5 Top Challenges Facing Today’s Health Care Inbound Call Centers
Total global spending in the health care industry is expected to increase an average of 5.3 percent annually from 2014 to 2017, according to the latest report from Deloitte.
Factors fueling this growth include an aging population and the rising costs of developing new drugs and medical devices.
This growth will place enormous pressure on health care providers.
Much of it will come from the new challenges that health care providers will face in the coming years. Those that meet these challenges will succeed and thrive. Those that don’t will fall by the way side.
One things is certain: Inbound call centers will play a pivotal role in helping health care providers meet the new challenges they’ll face in the future.
To do it, call centers will need to boost performance. They’ll be expected to provide exceptional customer service, increase agent productivity, and maximize revenue generation.
Health Care’s Top 5 Challenges
Today’s health care call centers include any worker responsible for interacting with patients or potential patients, medical companies, insurers, and others in the industry.
How these workers interact with a provider’s customers will determine customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer loyalty and satisfaction will determine not only a provider’s profitability but also its sustainability.
Increasing profitability and sustainability won’t be easy thanks in large part to the new challenges providers will face. Below are the five top challenges health care providers will see in the coming years:
- Consumer demand for better pricing
- Increased demand for transparency of pricing
- New competition from unknown entities
- Increased price shopping by customers
- Keeping costs down and reasonable
Consumer demand for better pricing and the increased demand for transparency of pricing are clearly the most critical of the five challenges. But the other three aren’t far behind them.
The last is where inbound call centers can make the most impact on a provider’s viability. Inefficient contact centers, for example, drive operating costs up and cut deeply into a provider’s profitability.
Some of this inefficiency has to do with a lack of technology. For example, IVR/speech recognition is low in the health care industry. But high workforce costs and inefficient processing of calls also cut into a provider’s profitability.
Whatever the cause, health care providers will have a hard time keeping costs down. With many facing razor-thin margins, you can expect cost containment to be a top priority for call center managers the next few years.
Pivotal Roll For Inbound Call Centers
Most health care providers know the value of having a good inbound call center. But these call centers will take on an increasingly pivotal role in the coming years.
That’s because consumers are looking to call centers to provide more personalization and flexibility in transactions. They’re also expecting call centers to facilitate more transparency in the quality and pricing of services.
The bottom line is that inbound call centers can be a way for health care providers to differentiate themselves from the competition and boost profitability.
Key customer service goals for call centers will be to sell services by understanding the consumer’s unique needs, operating more efficiently using the latest technology, and increasing agent productivity.
Providers, on the other hand, will expect call centers to be key instruments in shaping the public perception of the company, creating exceptional customer experiences, and generating revenue by up-selling and cross-selling services.
The health care industry will undergo dramatic changes in the next few years, creating new challenges for providers. Meeting these challenges won’t be easy. Consumers want higher quality services and lower costs.
Inbound call centers are on the front lines of this battle. To help providers meet the new challenges—and differentiate themselves from the competition—call centers will have to provide exceptional customer service, increase agent productivity, and maximize revenue generation.
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