With medical costs expected to increase by up to 10% this year, the ability to offer a seamless and enhanced patient experience is quickly becoming an important criteria for patients considering a new healthcare provider. In fact, marketing research has found that 57% of patients still prefer to call to get their healthcare-related questions answered by a live person.
Managing high call volumes and urgent patient requests can be challenging for even the most well-trained call center staff. The key to a successful customer service call lies in both providing superior service and thoroughly addressing the caller’s needs in the shortest amount of time possible. In a recent Response Mine Health survey, marketers found that new patients are unwilling to stay on hold for more than three minutes before calling another healthcare provider.
This makes it clear, that the first point of contact must be expertly-handled with expediency and professionalism. If you want to rate the effectiveness of how your call center is handling new patient scheduling and inquiries, below are a few key areas to examine.
This is the time your Patient Guides spend on the phone versus completing other patient-related tasks. Generally, aiming for 70-80% call utilization is best, as this ensures that all Patient Guides are actively moving patients through the call funnel, while allowing adequate time to input important data from each call and be well-prepared for the next.
Brand the call
Once a call is delivered to an agent, they should clearly state their name, the name of the company, and any other required identifying language. This ensures that every patient is aware of exactly who they are interacting with and is especially important when patients may have contacted several companies or are unsure of what they are looking for.
Often overlooked, this can be a critical component in converting a lead into a new patient. If patients request a callback, be sure the call is returned within 24 hours, during the week, or within 48 hours, if the request is received over the weekend. Call agents should be able to balance their time between receiving inbound calls and making outbound calls to follow-up with new patients. If you do not have a way to track the percentage breakdown of inbound vs. outbound calls per agent, then investing in tracking software will be key to ensuring your call agents are maintaining a high level of customer support.
For companies looking to differentiate themselves in the highly-concentrated health industry, providing exceptional and fast customer service can serve to create an unshakable advantage.
To learn more about how our award-winning call center and how we might partner with you to enhance your patient experience, contact us today at 404-800-9499 or visit ResponseMineHealth.com.