When you think of excellent customer service, you probably recall the overly polite support specialist or the way your server seemed to magically reappear before your glass ever ran dry. The list runs a mile long, yet likely nowhere on it are you eager to write “the way my healthcare provider makes me feel like they really care about my health”. Here at Helpware, we firmly believe that this disconnect is not for a lack of care, but a lack of communication. Furthermore, we maintain that optimizing the digital patient experience is a necessary step for healthcare providers to stay connected to their patients and compete in an increasingly online world.
In a survey conducted by Econsultancy, 74% of 500 medical executives reported their top priority to be diversifying the mediums in which they connect with patients. Medical practices have a unique opportunity to merge state-of-the-art technology with customer support solutions. Imagine a world where you can receive the same quality of care you would receive in a doctor’s office, from the comfort of your own home!
When the relationship between the patient and the medical team is more involved, overall patient care improves. 48% of patient engagement initiatives have a moderate to major impact on quality outcomes. Technical solutions can get patients more engaged in their healthcare, thus leading to more long-term, satisfied customers.
A secure, trusted digital platform gives patients the peace of mind they deserve from their medical care. This customer support system needs to integrate a broad spectrum of communication, including both in-person and online touchpoints. That being said, the numbers etched into medical spreadsheets are human beings; they should be treated as such by every healthcare worker in every interaction. There are even more consumer demands that a digital platform must consider. Helpware delivers software solutions with the patient not only in mind but at the root of everything we do. The future of patient care can follow virtually every other industry by working to become unrecognizable in the best way. Here are ten courses of action Helpware can take to help healthcare businesses elevate their digital patient experiences to the next level.
#1 - Outsource to Cuts Costs
It isn’t just digitizing healthcare processes that can lead to more profitable outcomes, but outsourcing as well. This is especially true in the area of remote customer service. By 2025, the global IT outsourcing market will reach $397.6 billion. Contracting specialists on an as-needed basis allows businesses to extend their scope of expertise without having to compensate a full-time employee.
Outsourcing customer service positions, in particular, allow companies to provide 24/7 support to patients. More readily available expertise means ample opportunity to boost sales, increase productivity, and grow your customer base. Commonly outsourced business processes like data entry, human resources, payroll, and marketing are completed at a lower cost and with greater efficiency.
#2 - Enhance Omnichannel Communication
Delivering quality customer care can be expensive and time-consuming. Investing in the right software can reset the clock and put those dollars back where they belong - in your pocket! That’s where Omnichannel communication - the practice of offering consumers several customer support channels - comes into play to craft a more seamless user experience. These channels can be outsourced or even fully automated using the software.
Some of the most common ways technology can enhance communication are:
- Online appointment scheduling
- Comparing prices and suitability
- Digital patient intake
- Artificial intelligence chatbots for customer service
- Telehealth services
- Online payment systems
- Online patient education modules
- Chronic disease self-management tools
Every single one of these processes can be streamlined with smart technology or specialized outsourcing. The future of all successful healthcare providers relies on excellent communication channels with their patients. Don’t worry, bridging this gap is what Helpware does best.
#3 - Leverage Automation
One of the best ways to improve communication processes with consumers is through automation. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what automation can do for businesses. For example, human error in data entry within billing and payment systems can negatively affect profit margins. By using AI data management products, companies can save time and money while ensuring consistent precision in the handling of company data.
It’s easy to reduce automated work to robots replacing humans in factories. But in reality, AI is working alongside humans rather than replacing them. There is no better example of this than the customer service sector. A valuable way of guiding customers toward the correct department or product is by using an input-return chatbot system. The spared time and energy that AI operations bring to the table are widely appreciated by both professionals and patients.
#4 - Build a Strong Online Presence
In the digital age, consumers researching prices, customer reviews, and product quality online has become as instinctive as their morning coffee order. The cruciality of the internet is growing exponentially, especially in and after the Covid-era. Needless to say, it is paramount for businesses to have an established, continually elevated online presence.
Patients once wanted transparency. Now, they demand it. Healthcare providers can use their online presence to rebuild patient-provider trust by including costs, user-friendly descriptions, and credible reviews. Patients should be able to easily and accurately predict their experience well before ever walking into a facility.
This may sound daunting. As always, Helpware has you covered. We believe the best way to build a strong online presence is through user-friendly mobile apps and detailed websites. 71% of patients report wanting access to healthcare information online, while 40% want the freedom to do so, on the go, from their smartphones.
To provide customers with the two-tiered access they desire, healthcare executives need to work quickly. Alarmingly, about 50% of patients say they would leave their current healthcare provider for another one with a better digital patient experience. If a single company lost half of its customer base, it would cease to exist.
Additionally, on top of being able to access information online, there also needs to be built-in tools to digitally interact with the business. Having a secure, transparent, and easy-to-use online interface is all part of creating a seamless digital patient experience.
#5 - Have a Digital “Front Door”
A digital front door is the patient’s ability to find and access healthcare through digital channels. This could involve anything from virtual doctor appointments to paying bills online. A customer’s experience needs to be simple and convenient, whether in-person or online. Every modern successful company needs to have a robust digital front door; this couldn’t be truer in the patient-centric healthcare industry.
A staggering 83% of patients and 68% of medical professionals anticipate using telehealth services beyond the pandemic. A multi-channel configuration helps people everyone interact in a simple, yet effective way within the healthcare system. A robust digital front door is the first (and arguably the most important) step in streamlining care and giving patients the access they demand and deserve.
#6 - Have an Easy, Streamlined Online Appointment System
Considering the integration of AI chatbots, having to pick up the phone, wait on hold, and speak to a person to schedule an appointment is becoming rather arbitrary. In a consumer trends report, patients listed that their topmost priority with medical services is convenience and access - and these wants are strong enough to influence their healthcare decision-making entirely.
Streamlining customer engagement allows customers to acquire your company’s products and services in the easiest, most convenient way possible. 36.4% of people reported that their biggest problem with scheduling healthcare appointments is waiting too long on the phone. Your patients are real people with careers, families, and demanding lives encompassing a million other moving pieces. The easiest way to deliver this convenience is with online appointment scheduling. Removing arbitrary, time-consuming barriers here will provide a much smoother interaction between customers and your business.
#7 - Track Patient Data with Remote Patient Monitoring
Digital platforms allow doctors to monitor patient data remotely. With 45% of Americans suffering from at least one chronic disease, coming in for regularly scheduled appointments can be a thief of both time and energy. Remote systems keep people healthy while giving them their lives back. Truly, isn’t that the entire purpose of the healthcare industry?
The Consumer Technology Association reported that 56% of patients would happily share health data with their doctors remotely if they had reason to believe it would lead to better care. This convenience works both ways, as doctors can also see more patients in less time if routine tasks (like checking vitals) could be reported from home.
#8 - Make Online Payments Easier
Allowing customers to pay for their services online is not a recommendation; it’s a necessity as the amount of tech-reliant customers grows with each generation. In a recent survey, 44% of people pay their medical bills more optimally with an online option. With easier ways to pay bills, healthcare providers will see greater revenue and happier clientele.
Deciding on the best digital payment platform to balance both customer service and security is difficult yet paramount. Helpware alleviates this difficulty by expertly guiding you to the most optimal channel for your individual business needs.
#9 - Invest in Online Patient Security
The healthcare industry is responsible for protecting consumers' most private information - extending beyond payment details to sensitive medical data. Medical apps and websites need to be fully prepared to handle massive amounts of data with top-of-the-line cybersecurity.
We can’t emphasize the importance of protecting patient medical data enough. Malicious third parties actively try to steal this information, while confidential medical records can even be subject to accidental release. Encrypting this data and your automated systems safeguards the digital patient experience by preventing both of these data management issues entirely.
The trust between patients and their healthcare providers to protect their data must never be breached. Secure digital frameworks need to be implemented to safeguard the patient, the provider, and the relationship between the two as a whole.
#10 - Provide Top-Quality Customer Support
At the end of the day, the healthcare industry requires excellent patient care and customer service - not just to compete for profit, but because millions of lives rest in its hands. Hospitals and medical practices that routinize kind gestures to patients are renowned as locations for quality medical care. In today’s world, this humanity must extend to the digital realm.
Providing great customer support keeps patients loyal and ensures they return for future business. 20% of respondents to a recent healthcare survey said that they left a previous healthcare provider due to poor digital patient engagement. With mounting competition, this percentage will only increase.
Fortunately, there are many ways to improve customer service, like having a quality CRM system to monitor patients and their healthcare experience every step of the way. While business executives are obliged to prioritize the bottom line, the first step to providing unmatched customer service (and therefore driving profit) is by treating people as human beings, rather than walking dollar signs. They rely on you the way you rely on your bank. Serve them well, and they will stand by you for life.
Looking for Healthcare Customer Support? Helpware Can Pave the Way
Nowadays, patients need a smooth digital patient experience when interacting with your company. This happens by taking a patient-centric approach to medicine, and how you optimize business online. By streamlining appointment scheduling, payment, and communication processes, patients feel like they are being taken care of in more ways than one. Streamlining should also take the form of outsourcing and automation, as some customer service positions can be outsourced with contractors or AI operations. Additionally, secure online platforms that handle financial and medical data help build trust between customers and the digital patient experience. Helpware specializes in the successful integration between human labor and software tools.
A dedicated plan to outsource certain roles and streamline services will help your company excel in its customer satisfaction ratings. You have the power to drastically improve the lives of your patients by contacting Helpware today!