Providing top-quality care—consistently and without fail—can be challenging given the staffing shortages and financial stresses in healthcare today. Sometimes customer experience (CX) suffers and patients are left frustrated and confused about issues like discharge care or complicated bills.
Outsourcing CX is a potential solution because it allows healthcare providers and payers to deliver consistent CX quality while focusing on their core services. But letting an outside company handle CX can be fraught, especially in a sensitive and highly regulated industry like healthcare.
Quality CX outsourcing can be found, but it takes careful vetting. Look for a company that is willing to invest the time to become a true partner instead of just a vendor. Find a company that will not only take excellent care of your patients and plan members but also bring expertise that helps you operate more efficiently, and helps your organization and patients thrive.
Essential qualities you need in a CX partner
- Bespoke approach. Don’t accept a cookie-cutter CX offering. You need a partner who will take a deep diveto understand how your organization works. They should then build processes that fit your unique needs and find qualified agents with the right experience to represent you well.
- Empathy. Patients who are looking for help are often in a very vulnerable place. Look for a CX partner who has a track record of providing agents with the soft skills, training, and expertise to work through whatever issues may arise in a knowledgeable and compassionate manner.
- Security. HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity controls are obviously critical. Mistakes in this area can subject you to fines and reputational damage. Make sure your partner has all the appropriate controls in place and has a proven record of protecting patient data.
- Engaged, empowered employees. The CX partner you choose should care deeply about their employees and give them the tools and support they need to thrive. That includes continuous training as well as up-to-date technology to assist them in providing fast, helpful service. Employees should be empowered with the deep knowledge to go beyond scripts and solve problems.
- Transparency. Expect frequent, detailed reporting on multiple parameters as well as accountability for any failures to meet agreed-upon standards. A good CX provider should also be able to provide insights beyond basic KPIs. They should help you identify trouble spots quickly and improve your processes on the fly.
- Continual evolution. Customer feedback, agent observations, and the multitude of other data gathered from patient interactions should fuel a continual improvement process for your CX partner. And you should expect them to also recommend ways that you can optimize the patient experience.
- Appropriate technology. Well-designed interactive voice response (IVR) and AI solutions should be used to handle simple issues and to support agents so they can operate more effectively and efficiently. But a CX partner should strike a careful balance between technology and human agents. Some situations will always require person-to-person interactions to resolve quickly and with minimal effort. Humans needs humans, especially in healthcare.