5 Trends to Navigate in the Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Contact Centers

5 Trends to Navigate in the Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Contact Centers

Explore 5 evolving trends within healthcare contact centers, and their impact on agent performance and patient experience.

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Navigating the ever-evolving world of healthcare contact centers is no small feat. These vital hubs for patient communication are tasked with delivering swift responses and guiding individuals toward the right services. Achieving success in this field relies on consistent, efficient, and satisfying customer service practices that meet compliance requirements. Yet faced with constant change, healthcare contact centers must adapt.

The metrics that underpin healthcare contact center operations are expanding rapidly. With shifting customer service and technology trends, new demands emerge. Consider the "phygital" patient – a term coined by Deloitte to characterize future healthcare consumers. They are avid digital users but still turn to traditional channels when seeking assistance. They expect real-time system integrations that seamlessly blend the digital and physical aspects of their healthcare journey. These innovations may require the creation of fresh contact center metrics to measure success.

In this article, we explore the intersection of these developing trends, evolving metrics, and their profound impact on the performance of healthcare contact center agents.

1. Diversifying Your Omnichannel Communication Toolbox

Healthcare providers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to customer support. This approach is driven by the growing number of communication channels available to customers, including chatbots, live chat, social media, and on-site forms. Omnichannel support is popular because it provides customers with a sense of reliability and caters to their preferred contact methods.

As the number of communication channels continues to grow, healthcare providers need more advanced data analytics capabilities to handle disparate information with trust and consistency. Patients may switch between channels depending on their preferences, so it’s important to track these changes and manage metrics throughout the omnichannel experience. Analytics can help record these preferences and streamline agent deployment and responses.

Healthcare contact center teams can also offer alternate channels for immediate assistance. Channels like searchable FAQs and chatbots can help resolve common questions without relying on live agent support. This can optimize resource spending while providing customers with a satisfactory experience.

2. The Potential for Sentiment Analysis as the New Industry Norm

Sentiment analysis is a voice-based process that applies various technologies to assess caller intention and satisfaction. It detects logical patterns via machine learning and AI to reveal callers’ speaking tones. Sentiment analysis can interpret conversations to identify a positive, neutral, or negative experience. Healthcare contact centers can optimize call strategies based on context, which allows your team to minimize patient dissatisfaction and increase positive call experiences.

Besides providing a holistic assessment of individual agent performances, sentiment analysis can help improve call metrics, such as First-Contact Resolution (FCR) rates and Average Handle Time (AHT). Equipping agents with sentiment analysis capabilities can also improve call center performance by reducing reliance on top agents for handling difficult call-ins.

3. Data-Powered Patient Engagement

Data analytics are increasingly taking center stage in healthcare contact centers, reshaping the way these vital hubs of patient communication operate. In fact, according to a report by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), 75% of healthcare contact centers are expected to have adopted advanced analytics by 2024, enabling proactive outreach to patients for preventative care, medication adherence, and appointment reminders. This‌ doesn't just elevate patient engagement, but significantly contributes to improved health outcomes.

The impact of analytics isn't limited to patient engagement alone; it extends to enhancing the performance of contact center agents. With instant access to patient data and insights, agents can provide a level of empathetic and personalized support that was previously unattainable. Armed with previous interaction data, they can tailor their responses based on a patient's unique history, resulting in more effective communication and heightened patient satisfaction.

The benefits of real-time analytics go beyond the agent-patient interaction. Supervisors gain the invaluable ability to monitor agent performance in real time. This capability empowers them to identify training needs, evaluate call quality, and intervene as necessary to offer guidance and support to agents. The result isn't just an improvement in the agent's skills and performance, but also the assurance of consistent service quality across the board.

4. Effective Contact Center Training May Remain Elusive

Effective training is critical for healthcare contact centers if aiming to improve their performance. However, according to NICE’s From Attrition to Retention Global Surveys, 58% of call center agents lack significant benefits from company coaching sessions. Poor progression could limit the long-term revenue of contact centers. Ineffective training could also compromise call metrics like Transfer Rate and Average Wait Time (AWT).

Advanced analytics, like Brightmetrics, offer intuitive contact center data reporting capabilities with agent performance insights. Users can manage call summary reports and drill-down features to analyze agent performances. That way, contact center teams can always expect detailed context with every interaction. These learning opportunities can offer exclusive agent training based on real-world pain points and solutions.

5. Harnessing Digital Tools for Efficiency and Savings

Digital tools are becoming increasingly popular in contact centers as they can help reduce costs and improve customer service. According to McKinsey & Co.'s research, digital tools can help lower average handling time by as much as 40%.

One of the most promising digital tools for healthcare contact centers is virtual assistants. Virtual assistants can supplement live agent services to improve call center metrics. They can handle routine queries, freeing up agents to focus on more complex issues. Virtual assistants can also help reduce wait times, improve customer satisfaction, and provide 24/7 support. In addition, virtual assistants enable agents to break away from high-stress call situations. These arrangements can help teams recharge and avoid burnout.

In the long term, your company can minimize turnover and costly hiring and onboarding fees by using digital tools like virtual assistants. By automating routine tasks, your team can focus on more complex issues that require human intervention. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Future-proof Your Healthcare Contact Center With Brightmetrics

The future of contact center metrics in healthcare follows ever-shifting patient expectations. Finding an analytics solution that optimizes customer satisfaction despite the latest trends is necessary.

Brightmetrics has a proven track record of effectively enhancing patient experiences within healthcare call centers and contact centers. For example, working with value-based healthcare provider Evolent Health, Brightmetrics analytics empowered their customer service team to achieve an impressive 95% answer rate by converting phone data into actionable metrics.

In another case study, California-based healthcare company Golden Valley Health Center used Brightmetrics to improve its operations, resulting in significant service enhancements, notably reducing average wait times in queues.

Brightmetrics' analytics and reporting help contact center teams stay prepared for changes. By integrating historical and real-time analytics, Brightmetrics enables effective resource planning and optimized real-time decision-making. Your team can anticipate ongoing enhancements in addressing customer experience trends during unpredictable times.

Start your Brightmetrics trial today to boost your healthcare contact center performance!

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