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Empathy as the First Response: Healthcare Contact Centers in Caring Practice

September 12, 2023
Learn how to motivate call center employees in 4 steps

Blog

Empathy as the First Response: Healthcare Contact Centers in Caring Practice

Imagine a scenario: You underwent an emergency surgery. Post surgery, you have a few questions related to the bill payment for the healthcare service. The insurance coverage interaction did not go well. You are mentally exhausted and physically stressed, and not in the right mood to struggle with an exasperating app. You are looking for a straightforward dialogue and reassurance – or empathy.

At that point, you would pick up the phone and call the healthcare contact center for a quick resolution. That obviously raises the bar for the healthcare call center companies and engagement teams. The right agent must deliver on multiple levels – an empathetic listener who relates, understands, and resolves the issue.

Simply put, despite all the renewed efforts, including digital and beyond, towards optimized healthcare call center services, there are several challenges.

Considering that 81% of patients are dissatisfied with the healthcare experience received, it’s time to renew the best practices in this highly experience-driven and consumer-centric ecosystem.

Struggling to satisfy healthcare customers with empathetic service?

Switch to ContactPoint360 for exceptional healthcare call center solutions

Role of Empathy in Healthcare Customer Service Outsourcing 

Healthcare customer service outsourcing  is one of the most sensitive areas that should be handled with precision, care and knowledge.

Empathy plays a key role in the healthcare contact center industry. It involves the practice of understanding and listening to the needs of customers past the surface level.

According to Hiver’s study, more than 21% of customers suggest that healthcare call centers should have empathetic support teams. Likewise, 32% expect more understanding and responsiveness from support teams.

In addition, approximately 50% of consumers prefer empathetic agents. This clearly highlights that the healthcare call center agents should have balanced emotional intelligence to understand what customers aren’t uttering yet demonstrate their care.

Why is Empathy Important for Healthcare Call Centers?

Empathy is the foundational skill in healthcare contact centers. It fosters healthy and long-term relationships with clients. It can build potential customer loyalty and yield greater customer satisfaction.

Healthcare outbound call centers are now training agents to apply empathy skills to achieve optimal results. It is imperative to have empathy at every stage of the conversation. It demonstrates genuine concern and deep understanding towards patients. Furthermore, it ensures that customers don’t feel ignored.

Call centers for healthcare that prioritize customer experience should expect increased sales, more referrals, and brand loyalty. However, some health care call centers are still struggling to get there. Research shows that 64% of American consumers believe that companies have lost the human touch of customer experience.

When customers don’t feel valued or connected, customer experience suffers. This impacts customer retention negatively.

Empathy in healthcare call centers

How to Empathize with Customers in a Healthcare Contact Center?

When you express empathy, you are cultivating values, which will help your healthcare call center deliver exceptional customer service. Customers seeking help want to feel that the healthcare call center agents understand their feelings through their words, voice tone, and cues based on the conversation.

To empathize with your healthcare contact center customers, practice the following:

1. Be an active listener

Feeling heard is always comforting. Let your customers speak while you are listening actively to what they have to say. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Don’t try to offer a quick resolution without hearing their side of the problem. When they finish talking, respond with similar words they used during the dialogue. Some customers simply want to vent. Most of the times, half of the issue gets resolved once customers feel that their concern is heard.

2. Don’t show sympathy

Customers are not looking for sympathy. Instead, come up with empathetic statements during the interaction. When a customer calls a healthcare call center only to vent out, try to console by saying “I understand how you feel.” Taking a more personal approach often helps. Using empathy statements also helps in making your customers feel heard and valued.

Top 10 Powerful Empathy Dialogues for Healthcare Call Centers

Empathy dialogues healthcare call centers

The adage is simple – you don’t know what the caller is feeling and going through. However, with healthcare, you must be clear that when a customer calls a healthcare contact center outsourcing company, it involves a patient’s life. In fact, health issues are a top priority that demands critical attention. At this very stage, empathy might just mean a reassuring statement like “I understand that you are going through a difficult situation. I assure you I am here to help you.” Avoid interrupting the customer, stay calm, and show your attentiveness.

4. Be respectful

Greet your customers with their names. This creates an immediate relationship. At any point, don’t be disrespectful even if the conversation is going down south. Keep calm and stick to your goal.

5. Show your intent to help

In healthcare contact centers, empathetic customer service translates to an effort to help. Aim to strike an authentic conversation with a personal influence by calling out the name of the caller during the conversation and expressing gratitude for their patience.

ContactPoint360 Expresses Empathy as an Organization

Empathy flows through our healthcare contact center. With a leadership team focused on customers, we train our agents to do what is best for our customers. Our healthcare BPO services success stories reflect our company culture.

With empathy comes freedom. If you are leading a healthcare call center services or managing a team, encourage agents to leave their comfort zone to deliver exceptional support. Train your agents to apply empathy throughout the conversation for better CSAT and NPS.

It’s a fact that you may not be able to deliver the best solution always, but you can deliver personalized interaction.

Are you worried about nosediving CSAT scores?

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FAQs

What are the benefits of empathy in healthcare contact centers?

Expressing empathy during conversations is a powerful and effective way of building trust, calming anxiety, and improving health outcomes.

What are the best empathy statements for healthcare customer service outsourcing companies?

Here are a few empathetic customer service phrases for healthcare call centers:

  1. “I am sorry to hear that you are facing this problem.”
  2. “I understand that this is causing a lot of problem for you.”
  3. “Thank you for letting me know about this.”
What is the significance of empathy in healthcare customer service?

Empathy allows businesses to communicate effectively with customers. It fills the gaps in understanding, which creates positive interactions every time. When customers feel heard and valued, they are satisfied with the solutions offered.

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