Why Use Scripting for Managing Calls in a Healthcare Call Center?

By Matt Everly

Healthcare organizations can use scripting to enhance each customer’s call experience. A variety of call types, including patient information, physician referral, physician answering service, and code calls, can all be handled more efficiently, resulting in a reduction of errors using scripting for enhanced call flow navigation.

Scripting can be used to guide agents or switchboard operators through the flow of a patient customer conversation. A script enables the agent to drive the dialogue with the customer and ensures the agent is able to complete a customer interaction to the call center’s and the customer’s satisfaction. A script helps agents respond to a caller’s requirements and prompts the agent to ask, and obtain answers to, additional questions that will enable a call center to deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction.

A robust scripting application provides the ability to access all customer information appropriate to the call – sometimes acquiring that data from multiple databases, including electronic medical record (EMR) databases – and display it in a format that is easy for the agent to understand. It also provides the ability to update customer information and to collect new data that can help the call center provide superlative customer service.

Scripting in a medical or hospital call center provides a number of benefits:

Customer Relationship Management: Scripting helps maintain a consistent quality of customer interaction each time a customer makes contact, regardless of which agent handles the call. Scripting also provides an easy and efficient way to collect additional customer information that not only helps ensure the customer’s satisfaction with that call, but also enables the agent to enhance the overall relationship with the customer.

Increased Agent Productivity: Because all of the customer information that an agent needs is presented in a clear, concise format with no toggling through multiple data screens, agents can complete a customer transaction quickly. Scripting also provides talking points for agents so they know what to say and when to say it.

Reduced Agent Training Time: Many agents in a call center have multiple skill sets to handle different types of calls – appointments, calls for a doctor’s office, customer service, and so on. Each type of call typically needs to be handled somewhat differently, so scripts should be customized for each doctor and call type, ensuring agents get the needed information on every call.

The scripts then lead the agent through different types of caller transactions with minimal training because the script provides the correct data to handle the call and helps the agent navigate through the call flow. And, because a script can provide instructional information on handling a call, scripting can enable a call center to overflow calls to less skilled back-up agent groups more effectively during periods of peak calling.

Enhanced Agent Effectiveness: Customers want to have their needs met the first time they make contact – they don’t want to be told to call another number, be transferred to another department, or wait for a callback. Because a script can bring together information from a number of different databases, agents are provided with all of the information they need, when they need it, to handle the customer contact immediately.

Matt Everly is the marketing director for Amtelco’s 1Call healthcare division. Matt has worked at Amtelco for over 20 years and has held numerous positions, including Southeast regional sales manager, executive suite market development, and marketing manager.

[From the December 2013/January 2014 issue of AnswerStat magazine]