The experiences of healthcare consumers, switchboard operators, and patient access center agents are dependent on each other. In order to improve the customer experience, staff experience must be improved, and vice versa.
Switchboard and call center staff are overwhelmed with frustrated callers. When people are upset after navigating a maze-like phone tree, waiting on hold, or being transferred too many times, they often take it out on staff. Emotional callers are draining healthcare operators and agents. In addition, call staff are engaging in critical health issues like connecting patients to necessary care or scheduling a life-saving operation. These circumstances are more pressing than answering questions about a package delivery or a utility bill. The resulting pressure from repeated stressful calls is emotionally demanding. In order to provide necessary care and support to callers, the burden on operators and agents must be reduced. It is critical for healthcare operators and agents to have less stressful experiences on the job, in order to provide the best patient experience.
Parlance is a software as a service company, leveraging intelligent speech technologies as a fully managed service to improve call community experiences for health systems nationwide. Health systems rely on Parlance every day to modernize call handling, ease caller effort and reduce operational costs. With Parlance, callers speak naturally and connect quickly, so people with routine requests immediately get to the person, department, or resource they need: no long hold times, no confusing menus, no numbers to press. People who need complex support can get it quickly, because live operators are no longer acting like human transfer switches and they’re more available to help callers who need it.
The job of healthcare operators and agents is done in an inherently fast-paced and overwhelming environment. The exhausting atmosphere of the job results in high attrition rates for operators and agents, and constant turnover leads to a less experienced workforce. New agents, often unprepared for the fast-paced environment and the vast array of complex issues, are unable to sufficiently assist callers, causing frustration for both parties. Due to the difficulties that operators and agents face, these roles are challenging to fill. These circumstances ultimately hurt healthcare consumers.
Health systems that subscribe to Parlance are more easily able to offset staffing burdens and workforce shortages. When up to 65% of switchboard calls are immediately offloaded with Parlance, operator call queues are eliminated, and staff are no longer burdened with overwhelming call volumes. Shorter hold times and easy self-service on routine calls means that people are less frustrated and can easily reach a live representative when they need one. These improvements result in less employee turnover, and reduce the difficulties associated with staffing shortages.
First impressions count! A poor experience can damage a caller’s view of a health system for the life of their relationship. Switchboard operators and access center agents are the backbone of the patient experience. With Parlance, operator, agent, and caller experience improve. Give your call community the tools they need to succeed!
By Annmarie Block