Building a contact centre in a medical field

In this project, we acted as a consultant. Outsourcing contact centre services were foreseen neither at the initial stage nor at the project support stage. Our main objective was to create a separate functioning unit, without using the services of outsourcing companies. This decision was based on several factors, the main one being the specifics of the client’s company, which involves a small number of employees working with personal data and absolute confidentiality.

What is the role of a contact-centre I your business model? This is the key question. We begin to uncover it.

First of all, it is necessary to determine a set of functions that need to be transferred to the contact centre, and then clearly coordinate the competencies and the area of ​​responsibility of the contact centre employees. You should not expect high-quality work from employees if you cannot/do not want to provide them with all the necessary information about the product, services, customers, etc. The less responsibility a contact centre is given, the lower is its efficiency. Any contact centre is a complex system. Its effectiveness is based on a variety of business processes.

The client encountered the following situation: telephony was deployed on the basic Asterisk without possible extension of functionality. In turn, this affected the “useless” workload of the first-line employees, and most importantly, influenced the inability to determine and to build a contact history for further communication with the customer.
This factor caused negative effect on loyalty and commitment. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the first-line employees performed a number of additional duties – an office manager, a clinic administrator and a call-centre operator.

This affected not only productivity, but also the emotional state of employees. During the audit some employees revealed burnout at personal interviews. In the Mystery Calls it turned out that there was no consultation even on general issues, the conversation boiled down to a client transfer: customers were persistently connected to the doctor, while support employees were avoiding any questions about the main product. Transfer was not always possible, thus making consultation impossible to provide during a call. Call-back was absent, and the threat of losing potential customers was very high.

We faced a number of tasks, but it was necessary to start with the efficient resource allocation to work with complaints, unify the processing of calls, introduce the quality control at each stage, maintain a single register of calls and interaction history, as well as to reduce the costs by implementing new software.

Thus, the main objectives in the project realisation process were the following:

  • Scheme for receiving and processing incoming contacts (calls), routing scheme.
  • The responsiveness to changes in the call system;
  • Updating software and hardware;
  • Interaction with other corporate departments;
  • Reducing the number of “unanswered” calls.
  • Development of a reporting system, KPI system, development of a decision-making process based on KPIs. Connecting KPIs with motivation.
  • Staff recruitment. Training, execution control. Continuing education of all subjects of the process.
  • Development of instructions for all participants, taking into account the restructuring of business processes.

At the initial stage of the project, an audit was carried out, aiming to outline existing business processes and the infrastructure of internal communications and communications with customers, including not only telephony, but also all other communication channels. Analysing the current situation from the technological point of view, it turned out to be impossible to determine who is calling and regarding what issues, since the existing telephone exchange station did not have statistics on the distribution/transfer of calls. During the call, the 1st line employees worked with several electronic and paper-based information sources simultaneously, which exacerbated contact processing productivity. It was impossible to determine the load due to the lack of tracking employees’ working hours, and there was neither a control of service and quality indicators.

At the stage of analysing staff duties and their internal interaction, resistance to future changes from first-line employees emerged. Initially, it was impossible to track which one among the operators did not pick up the phone, which in turn affected financial side of the business. In a telephone conversation, specialists did not stick to to communication standards, the quality of conversations was not evaluated, and their motivation was not tied to KPI. The main reason was the lack of a management of their core responsibilities.

At the stage of building a separate corporate department, workplaces were rearranged and re-equipped accordingly. Almost two months were spent to choose a software provider. At the same time, staff was hired according to the previously agreed profile of the candidate (contact centre specialist). The training was conducted following the arranged plan, which included compulsory product training and effective communication trainings. After training was finalised, admission to work with mandatory testing was conducted. Commencing to work, specialists had a clear understanding of their functional duties, areas of responsibility and interaction processes were allocated. Further, scripts were developed and the electronic knowledge base (MyFAQ) was deployed. Finally, the reporting system for the work analysis and control has been approved.
As a result, a unified contact centre was created to serve clinic’s clients:

  • Customer-friendly
  • Supporting high communication standards
  • Cost-effective
  • With automated processes
  • Scalable during business expanding