Achieving the right balance of human interaction and technology at your hospital contact center

Technology has fundamentally changed how hospitals interact and deliver quality care to their communities. With the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging solutions, it’s easy to lose sight of how human interactions play a significant role in creating connections with patients. 

In fact, when asked about the most important factors of building trust between contact centers and callers, participants in Deloitte Digital’s 2023 Global Contact Center Survey said that being able to reach an actual live person ranked second.  

With these considerations in mind, a blended approach towards automation and the human touch—where the roles and responsibilities of your employees are not completely replaced by technology—is the best way to ensure that your contact center can effectively meet patient needs.  

Using speech recognition systems 

Speech recognition systems are an extremely helpful tool for balancing human interaction and technology in hospital contact centers.  

These innovative solutions work by telling callers to say the person, department, or information they seek without the help of an operator. The system ‘listens’ to the requests, locates the specific information, and connects the call to the right place.  

Speech recognition systems are ideal for organizations that are faced with high call volumes and staffing shortages, since it allows your employees to focus more of their time on patients who truly require human invention.  

Creating personalized experiences  

With the right balance of automation and a human touch in your contact center, employees can meet patient expectations by creating personalized experiences.  

The use of an intelligent system allows your operators to answer each call professionally with a pre-recorded greeting in their own voice instead of a standard, impersonal one.  

These messages can be time-of-day sensitive, tailored to temporary or emergency situations like dangerous weather, road construction, or building closures. This human technology interaction can also be customized to greet callers differently based on where the call was routed.  

Displaying empathy

Empathy is the key element to creating exceptional automation and a human touch in a hospital contact center. Understanding the perspectives and feelings of other people is especially important when the absence of physical cues can lead to misunderstandings from conversations that aren’t face-to-face. 

The latest advancements in contact center technology cannot completely replace this human ability. Instead of relying on the limited emotional depth of automated solutions, your employees can strengthen your organization’s reputation by showing empathy to callers on the other line.  

If your hospital chooses to record calls, your contact center employees can listen to real-world examples and learn from empathetic interactions from their colleagues. 

Automation offers countless advantages for hospital contact centers—but not at the cost of a personal touch, and ultimately, patient satisfaction. With the right balance of human interaction and technology, your organization can operate more efficiently while delivering quality care to your local communities.  

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