Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Eliminate Management Frustrations
April 25, 2017
Running a call center is hard work, even more so in the healthcare industry with the constant pressure of cost-containment, expectation of quality service, and physical wellbeing of callers at stake. Between staffing and technology, the stress can mount. Consider these common healthcare call center frustrations.
Hire Staff: Staffing is key to operating a call center. Without staff, calls will go unanswered and patients, unserved. Most call centers, especially those in tight labor markets are in a continual hiring mode. The call center is never fully staffed, and there’s always a push to find qualified employees.
Train Staff: Hiring people to staff your call center is just the first step. Next they require training. No one, no matter how qualified, arrives fully ready to take calls. To achieve optimum call center outcomes requires superior training. This means you need a proven training curriculum, which must be continually reviewed and updated to meet ever-changing expectations. It also means you need a trainer to deliver the instruction and ensure new hires are ready to take calls.
Schedule Staff: A third challenge involves scheduling. You need to have the right number of agents working at the right time. If you understaff, callers must wait too long and will end up frustrated or hang up. However, if you overstaff, staff sits idle and payroll costs escalate. While sophisticated software tools can project call traffic, plugging the right people into the anticipated schedule is as much art as science. And then, even the most perfect schedule can fall apart with just one call off.
Retain Staff: You’ve hired, trained, and scheduled staff. So far so good. Now you just need to keep them. Unfortunately, it always seems your best ones leave. You can pay more, give incentives, offer a career path, provide advancement training, and award bonuses. These will all help retain the best employees, but these strategies also require much effort to implement and can drain management, which means more frustration.
Deal with Technology: Although the human side of call centers first comes to mind, there are also technology issues to deal with. Someone must obtain, deploy, manage, and maintain computers, servers, software, and apps. These all cost money and take time. Although SaaS (software as a service) or cloud-based solutions can ease this pain, these alternatives still require attention.
Support Needed Infrastructure: Having computers and software is just the start to meeting a call center’s technology needs. You also need a technology infrastructure. This includes a computer network, internet access, and telephony capacity. If any of these stop working, your call center stops functioning.
Maintain a Facility: Last you need an operations room and a computer and telephony center. Then, as you grow you will need more space. And that’s another issue to deal with.
Addressing all these staff and technology issues demands much in the way of management time and attention. Some days call center managers move from putting out one fire to another. Though they keep things running, they have no time left to focus on what matters most.
Surely, there must be a better way. In fact there is.
Consider outsourcing as an alternative to the daily grind of call center angst. Let your outsourcer deal with the people and technology issues, saving you a whole lot of frustration in the process.
Whether you outsource 24/7, certain shifts, or specific services, healthcare call center outsourcing may just be your best solution to meet caller needs and maintain your sanity.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center industry and who offers a healthcare call center matchmaking service. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-901-7706.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Should You Use Direct Mail as a Marketing Tool For Your Answering Service?
If you’ve networked with other telephone answering service owners or attended many TAS meetings,, the subject of direct mail as a marketing tool is ...
Email Opt-Out Traps to Avoid
A great way to market your call center or answering service is with email marketing: you collect email addresses and send regular messages that contai...
Six Steps to Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center
Regardless of the reasons for outsourcing your healthcare call center work, pursuing a reasoned path is the surest way to a successful outcome. Here a...
7 Tips to Maximize the Sale Price of Your Answering Service
At the end of the year, some telephone answering service owners think about selling their business. They want to complete the sale by year-end. Often ...
How to Maximize the Valuation of Your Answering Service
Smart business owners are always looking for ways to increase the value of their business. You should, too. Whether or not you plan to sell your telep...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Reduce Costs
While a common reason to outsource healthcare call center services is to increase quality, an even more likely motivation is to save money. And saving...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Counter Labor Issues
Many areas in healthcare suffer from a shortage of qualified personnel. One common area is nurses, and many healthcare call centers hire nurses to wor...
What to Do When You Struggle with Sales and Marketing
Every telephone answering service and outsourcing call center owner wants to grow his or her business. There are only two ways to do so: growth throug...