Enhancing Agent Performance for Healthcare Providers

The raising demand for top quality healthcare services has led to an increased focus on customer attention and satisfaction within the contact center industry. Contact centers like patient access, pharmacy, and related entry points are an intense focus for leaders striving to provide a high level of service economically.  services have emerged as a viable solution for healthcare providers looking to optimize their operations and enhance the overall customer experience. There are critical moments in admissions, patient access and follow-up that need specialized attention.

In fact, according to a healthcare survey conducted by Avtex, “71% of all consumers prefer to talk to someone about their healthcare”. By pinpointing these critical conversations with competent and confident staff, healthcare providers can effectively satisfy that need. Making these functions far more efficient allows for allocating more resources towards delivering quality patient care. 

Business Wire claims that the global healthcare industry is projected to exceed $468 billion by 2026. This provides a unique opportunity for contact centers in the healthcare sector. But on the other hand, the surge in healthcare attention and the subsequent rise in demand for contact center services present several challenges for some companies operating in the healthcare industry.  

The rising demand for personalized and patient-centric care in the healthcare industry has placed a significant emphasis on the need for well-prepared and empathetic call center agents within companies. According to a study by Genesys, 32% of patients say they have a relationship with their provider because they understand and know who they are. While only 30% feel that they are provided the right information. 

Therefore, agents in this industry are require mastering: 

  • In-depth knowledge of medical terminology, procedures, and regulations to provide accurate and reliable support. 
  • Exceptional communication skills, especially empathy and patience, which are crucial attributes for call center agents when addressing sensitive healthcare-related inquiries. 

And to get there, they need to acquire: 

  • Comprehensive training that lets them have access to up-to-date information and the right skills. 

That’s why meeting the demands of healthcare attention and customer satisfaction requires contact centers to prioritize the preparation and ongoing development of their agents. 

A Major Challenge on The Way 

The rapid preparation of contact center agents for call-surge-related events, such as open enrollment periods and flu seasons, poses a significant challenge in the healthcare industry.  

These events often result in a sudden influx of calls, requiring agents to quickly adapt and handle the increased volume of inquiries effectively. Contact centers face the test of efficiently and rapidly onboarding and training agents to ensure they are adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle the surge in call demands.  

In the middle of a context where companies in the sector report a 390% increase in member calls during enrollment and still suffering the derived demand consequences of the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, companies face patient expectations regarding the delivery of exceptional healthcare experiences, compelling healthcare providers to prioritize customer service across all channels.  

Streamlining training programs becomes essential to overcome this and maintain the quality of healthcare attention provided during critical periods. Failure to address this can lead to increased customer frustration, decreased satisfaction, and potential revenue loss for healthcare organizations. 

As a result, healthcare contact centers face an ongoing struggle to operate with heightened efficiency and speed, providing top-quality assistance to members and patients. The significance of health as a central topic requires contact centers to adapt and deliver service excellence in this evolving landscape. 

According to TechTarget, 35% of businesses encounter challenges in finding contact center agent candidates who possess the needed skills. And a study conducted by JD Power also showed that more than a third of people report waiting on hold as their biggest frustration when seeking support from a company.  

This occurs due to sudden increases in call volume and insufficient staffing levels within contact centers. 

Healthcare

From this context is possible to draw three service issues that companies have to deal with on a daily basis:  

  • Agent shortage 
  • Sudden volume spikes 
  • Long wait times for callers 

However, it is possible to mitigate the significant impact of these variables on customers if you have the ability to choose the right solution.  

Fortunately, industry leaders such as Call Gurus and NTG are already forging a new path by embracing cutting-edge innovations such as automated role play for training and coaching. By harnessing the power of SymTrain, these organizations are overcoming traditional challenges and unlocking remarkable benefits. 

Automated Role-Play to Improve Operational Efficiencies 

According to TTEC one of the ways for contact center agents in the health sector to better engage with patients when there are call surges or agent shortage is to “Create a virtual environment where your associates can thrive” before handling real calls. This means training them faster for real life situations and being able to provide immediate feedback.  

It is beneficial to design scenarios specifically tailored to new hires’ work environment. For recently hired staff, a simulated learning method that mirrors a real-time setting is preferable. Ideally, training materials should be used for upskilling as well, offering self-paced modules of automated coaching that offer instant feedback and coaching tips. 

When choosing automated agent coaching solutions, SymTrain positions itself as the perfect fix for healthcare agents, since it offers to: 

  • Customize to train for empathy in less time:  You can reduce training time and resource costs by over 40% with automation. Contact centers can quickly generate real call scenarios that closely replicate authentic customer interactions. This enables agents to practice and refine their empathetic skills efficiently. 
Healthcare

  • Prepare real call scenarios in less time: You can roll out new processes and resolve communication challenges within hours. Team leaders can easily create material and monitor agents’ empathetic behaviors to provide guidance as needed.  
  • Provide ongoing empathy checkups to ensure agents continue to deliver over time: Achieve the right level of performance and increase your CSAT scores by 12-15%. Contact centers can streamline their training processes and reduce the time required to develop empathetic agents, all while maintaining the quality of training.  

No matter if your contact center is struggling with low CSAT, high call abandonment rates, or seeking ways to optimize agent productivity, consider implementing automated role-play with SymTrain. This approach offers a valuable toolkit to address crucial performance drivers and boost agent proficiency.  

Remember, to excel, you must be willing to embrace new strategies and adapt to the changing dynamics in the contact center industry. 

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