People today have more choices than ever regarding where and how they receive care. Because of this, hospitals and healthcare systems are sensitive about maintaining and improving their customer service. Hospitals want to be the provider of choice, they want patients to come back, and they want patients to recommend their services.
Call centers are the welcome mat for many hospitals, and in the post Affordable Care Act world, patients are footing more of the bill. Prospective patients are calling to inquire about prices and accepted insurance plans before making their care decisions. A rude operator, or being transferred to the wrong department, can overshadow a carefully cultivated reputation. These call center encounters represent the brand of the hospital, and it’s important to protect it by maintaining top-notch customer service. Researchhas found that ninety-five percent of customers who have a bad experience will tell someone about it.
Also, as hospital consolidation continues, the trend has emerged to centralize call centers. Centralized call centers are more efficient and cost effective, but they are also more complicated. By serving multiple facilities, operators need to be able to adapt and apply varying procedures across the multiple sites that they serve in order to provide the best service to current and prospective patients.
To address the complexities presented by handling calls for multiple locations, our strategy with the next generation of Spok® console solutions is to increase the information available to an operator. We also want to reduce the amount of time it takes to find critical information and decrease an operator’s dependence on institutional knowledge. The new Spok console solution will have a completely re-designed look and feel to make the user experience as intuitive and smooth as possible.
We have developed our solutions with the understanding that the way people communicate is changing, and this is a global phenomenon. It’s no longer just a phone call—it can be chats, e-mails, social media posts, texting, etc. Nearly 80 percent of consumers seeking customer support or answers to a question reach out to a company using multiple channels, and they expect a consistent service experience. Spok is pursuing an activity-based approach to contact management to help our customers handle that channel diversity and provide consistency. We are working to consolidate all forms of communication into one interface to let operators focus on the customer, not the technology behind the communication.
One of our goals at Connect 14 is to get feedback from our customers. This isn’t just a show-and-tell. We are giving our customers an early opportunity to see what we’re planning and hear their comments. We want to make sure we are building a solution that will meet their needs. I hope to see you in the audience for my first presentation on Monday morning! For those of you who can’t make it this year, you’re out of luck. Just kidding – I will present a webinar early in 2015. Keep an eye out for it so you can participate in the discussion, too.