8 Ways You Can Improve Healthcare Customer Service

Posted on:
June 20, 2024
min read
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of outsourcing to developing countries?
What are the challenges of outsourcing to developing countries?
Top 5 Most In-demand Developing Countries for Outsourcing
What are some successful examples of companies that have outsourced to developing countries?
What are the best practices for outsourcing to developing countries?
How To Improve Healthcare Customer Service
KDCI Outsourcing
June 19, 2024

How Do You Level Up Healthcare Customer Service?

As Rob Lamberts, MD puts it in his article on American healthcare customer service, “...the ridiculous wait times, the unreasonable and confusing cost of care, and the plunging morale that people routinely face in medical practices…[gives] a frightening picture of a system supposedly dedicated to helping people.” 

Given the notoriety of customer service in healthcare, hospitals and clinics are presented an opportunity to set themselves apart by providing excellent patient customer service. Not only will this give you a good reputation, attracting more patients, but more importantly, it gives ailing people the help they need. And to help you do that, we’ve listed recommendations from some of the best customer care specialists in the healthcare industry.

Implementing Patient-Centric Care

The National Institute of Health emphasizes the importance of having healthcare workers, including healthcare customer service representatives, that have good psychological traits and communication skills when it comes to dealing with patients to foster better care outcomes. This includes being empathetic and attending to the patient’s needs, both practical and emotional.

Aside from this, customer care teams in healthcare ought to communicate with patients well, especially in the context of wait times in customer support. While it’s unavoidable to have surges in customer queries from time to time, it helps to communicate clearly and set expectations with your patients. Put yourself in your patients’ shoes and help them understand what’s going on. Are there 5 more people ahead of them? Let them know!

Leveraging Technology To Enhance Support

In the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s never been easier to empower human agents. While this same technology gives patients the option for self-service support, significantly reducing the volume of customer queries that need to be addressed by customer support specialists, customer service agents will also have AI and machine learning tools at their disposal.

With such technology, healthcare customer service representatives can have updated information readily available. They can generate insights from patient data, analyzing their patient records and history. Not to mention, they can generate call scripts to help respond to patients, significantly enhancing the efficiency of patient care.  

Training Customer Service Team

Patient-centric care doesn’t come naturally to most people. This is why healthcare institutions need to invest in training their teams. As shown in the results of this study, training is one of the keys to improving service excellence in healthcare, and training customer service agents on communication is a surefire way to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

According to Learning Everest, an effective customer service training program includes skills training, competency tests, and consistent monitoring and feedback. In particular, offering scenario based training to customer service agents appears to yield better results than traditional learning.

Reducing Wait Times

Long wait times are the biggest killer of customer satisfaction. Based on a survey conducted by Zendesk, the top indicator of bad customer service is long hold/wait times. Especially in American healthcare, patient customer service is notorious for making people wait.

The best solution to this is automation! By introducing automated queue management systems, repetitive tasks like answering basic questions and assigning patients to customer service representatives no longer need manual work, freeing up human agents to manage complex inquiries more effectively.

Streamlining Customer Service Operations

One bad experience is enough to nullify past good experiences, especially in customer service. As a healthcare provider, it is important to be consistent in providing high-quality customer support to patients for maintaining service excellence. But even the best agents can have their off days, and quality of service can vary from agent to agent, leading to inconsistencies in service.

A way to workaround this problem is to streamline the customer service process in your healthcare or clinic through automation and implementing chatbots. Automating repetitive tasks frees up your agents; meanwhile, chatbots can solve simpler patient concerns. These not only create more time to handle complex issues, but leave agents with more emotional energy to empathize with patients. 

Another way to improve customer service in healthcare is by increasing efficiency by optimizing your channels and platforms. This means going omnichannel, giving patient support on phone, email, chat, social media, and video to cater to patient preferences and needs. By integrating these channels and platforms altogether, patients get seamless, user-friendly experience. 

Collecting And Acting On Patient Feedback

In a 2023 study published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers found that “[f]eedbacks provide evidence to guide health care organizations in improving the overall experience of patients and the quality of services that they provide.” 

After all, patient feedback is a valuable source of service quality. When you actively survey or read reviews online, you get an understanding of how they view your brand. This is a gold mine of actionable enhancements you can implement in your hospital or clinic.

Offering After Hours Support

If there’s any industry that deals with life and death, that’s healthcare. You never know when an emergency is going to happen, that’s why it’s crucial to have support always ready to help patients no matter the time of day.

As a matter of fact, studies show that after-hours access to primary care practices is linked with lower emergency department use and less unmet medical need, ensuring that patients receive timely care and reducing the strain on emergency services.

Outsourcing Healthcare Customer Service

Many of the enhancements in patient customer care outlined above take time and resources to implement. While large healthcare institutions can invest in these changes, there are plenty of hospitals and clinics that require more cost-efficient and lower-risk options. Such is driving demand in healthcare outsourcing, with as much as 80% of healthcare leaders planning to outsource some form of service.

Through outsourcing, healthcare providers can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance customer service quality and patient satisfaction in healthcare customer service. Because customer service agencies have the technological infrastructure and resources already, hospitals and clinics can leverage these to adapt technologies and best practices when it comes to deploying patient-centric, consistent, and high-quality customer care.

Offshore Customer Service for Healthcare To The Philippines

There are several routes hospitals and clinics can take when it comes to improving their healthcare customer service. One of them is outsourcing due to its lower cost and lower risk perks. Especially when outsourcing to offshore locations like the Philippines, the world’s call center capital, healthcare providers can improve patient care quality while increasing return on investment (ROI).

As an established customer service outsourcing company, KDCI Outsourcing has extensive experience providing support to companies in multiple industries, particularly healthcare institutions in the US. This means that we not only provide offshore staff to help augment their manpower shortage, we build them results-focused offshore customer service teams in the Philippines that have experience working in healthcare. This entails little to no learning curve when it comes to healthcare lingo, and ensures seamless integration with their organizations.

Learn more about healthcare customer service outsourcing in the Philippines. Contact us today!

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