare call center agents to answer inbound calls. Almost 60 percent of callers aren't willing to hold for more than a minute.
- Service level: The percentage of inbound calls that are answered below the target threshold and is an indication of the overall patient experience with the call center. Almost 90 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience, and it's no different in the healthcare industry. Also, more patients now have higher out-of-pocket responsibilities and they're demanding a call center service that's comparable to other consumer experiences.
In addition, you can use methods such as surveys to determine what's most important for increasing patient satisfaction.
Hospital Call Center Performance Benchmarking Protocol
Setting and evaluating the right call center KPIs can help you focus on improving aspects of the call center's performance that will move the needle for your hospital's patient acquisition and retention rate.
You can create performance benchmarks for a specific timeframe (e.g., one year), then set goals to exceed those benchmarks. You can also research call center performance metrics in the healthcare industry to determine areas in which yours is excelling or lagging, so you can focus resources on aspects that will create the biggest impact.
Here are some key steps involved in defining the right metrics and optimizing the benchmarking process to help your call center achieve peak performance:
- Determine the right KPIs based on business objectives.
- Document the benchmarking objectives and scope.
- Decide on primary metrics to track and measure, then document the specifics.
- Select what to benchmark so you can identify gaps in call center performance.
- Design a data collection plan.
- Gather data to understand past performances and set a baseline.
- Compare baseline data with industry standards to identify key areas for improvement.
- Focus resources on areas that are lagging.
- Reevaluate performance and update KPIs at regular intervals.
Improve Your ROI With the Right Tools
Benchmarking your hospital call center performance is the key to understanding how your organization stacks up within the industry so you can improve the patient experience and ROI.
Make sure you have the right tools, such as a high-quality communication solution to track the calls and collect the right data for accurate analysis.
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