The State of Healthcare Call Center Customer Service in 2024

Today’s healthcare patients demand an efficient healthcare call center customer service experience that leaves them feeling like they’ve been treated with kindness, respect, and most importantly – empathy.  

Healthcare organizations that understand, prioritize, and shift their call center customer service priorities are the same organizations that are experiencing customer growth, improved patient satisfaction, significant patient retention, and increased revenues.

In fact, research has consistently demonstrated that patient-focused healthcare organizations drive more than twice the revenue growth as companies in the same industry with lower patient satisfaction scores. Additionally, healthcare organizations that have traditionally demonstrated the best patient experiences rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic in a much stronger position than companies that did not make patient experiences their top priority.  

Again and again, patients demonstrate that they are committed to returning to trusted brands that they feel have treated them well.

 

The Importance of Healthcare Call Center Customer Service: The Numbers Tell The Story.

No matter the sector –  business, technology, public service – or healthcare – the customer engagement experience most often starts with interacting with your call center staff.  

Regardless of whether or not your call center consists of in-house staff or is part of a contracted call center service, the fact is that they represent you, your brand, and your products and services.  

Research shows us that how your customers, clients, and patients perceive these initial customer service interactions often determine how long you will have a relationship with those you serve.  Consider these statistics:

  • More than 95% of consumers report customer service being among the most critical factors affecting their choice.
  • Customers with customer service issues are 400% more likely to take their business elsewhere.
  • Positive customer service experiences result in roughly 150% more customer spending when compared to the amount spent after a negative experience, meaning positive customer experiences are likely to generate significantly more revenue for your organization.

At the same time, more than 65% of customers, and in this case patients, have reported that they have much higher expectations when it comes to customer service than they did just a year ago.  

In short, these statistics demonstrate that organizations that provide high-quality customer experiences with their call centers have more satisfied and loyal consumers who spend more money with the organization.  

 

The Significant Differences Between Health Care Call Center Customer Service and Other Call Centers.

Healthcare call center customer serviceWhile all call centers provide an important service to their organizations, none are arguably more essential than the customer service that healthcare call center customer service provides.  

Healthcare call centers are constantly sharing critical information between doctors, healthcare providers, and patients – appointments, important test results, critical medical information, and prescriptions – each with the potential to change the lives of the patients being serviced. 

In addition, healthcare call center customer service departments are held to different and more stringent state and federal governmental regulations than call centers found in other sectors.  

Since the information being shared during each communication usually involves a patient’s medical information or medical history, healthcare call center customer service providers and their customer service agents must take additional steps to protect each patients’ privacy and medical information.   

Considering the importance of the information being shared by healthcare call center customer service representatives, and understanding how important building trust and long-term relationships with patients, it makes sense to measure the quality of the customer service provided by healthcare call center customer service agents with three key metrics:

  • First Call Resolution.  Perhaps the most important healthcare call center customer service metric is first call resolution, or the ability for a patient to have their issue addressed with one call and by a single call center agent.  While this is arguably the most difficult to achieve a high metric, it’s indicative of a health care call center who strives to meet patient needs, understands the intricacies of the healthcare system, and cares deeply about patient loyalty and patient satisfaction. 
  • Call Abandonment Rate.  High call abandonment rates indicate patient frustration with the length of healthcare call center customer service response time, the quality of service being delivered, or an inability to connect with an agent who can address their need.  
  • Average Agent Response Time.  Directly related to call abandonment rate, long agent response times increase patient frustration and lower their confidence and trust in the healthcare organization.  Considering that patients who have a poor healthcare call center experience are over 4 times more likely to take their business somewhere else, healthcare providers would be wise to take steps to improve agent response times and to lower call abandonment rates. 

High call abandonment rates or long agent response times are signs that you need additional staff, training, or technology to handle calls faster and more efficiently. Click here to read how AHC helped St. Tammany Health System significantly improve their customer service response time, lower their patient call abandonment rate, and increase patient satisfaction.

 

Quality Healthcare Call Center Customer Service Is More Important Than Ever

Patients have shown that the quality of the interaction they have with your healthcare organization’s call center team directly determines if they will continue to use your healthcare services.  

Considering that 65% of patients report expecting higher customer service from their healthcare agencies than they did just a year ago –  coupled with the fact that poor healthcare scheduling and customer service results in over $150 billion in lost revenue each year– it’s clear the quality and responsiveness of your healthcare call center customer service team has never been more important than it is right now.  

 

Fully Customizable AHC’s Virtual Patient Communication Management Services Increases Communication, Efficiency, and Revenue 

American Health Connection’s Virtual Patient Communication Management services give your organization the opportunity to provide the flexible, comprehensive, real-time care and engagement that your patients expect and appreciate. 

As the focus rapidly shifts to value-based care, your organization’s personal engagement with your patients has never been more essential to the success of your healthcare practice.  

AHC offers the healthcare industry’s only all-inclusive, cloud-based, full-service, virtual central scheduling and patient communications services

Our comprehensive medical answering service solutions are specifically designed to significantly improve scheduling and registration workflow, maximize client resource utilization, and reduce costs while also monitoring patient health outcomes and ensuring a strong relationship between practitioner and patient.

 

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