This is the second post in our three part series on transforming yesterday’s call center into tomorrow’s engagement center. See our first post and be sure to stay tuned for the piece where we explore how patients and providers benefit from anywhere, anytime access and interaction.
A new model for call center—the contact center—has emerged in leading health systems in response to market trends and greater consumerism around healthcare purchasing. Typically, this more-robust, more-capable model integrates multiple communications channels—phone, web and email, both inbound and outbound, and multiple contact scenarios into a centralized operation.
Leveraging robust CRM technology and comprehensive data at the core to support more personalized interactions, this model increases consumer engagement through tailored and pertinent communications.
Greater capability in a centralized, CRM-based system supports a broader range of functions and makes it easier for callers to get answers or information quickly. Typical scenarios include getting referrals, enrolling in events, securing convenient appointments, or simply seeking more information in response to the institution’s marketing.
This broad-scope capability also enables health system customer service representatives (CSRs) to educate callers on additional ways the health system can support their journey to better health and well-being, such as providing value-added care reminders, promoting relevant educational events, or sharing rich content about services related to those in which they’ve previously indicated interest.
By simply enhancing customer satisfaction through personalized and engaging experiences, perceptions of the health system start to improve, which leads to increased loyalty and even social advocacy.
This approach yields valuable benefits across both patient acquisition and retention strategies:
For acquisition scenarios (i.e. consumer response to marketing outreach)
A CRM-based contact center system leverages rich data resources and is tightly coupled with the consumer profiling, predictive analytics, and specific marketing content common to healthcare marketing CRM systems. This combination enables CSRs to have highly informed and personalized dialogs with callers about their inquiries, as well as offer information and other content tailored to the caller’s specific needs, demographics, location, or prior interactions with the health system.
For retention scenarios (i.e. patients under active care)
The CSR can help cement the relationship by more intelligently coordinating support and follow-up with treating physicians, providing patient-education assets, answering questions, or recommending additional treatment or recovery-support options. This degree of personalized response directly contributes to greater patient satisfaction, while simultaneously influencing patient retention and “win-backs” from competing institutions.
Higher patient satisfaction is also linked to key operational benefits, such as reduced readmissions, fewer missed appointments, and more timely payment, as well as reduced disputes and faster resolution when they occur—all of which can ultimately increase the lifetime value of patients.
This integrated marketing CRM and contact center approach—along with the continuous feedback loop it creates—drives increasingly precise targeted marketing, so the health systems can more efficiently convert consumers into prospects into patients. By tracking consumers and patients from initial inquiry through all subsequent interactions, the organization can better identify the marketing messages, tactics, and calls-to-action that convert, and do this by audience segment.
As a result, marketers not only know which appeals and media are most effective for each service, but the CSRs are ready to lead the conversation when consumers respond.
While this CRM-based contact center approach clearly has advantages over traditional call centers of yesterday, the now-ubiquitous use of mobile technologies and “anywhere, anytime, anyplace” on-demand access broadly expands the health system’s opportunities to engage and support proactive health in their communities even further.
In our final post in this series, we’ll see how one large academic institution is blazing the path to anywhere, anytime engagement, delivering powerful advances for patients, local populations and its business results.