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While the world continues to struggle through a global pandemic, nearly all industries have had to shift contact center operations. And nowhere has this been more true than in the healthcare field. Many healthcare contact centers have had to prepare agents to work from home while also managing increased traffic.
To continue delivering the level of service their customers have come to expect, healthcare providers lean heavily on their contact center agents — and the platforms they use. Here are seven best practices to ensure that your healthcare contact center is delivering the best possible customer experience in the new normal.
The current crisis requires you to bring even more empathy into your customer interactions. Your agents will engage with customers concerned about the health of a family member or themselves. Whether they’re calling to schedule appointments or ask a question about insurance coverage, they expect to receive help quickly and with compassion.
Your contact center’s success depends on accurate operational planning, scheduling and forecasting. The best way to handle spikes is to anticipate them and plan accordingly. Analyze call volume data and be sure you schedule agents to be available during those times. Implementing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and bots to handle customer queries that don’t need a live agent will also free up your staff to handle the more critical requests.
Agents in a healthcare contact center must possess specialized skills and knowledge. They must be able to address varied and complex matters — and they have to understand compliance regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other security concerns. But it can be difficult to train your now-remote staff. Certain workforce engagement management tools that allow for AI-based coaching let employees learn even while remote. Such systems could detect when an agent talks over a customer or speaks too quickly during an interaction. In such scenarios, the AI-based system would alert the employee — in real time — to pause for customers or to slow down their cadence while speaking. Ultimately, this training could create more confident, helpful and empathetic contact center agents — without having to meet with the agent in person.
Tracking performance lets you understand where to invest in staffing, training and other resources. In a healthcare setting, first-call resolution, average wait time and abandonment rates are among the most important metrics to monitor. But customer experience is about more than these metrics now. While it’s still important to measure performance with these traditional KPIs, next-generation workforce engagement management tools will allow you to focus on aspects like increasing consumer trust and making sure agents are using empathy appropriately.
It’s important to get customers to the right agents at the right time so their questions are answered, and they leave the interaction satisfied. Predictive routing gives you the visibility and control to continuously improve your customer experience, productivity and people. It helps you gain a strategic view of your business, analyze trends and agent performance, and then retrain models with new data and validate the results. With predictive routing, you can use AI to engage customers and predict the best resource to reach the best business outcome; report on results; and review data and model performance — then use those findings to optimize your strategies and evaluate how well your agents met those KPIs.
One size doesn’t fit all; the healthcare industry serves a particularly diverse population, so it’s imperative to support customers using multiple channels. Patients want to communicate through their preferred channels. Customer demographics can play a part in this, too. Elderly patients might prefer to contact you on the phone while millennials might prefer to reach out via an app or chatbot.
If your customer needs to transfer channels — from chat or IVR to an agent, for example — it’s important to preserve context from previous interactions. The customer wants an agent to be up to speed — with touchpoints about the same journey and past appointments — and able to move forward quickly.
Providing great customer service is imperative to differentiate you from your competition. And to do this means you need to treat your customers — and your employees — right. Giving your employees the tools to confidently and enthusiastically address customer needs is a vital piece of the equation.
Implementing an all-in-one Genesys solution in your healthcare contact center gives you the power of Experience as a ServiceSM and the tools necessary to deliver highly personalized customer experiences — while also creating satisfying employee experiences.
Get details on how to drive customer-centric processes in your contact center with journey mapping and predictive engagement.
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