It’s the human beings who staff a call center that make the difference, providing personalized service that callers crave and expect. And since no one is perfect, mistakes do happen from time to time.
The question is, how often do mistakes occur? Are errors the exception or the norm? The answer to this question reveals much about the call center and their suitability to serve your callers with excellence. Having a quality focus isn’t about fixing mistakes after the fact through customer service, it’s about avoiding them in the first place through a quality assurance program.
A Customer Service Mentality
What is the standard operating procedure for your medical call center? Specifically, what is their attitude toward quality? Too many call centers have customer service staff in place to deal with complaints. The goal of this team is to work towards a resolution to problems to keep their clients happy.
A more enlightened approach, however, is a proactive one. Progressive medical call centers implement a quality assurance program to help minimize the chance of making an error in the first place. Their focus is on prevention so that few problems exist that need resolving.
Apologize for Mistakes
The norm at most call centers, especially those who fall in the low-cost provider category as well as those in the midrange class of providers, is to emphasize customer service after the fact. They crank through calls fast to keep their expenses down. A side effect of speed is increased errors. Instead of slowing down to minimize mistakes, they have a customer service team deal with complaints after the fact.
Rather than preventing errors in the first place, their process is to apologize for mistakes afterward and then seek an agreeable resolution. This may include a credit—as if money would negate the problem. Or they may promise to retrain the offending employee or even all staff. Or it could involve reprogramming the client’s account in hopes of curtailing errors. Of course, expect that they’ll charge a programming fee for this remediation.
Work to Prevent Mistakes
A more enlightened approach, however, is to seek to prevent errors in the first place. This starts with hiring quality employees and providing top-notch training before they take a single call. But beyond this, the best medical call centers implement a robust quality assurance program.
A quality assurance program proactively addresses call center agent quality, with an eye toward consistency. They focus on adhering to protocols and meeting call quality standards on each call, every time. This helps catch minor deviations that most people would never notice and correct them before a more major issue has a chance to develop.
In short, a quality assurance program seeks to avoid errors, so that they never occur in the first place. Yes, this laser focus on quality may cost a bit more, but isn’t a reduction in errors worth it?
Advanced medical call centers implement a quality assurance program to help their staff achieve optimum results with minimal mistakes. Less enlightened call centers try to address errors after the fact by establishing a customer service department to deal with complaints, apologize for mistakes, and seek to remediate the problem.
Which one do you want to handle your calls? For the best results, select a medical call center that places a premium value on their quality assurance program.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.