How the Healthcare Industry Can Maintain a Successful Work-from-Home Contact Center Environment

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Now that many healthcare contact centers have transitioned to working at home, how will companies maintain data security? What are the best ways to manage a remote workforce? In a recent TTEC webinar, Overcoming top CX healthcare challenges, healthcare and customer experience experts from TTEC addressed these concerns and more as they discussed the common questions healthcare firms have when transitioning contact center workers to an at-home environment. They also shared the best ways contact center leaders can empower their associates to respond faster to surging patient and member call volumes.

How do I provide a secure data environment with remote agents?

A key concern for healthcare companies is maintaining a secure data environment in a work-from-home contact center setting. Various models and tools make it possible to provide the same high-level security measures as from a brick-and-mortar location. We equip our at-home agents with PCs that are fully controlled and managed with the same security measures as our brick-and-mortar contact centers, in addition to adding several extra security layers that meet compliance regulations.

Those layers include multifactor authentication and an Always On VPN, which renders the computer “a dumb terminal” when it’s not connected to a client-approved network. We also monitor Wi-Fi connectivity and internet bandwidth, ensuring full visibility from a connectivity standpoint. Additionally, we manage real-time threats through an always-on security platform that is more robust than traditional antivirus software.

How can agents handle surging call volume without sacrificing quality?

One of the most effective things companies can do to optimize their operations without sacrificing the member or patient experience is to use a hybrid human/machine labor model. Use intelligent virtual assistants to identify call reasons and collect basic verifying information. A bot can also be programmed to quickly look up information during the call for the agent. This saves agents time and allows them to focus on what they do best—providing empathy and connecting with the caller.

Additionally, adding a messaging channel significantly expands the number of conversations an agent can concurrently handle. An agent can handle four messaging sessions concurrently—four times the rate of a regular voice channel. During peak periods, callers can be directed to text their questions for faster support, and when the volume decreases, agents can switch back to answering phone calls.

What can I do to better communicate with my members/patients?

Members and patients have many questions during these uncertain times, and automated outbound communications are an efficient way to keep them informed. Anticipating questions reduces call volume while also increasing customer satisfaction. For example, sending an email or text with options to reschedule a patient’s wellness exam helps deflect calls and saves patients time.

How do I manage a widely distributed contact center workforce?

After transitioning associates to work from home, the next challenge healthcare companies face is managing a workforce that is widely distributed. When managing remote employees, regular two-way communication is vital. For example, short daily video meetings are helpful in allowing employees to ask questions and share feedback. It’s also helpful to work with a partner that is already experienced in providing the right training and management structures that help remote employees reach their fullest potential.

It’s unclear how long the crisis will continue, but what is clear is that the healthcare organizations that optimize existing technologies and workforces while also enabling transformational change are the best positioned to continuously meet their members’ and patients’ needs.

To learn more, watch the TTEC webinar on-demand: “Overcoming top healthcare CX challenges.”