Learning From Hospital Call Center Best Practices
Customer service is everything when it comes to your hospital or health care facility. Creating a solid relationship begins with the very first phone call, which is why many hospitals have turned to call centers to provide them with much-improved customer service.
Whether you have an in-house or outsourced hospital call center there are certain best practices you’ll want to follow. Simply having a call center in place isn’t enough — you also need to have certain governing protocols and policies in place too. We'll walk you through what hospital call center best practices actually are, so you can implement them into your own organization.
Hospital Call Center Benefits
By using a hospital call center, you give your organization certain advantages. Instead of having to manage and take calls on top of everything else, you can utilize a more efficient system, which benefits you and your patients.
Here are some of the biggest reasons many hospitals choose to use a call center:
- Improved customer retention. Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Satisfied customers will stay with you for the long-term. With an integrated call center, you can meet the expectations of your patients and customers every time.
- Improved response times. With a call center, you can provide fast responses and up-to-date information. Your call center staff will always have access to the right patient, practice, or industry information to ensure your patients are always kept in the loop.
- Better compliance. Health care regulations are forever evolving. This means your organization must continually update your practices and policies. By choosing the right call center provider, you can help to ensure compliance, even with changing standards.
Hospital Call Center Best Practices
Call centers usually get a bad reputation, and as a result, most people dread speaking to customer service professionals. However, with the latest technology, monitoring, and training practices, you can help create a stellar customer and patient support experience.
By implementing an efficient call center infrastructure, you can help your hospital achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Here are some of the best practices you’ll want to consider implementing:
1. Create and Implement Proper Training Protocols
Beyond hiring high-quality agents, it’s a hospital call center best practice to create and adhere to proper training protocols. This will not only include proper scripts and protocols for accessing and protecting patient information but also incorporate call center etiquette.
A patient who has a great experience with a call center representative will develop greater goodwill towards your hospital. They’re more likely to stay a patient for much longer, and even refer others to your organization. Remember, it all starts with the first phone call.
2. Monitor Agent Calls and Integrate Feedback
With included quality monitoring software, you’ll be able to elevate call quality across the board. Not only will you be able to improve your call agents' skills and refine your call protocols, but you’ll also be able to deliver a higher-quality customer experience.
With proper call center software you’ll be able to track metrics like:
- The time it takes to answer and respond to a call
- Patient abandonment rates
- Average time spent on the call
- Efficiency in call resolution
- Overall call quality and customer satisfaction scores
3. Offer a Seamless Patient Experience
No matter who your patient is speaking with, whether it's someone in your office or a representative from your call center, the experience needs to be the same. A lot of call centers will speak as if they are the hospital, even if they’re an outsourced third-party. This requires a lot of trust, along with strict rating protocols, especially where compliance is concerned.
Your agents need to be highly trained, have access to the latest training protocols and scripts, and have a secure system behind them to effectively process sensitive patient data.
4. Prioritize Speed and Efficiency
The speed and accuracy of your call center can either help or detract from your patient retention and acquisition rates. For that reason, every single call to your hospital counts. Any missed call that your organization receives can be translated into a lost patient.
Your call center needs to be prepared to handle spikes in call volume, along with properly handling those calls. Proper data analysis will help you determine when spikes are more likely to happen, which allows you to have enough call center agents ready on the phones. However, speed isn’t everything. You still need to provide extremely accurate information to your patients.
Implementing the call center best practices above will help to elevate the level of care your hospital can provide. Utilizing a third-party provider will help to make compliance easier, decrease your overhead, and improve your patient relationships across the board.
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