How Penn Medicine leverages CRM in their contact center

While some organizations may overlook the importance of their contact center in shaping the patient experience, it's an invaluable patient acquisition and retention touchpoint. Organizations should seize the opportunity to leverage the contact center to provide exceptional customer experiences and to gather deeper insights about their patients.

In a recent webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Evariant, Tanya Andreadis, the associate chief marketing officer at Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine, and Amy Zylstra, the executive director of the system's contact center, shared learnings about how implementing the Evariant HCRM and Engagement Center solutions, both part of the Evariant Patients for Life Platform™,  led a greater understanding of marketing effectiveness, more efficient cost and resource distribution, and personalized patient experiences

It is worth noting the difference between call centers and contact centers. A contact center communicates with customers over the phone, email, text chat and other web interfaces while a call center typically handles phone calls.

Here are four ways Penn Medicine uses technology to help optimize their contact center:

1. Enables personalized experiences.

The Evariant platform provides contact center representatives with detailed profiles about the caller, including the reason for the call. The goal is for the agent to know as much about the caller as possible. Penn Medicine takes this a step further with "whisper campaigns." By assigning specific inbound phone numbers to each marketing campaign, it's possible to provide contact center representatives additional information about why the consumer is calling before they're connected. The robust caller profile, when paired with whisper campaigns, enables the agent to have more informed, proactive interactions. This enhances patient satisfaction and supports better conversion rates.

"The whisper campaigns make it so much easier for me to help people," said one employee at Penn Medicine's contact center. "I know why a caller is calling before we get connected. I can start the conversation with information instead of from scratch. It makes a big difference!"

The Evariant platform also facilitates easy scripting for representatives so that patients can be offered information that is relevant to their particular situation. The goal is to add value on every call, whether it is health and wellness content, registration for the patient portal or information about amenities at a particular facility.

"Prior to implementing the CRM," said Ms. Zylstra, "we had no way of knowing who the caller was, what they were interested in, or how they've interacted with us in the past. This enhanced knowledge allows our agents to quickly address the caller's needs – and we can now give them extra tid bits of information to show them how much we value their business."

2. Measures marketing's impact.

A recent report attributed 10,000-plus patients to digital campaigns run by Penn Medicine, which organizational leaders track through the Evariant platform. All web forms are captured in the platform, and contact center representatives place outbound calls to people who have requested information or access to an appointment. Penn Medicine is not only able to see the data submitted on the web form, they also see which ads patients saw and which pages of the website were accessed prior to submitting the form. As patients engage with the system, a dashboard tracks and analyzes information to determine the most effective and efficient marketing techniques.

"One of the immediate benefits of implementing CRM in our contact center was the ability to combine digital and call data on one comprehensive dashboard, and for the first time be able to report on how much revenue came into the health system as a result of specific marketing tactics," said Ms. Andreadis.

3. Improves call efficiency.

The Evariant platform allows contact center representatives to regularly update and expand demographic information for individual patients, including medical record numbers, so representatives can pass along the most up-to-date information to schedulers and ease the scheduling process.

Penn also plans to integrate its CRM-enabled contact center with Epic, which will allow representatives to not only provide comprehensive physician searches, but also see appointment availability. In addition, the platform allows for a much greater understanding of employee performance through call volume, transactions and average length of call.

"The ability of management to access this reporting is just remarkable for us. It leads to efficiency; it highlights areas where we can give guidance staff about how to better service callers and document insights," said Ms. Andreadis.

"Our representatives are very motivated by being able to look at their own productivity levels," Ms. Zylstra added.

4. Optimizes partnership with operations.

Clinicians, case managers and schedulers at Penn Medicine can access the Evariant platform to help navigate patients, track workflows and streamline and improve their own patient interactions.

Having the data integrated and available to more and more people who touch the patient experience will inevitably lead to easily accessible information, and as a result higher levels of service. Penn Medicine doesn't just want to give callers what they ask for, they want to surprise them by proactively offering extra value.

"We originally thought of this concept as up-sells or value-adds, but where we've landed now is that there are small acts of kindness that can happen on every phone call or interaction, and CRM is a tool that can help operationalize and track the success of these small acts of kindness. Before someone becomes a patient, we all have to remember that the contact center is the most personal experience in our very personal business," said Ms. Andreadis.

To learn more about Evariant, click here. To watch a recording of the webinar, click here.

More articles on patient engagement:

5 areas where greater patient engagement is a game-changer
Survey: 95% of patients say personalized onboarding pre-visit would be helpful
The new paradigm of patient relationship management

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