Call Center Frequently Asked Questions
June 5, 2019
In our work we’ve had the opportunity to partner with a variety of call centers to help them accelerate their operations and improve patient access. We’ve noticed in our conversations and work with various call centers, both customers and prospects, that some similar questions tend to pop up. Whether it’s addressing concerns about implementing a new technology or what makes learning a new technology worth it, and so on, we always try to provide clarity on how digital care coordination works and why it’s so important to have. Below are a few of our call center most frequently asked questions and a brief synopsis on how we would typically answer them.
How is the platform different than booking in the practice management system?
Our digital care coordination platform integrates with practice management (PM) systems to enable real-time web-based scheduling. So, booking in the platform does not require additional administrative effort – access is direct.
One of the key differentiators of our platform is that is powered by automated scheduling protocols and business rules that guide agents to schedule the right care. Agents are prompted to ask patients specific questions, those answers are inputted into the system, and used to identify the best provider and appointment match for that patient’s needs. In just a few questions, agents can narrow down to the right providers for the patient’s needs, then a selection can easily be made based on the location and time that is most convenient.
It is also beneficial for those hospital or health system call centers navigating disparate practice management systems. When certain providers or services are operating on different systems, call center agents have to log into each distinct system to book an appointment. Our platform aggregates inventory in one place. The process is much more efficient for agents, but also a better experience for patients as less time is required of them on the phone to book an appointment.
How can I make my providers comfortable with this solution?
At the core of this solution are automated scheduling protocols and business rules customized for each and every one of your providers. Contrary to what many believe, providers will not lose control of their schedules. Rather, rules set by a provider will be incorporated into the system, ensuring any appointment booked is done according to their personal preferences. Feedback we’ve received from our customers’ physicians is that it actually helps them have a more efficient and planned day, and even helps reduce some of the stresses of their schedules. More on that here.
Does the platform save my call center agents time?
At a minimum, web-based scheduling saves call center agents an average of three minutes per scheduling call. Our case study with Heritage Medical Associates takes a closer look at how digital care coordination has increased call center efficiency, enhanced physician satisfaction, and improved the bottom line.
In other use cases, such as specialty care scheduling, the process can be much more complex. In these instances, scheduling calls can routinely take 20 minutes to qualify the patient and ensure they are matched with the right provider. With our platform, these average handle times can be cut in half.
How does the platform improve patient experience?
The patient experience begins well before a patient shows up at the doctor’s office. Most likely, their interaction with you begins during the appointment scheduling process. When calling to schedule an appointment, patients are all too often met with long phone calls or even being put on hold for several minutes. A digital care coordination platform is proven to improve agent efficiency, providing greater bandwidth to handle scheduling calls. Not only does this reduce call times, it also reduces the likelihood that a patient will be put on hold. Secondarily, with the digital care coordination platform, patients find that the process of being guided through simple Q&A with the agent is a better experience as well. Human error is greatly reduced by the automation and show rates are improved as the appointment bookings tend to be more accurately matched to the patient’s need and availability.
Is it easy to train agents to use the platform?
Training that previously took months can be reduced to just one hour with our platform. The business rules and scheduling protocols that agents otherwise would have had to memorize (for various specialties on down to the individual provider preferences) are now fully automated into the system. With time saved on memorization, agents only really need to be trained to use the platform itself, which is already intuitively designed and purpose-built.
Can services like imaging be scheduled too?
Any and all services and specialties can be incorporated into the scheduling platform. Beyond just scheduling into dozens of specialties, imagine being able to schedule imaging or even birthing or wellness classes, all from one platform!
What kind of analytics does the solution provide?
The digital care coordination platform provides a host of analytics and reports that can be accessed via real-time dashboards. From tracking scheduling rates and show rates, to physician utilization and capacity, lead times, and more, the analytics illustrate how the platform is being utilized and shed light what can be further optimized. As an additional service, our team of data scientists work with our customers to create customized reporting modules and dashboards for deeper analysis. Moreover, we bring our wealth of industry knowledge and experience to bear to consultatively provide improvement suggestions and best practices to create as much value as possible.
While we touched here on some of the frequently asked questions affecting call centers, we know there are others that aren’t addressed. If you have additional questions, please consider scheduling a demo to learn more first hand. Or for more information you can download our call center case study or download our guide on how to Accelerate Your Call Center.