Make Sure Each Piece of Contact Center Technology Works as a Seamless System
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
In continuing our series on call center integration, we move to the topic of technology, specifically the need to integrate your call center tools. Today’s vendors offer a wide array of technology options to enhance the contact center operation. Yet if these tools don’t integrate with each other, we lose—or even negate—their promised productivity pronouncements.
Technology tools that won’t talk with one another is almost as detrimental as not having the tools in the first place. Therefore, it’s essential that we integrate our contact centers’ tools and technology. That’s why you need to integrate your call center tools.
We’ve all called places and given basic information in step one of the contact, only to have to repeat it in step two. This happens too often, and it infuriates callers, setting the stage for ineffective communications from the onset of a contact. I’ve also had cases where I had to repeat the same information a second time. Another company made me reconfirm my identity each time they transferred my call.
Today’s consumers—your healthcare systems’ patients and customers—deserve better. And they expect more. Complete integration passes on all collected information through each step of the call. This includes transfers, switching channels, and moving between systems.
Today’s healthcare providers amass a plethora of information. This data ends up in a database. But not just one. Multiple databases. Too often inter-database integration is nonexistent. Even a basic interface is missing.
This requires contact center agents and healthcare professionals to re-enter information, transferring it from one database to another. Sometimes this requires rekeying, which is time consuming and error prone. Even copy-and-paste functionality fails to provide the desired ease of information transfer.
Then with the same information existing in two places, a nonintegrated environment means that updates must also occur in two—or more—places. This seldom happens and points to the need to better integrate your call center tools.
I know. In the past week I’ve had two organizations try to call me on a number I haven’t had in eight years. Though I let them know of the change when I moved, not everyone’s records received the update. Hence needless frustration on their part and mine.
Similar to databases are apps and software. Though on a basic level this is addressed with interoperability initiatives and database integration, more work still needs to be done.
Many times I’ve had reps tell me they were writing down the information I gave them so they wouldn’t have to have me repeat it as they moved from one program to another. I’ve also had instances where they didn’t write down what I gave them, but they tried to remember it. And they remembered it wrong. This meant I had to give them the same information again.
Does your message taking app integrate with your appointment setting app? Does your answering service software integrate with your telephone triage software? Does your class scheduling program interface with your literature request program?
To provide a holistic and satisfying solution to your patients and customers, you need to fully integrate your call center tools to optimize your operation. When you do so you will enhance outcomes, increase agent workflows, and improve customer satisfaction.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.
Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.