On Dec, 4 2020
Providing healthcare to patients the right way has never been more important. With clinics and hospitals around the country reassessing the way they do business and moving away from requiring traditional in-patient interactions, the role of the contact center within the healthcare industry has increased in importance. Creating a great patient experience the first-time results in a safer environment for all involved.
This shift away from mandatory in-patient experiences has also forced healthcare businesses to reevaluate their internal staffing. Some healthcare companies are now leveraging larger contact centers with knowledgeable and specialized agents for working with patients to assist with their needs. These agents can be an extension of several different healthcare areas and an invaluable resource for streamlining and improving operations.
With this said, here are a few reasons why the impact of excellent contact center workforce management (WFM) in the healthcare industry is something that shouldn’t be ignored because of how it positively affects both patients and staff.
The right agent for the problem means increased patient trust – Every time a patient contacts you, it’s a chance for your healthcare business to make an impression on them. Can your team answer their questions and address their needs with your current staffing techniques? To ensure you have the right agents ready to field customer inquiries, have your contact center do an assessment of agent skills and conversation topics. For example, if you notice an increase of customers contacting you about orthopedic issues but there is rarely an agent staffed to handle these problems, it may be time to train more agents in this area. If necessary, utilize temp or gig agents to fill the gaps short term. Simply put, having excellent phone experiences with customers will reduce patient churn and improve team morale. After all, having the knowledge to be helpful feels a lot better than being unable to assist a frustrated patient!
Easily staff up or down based on contact criteria – It’s now time to improve staffing efficiently to reduce overhead costs. This is truly where excellent contact center WFM shines in the healthcare industry. Going back to the previous example, make sure to capture all the agents who completed a training session recently as having a new skill. Store this information within your WFM software solution. This way, if call volume spikes in the morning around the topic and high volume is expected for the rest of the day, a mobile notification can easily be pushed out to skilled and available agents within minutes that an afternoon shift is open. This is accomplished by leveraging an automated schedule adjustment plan (ASAP) to save both time and money. No more trying to track down agents to see if they can work.
Excellent contact center WFM streamlines patient management processes – The role of leveraging sophisticated WFM software doesn’t just benefit customers, but also frontline healthcare employees. If agents are knowledgeable and trained on the topics they are discussing with patients so they can ask the right questions, it can significantly reduce the amount of work that needs to be completed when a front line employee interacts with a patient. Instead of having to ask a dozen questions in person, a front-line employee can simply pull up responses that were captured from when the patient spoke with the contact center agent. This saves time and can enable offices to improve patient efficiency. It also reduces the amount of in person interaction between a patient and employees, which has become important in an era where social distancing and limited travel is encouraged.
To summarize, excellent contact center WFM in the healthcare industry can play a key role in increasing patient retention, cutting costs, and easing the workload of front-line employees. By making the most of a contact center with a sophisticated WFM software solution, healthcare companies can streamline their operations and improve their efficiency to create better patient and employee relationships.