Differentiating Your Healthcare Service Through Better Contact Center Care
Consumer Expectations and the Healthcare Industry Is Changing
In the United States, the Affordable Care Act has quickly created an environment of choice for the consumer along with millions of new consumers of healthcare. A wealth of provider information, plan options, and forms are now at their fingertips, which has resulted in a heightened level of inquiries across all channels of communication. Consumers are taking a more active role in their healthcare experience, typically starting online by reviewing information or completing forms. Many times, their journey does not end until they have a live interaction with your business. According to a recent Gartner study, healthcare service organizations will need to raise their performance standards for today’s varied points of patient engagement (mobile, text, email, etc.). These consumers will compare their communication experiences to those in other industries.* As a result of this omni-channel approach taken by your customers, how you think through and execute on your omni-channel strategy will determine whether you are able expand and capture new customers or push customers away to the competition.
Most healthcare providers have taken an “educate and empower” strategy, providing significant amounts of information on their websites in an effort to educate the consumer on the available policies and plan options. Additionally, they’re providing forms and questionnaires in an attempt to empower the customer to complete their transaction through self-service. This approach may be fine for those consumers that are well versed with their healthcare options and coverage, but for most consumers, it has created an environment of information overload and confusion. There is a new type of healthcare consumer today, one that has a higher likelihood of seeking out live assistance. Embracing this fact can help healthcare providers implement proactive strategies that make it easier for customers to transition to live service, resulting in higher customer retention rates, new customer acquisitions, operational efficiencies, and overall growth for your organization.
* Shaffer, Vi, Lefebure, Steven, Chaudry, Zafar, Handler, Thomas J., Runyon, Barry, and Craft, Laura. Business drivers of technology decisions for healthcare providers, 2015. Gartner. 27 January 2015.
Tom Jameson is the Executive VP of Worldwide Sales at VHT. A highly regarded contact center strategist and technologist with over 20 years of experience, Mr. Jameson has assisted numerous organizations with the implementation of advanced customer-centric multi-channel communications solutions. Tom is a highly sought-after speaker and a fervent believer in the important role contact centers play in CRM, customer acquisition and retention, and Net Promoter Score (NPS).