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Why Healthcare Call Centers are Vital in the Patient Experience

In a recent AnswerStat article, Mark Dwyer reflects on his thirty years of working in the healthcare call center industry. Specifically, he recognizes that many of his peers have been working as call center managers and agents anywhere from ten to thirty years. These agents have helping people connect with healthcare services while providing high quality patient experiences. Call centers are valuable and can serve a helpful role in the community while generating revenue for healthcare organizations.

It may sound schmaltzy to put so much significance on the impact of experienced healthcare call center agents, but they truly can provide emotional help and support to callers. Think of it this way, if you have an illness, you want to feel comforted when seeking help or guidance. You’re already in a vulnerable situation and the last thing you want is to ask complete strangers for help. Talking to an agent you’ve known for years enables you to feel trusting and welcome, which allows you to comfortable ask for help in a difficult time. It’s easier to open up and remain loyal when you know the person on the other side of the call cares about you. 

Some may be worried about the future of customer empathy and agent familiarity within healthcare call centers. This is understandable in an age where it appears as though technological advances have the potential to take priority. Dwyer points to technology additions to call centers such as emails/texts, live chat support, and social media. While these communication channels are vital to the present and future of the call center industry, phone calls are still the preferred communication method for many people when interacting with healthcare call centers. 

While phone calls are still the preferred method of communication by many and they may never be fully eliminated from the call center, the millennial generation has different preferences that shouldn’t be ignored. Dwyer informs us that within the next decade, the amount of social media interactions will rival the number of phone calls within the contact center. It’s important to maintain traditional phone call customer service while evolving with technological trends by utilizing multichannel options like emails, text, and social media. 

An important thing to note is that social media and other web-based communication channels make it extremely easy to give anybody a platform to share their opinions on your organization. If a patient had a bad experience with your call center, they can easily tell thousands or millions of people about the experience and ultimately tarnish your healthcare organization’s reputation. This means call center agents should treat digital communication interactions the same way they’d handle a patient over the phone. Just like with a traditional call center, your multichannel support team must treat your patients with the best possible care in order to deliver a great patient experience. 

This blog post was based on an article by Mark Dwyer. To read the full, original article, please click the link below:

Healthcare Call Centers: An Essential Component in Improving Patient Experiences – Mark Dwyer

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