When you’re ready to take your healthcare call center to the next level, don’t add an expensive call center professional to your payroll and hope for the best. Instead use a healthcare call center contracted services professional to provide what you need, when you want it, and without the hassle. When you go with a contracted services professional, you avoid payroll issues, adding to your human resources overhead, and committing your company to offering expensive benefits and perks. Instead the cost of contracted services becomes a single monthly invoice, which becomes an accounts payable action and not a payroll liability.
With healthcare call center contracted services you only pay for the services you need and for as long as you need them. This is the smart way to handle growth and optimization initiatives for your healthcare call center, as well as to provide ongoing solutions to incrementally keep your contact center on the leading edge of industry offerings and patient expectations.
The call center industry undergoes continuous change. Failing to keep up with the rate of change doesn’t mean maintaining the status quo, it means falling behind. Yet implementing new ideas, projects, and initiatives require time and money. And there’s never enough time and money to get everything done. Even more critical, is finding the people with the expertise required to make things happen. Don’t let a lack of human resources keep your call center from moving forward.
Consider these three approaches to address the labor side of completing call center improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner.
1. In-House Employees: The default assumption to address call center change is to tap existing staff. On the surface, this makes sense. They’re already on the payroll, and there’s no incremental cost for asking them to do more.
Yet if your call center is like most call centers, your staff is already too busy. There are already things that must give because they can’t do everything they should. That means if you ask them to do more—to champion this new must-have initiative—more things are going to slip. And this will have a long-term, negative consequence on your call center operation’s success.
And even if they can work on the project, how long will it take? They’re going to have to fit it in between existing responsibilities and management expectations. This means that a one-month project might take them one year to complete or even longer.
2. Contracted Employees: As an alternative to in-house employees, who are already on the payroll but too busy, call centers look at tapping the skills of contracted employees. This provides advantages that don’t exist with in-house staff. A contracted employee has no legacy projects to maintain or ongoing responsibilities to continue. A contracted employee has none of these issues to deal with. In theory, they can devote 100 percent of their time to your project or initiative, moving from inception to completion.
Then when the project ends, the contract ends, and you incur no more expense. Yet with contracted employees, you end up paying for their learning curve. They may not have a grasp of the industry, understand call center culture, or be familiar with the technology or process you want to implement. This means that the cost of the contract employee can balloon, easily doubling to what it should otherwise be.
3. Contracted Services: To address the downsides of contracted employees, instead think of a healthcare call center contracted services provider. In this case, you tap the collective expertise of a call center consultancy. They’re ready to go because they’re in the industry every day and stay abreast of leading-edge developments and best-of-class services. They can start working on day one with no learning curve and minimal ramp-up time.
In the case of contracted services, you aren’t hiring a single person, but a group with a single focus on completing your project or initiative in the fastest, most economical way possible. This could result in various people working on specific aspects of the project according to their expertise.
And, just as with contracted employees, when you tap a healthcare call center contracted services provider, once the project is complete, the contract is over. However, as an alternative, your contracted services provider can move on to the next project or initiative, thereby keeping your call center moving forward to embrace the latest ideas and practices of the call center industry.
Not only are contracted services the quickest and most efficient way to go, they’re also the most cost-effective. When leading call centers need to get something done outside of their normal area of expertise and time availability, they seek a healthcare call center contracted services provider to get the job done.
Working with a healthcare call center contracted services professional can occur in multiple ways, according to what works best for your budget and matches your needs and expectations. Note that clients often start in one area, such as project-based, and then move to another area such as a monthly retainer or a custom arrangement.
When selecting a contracted services provider make sure they’re flexible in their service offerings, able to meet your needs now and in the future. Don’t select a vendor who doesn’t offer options and locks you into a singular service package.
Here are four common approaches. The best contracted services providers offer all four.
1. Project-Based: The per project approach to contracted services is to focus on one area, such as implementing a new technology, optimizing a challenging process, or turning an identified weakness into a strength. Once the goals and objectives of this project wrap up, the contracted services agreement ends, with no further obligation or costs.
However, clients who use the project-based approach to healthcare call center contracted services for their contact center will often move from one project to the next, sometimes in rapid succession and other times after allowing a short buffer between projects. Some call centers like to keep the excitement and momentum moving forward with speedy project deployment, whereas other operations prefer time to catch their breath before jumping into the next initiative.
2. Ongoing Consultancy Approach: The second type of healthcare call center contracted services arrangements is a consultative approach. In this case the contracted services professional provides ongoing assistance to address the biggest needs and the most significant opportunities for the healthcare call center.
While they can focus on the felt needs as identified by call center leadership, they can serve even more effectively by making best-practice recommendations based on current industry standards and emerging trends. This is because your call center leadership can only make requests that they’re aware of, but they can’t direct initiatives into areas they don’t know about.
The best way to proceed with the ongoing consultancy approach is to merge the goals of the call center leadership with the recommendations of the contracted services professional.
3. Monthly Retainer: A third option is the “as needed” approach, where the contracted services professional is on a monthly retainer. This makes them available to answer questions, assist as needed, or oversee progress of past initiatives.
With the monthly retainer option, the healthcare call center contracted services vendor can quickly move into a project-based initiative or an ongoing consultancy agreement. This provides the best flexibility and the greatest value during those times when the call center is between major initiatives.
4. Custom Arrangements: Though most contracted services initiatives fit into one of these three categories, that doesn’t mean your call center must pick one of them. That’s why leading contracted services providers offer custom packages based on your specific needs, urgency, and budget. If your need for a healthcare call center contracted services professional doesn’t fit into one of these three common areas, just tell them what you need and ask for a custom quote.
Does this sound like your call center? You can handle most day-to-day items with excellence, you have a great management team that maintains the status quo, and your metrics are mostly trending in the right direction. Despite all these positive outcomes, there’s no cushion to handle special initiatives. And you have a long list of items to tackle. These include mandates from upper management, projects you must pursue to keep up with industry trends, and key strategies to advance your call center to where you want it to be.
You could hire more staff to take on these one-of-a-kind scenarios, putting together a team to knock them off one at a time until they complete everything. Or you could bypass the human resources nightmare involved with assembling a crack team of call center experts to handle your special projects and work with a contracted services professional instead.
A healthcare call center contracted services provider will skip the learning curve of a new hire. They’ll address your initiatives quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Here are some of the projects a contracted services professional can handle.
1. Call Center Optimization: If your call center is operating like it did five years ago, or even a couple, it’s time to look at things afresh. It’s time to embark on some optimization initiatives. Your healthcare call center contracted services provider can evaluate everything your call center does. Then they’ll make recommendations to align what you do with best practices and leading-edge processes.
2. Service Implementation: Is there a new service you want to rollout? Is there a new technology you need to implement? While you can seek to tackle this in-house or beg your IT department to make it a priority, the smart solution is to tap a contracted services provider to handle it for you. In no time they’ll have the new technology in place and ready to use. It’s fast and easy.
3. Software Rollout: Sometimes all that’s standing between where you are and where you want to be is software. While software is straightforward to install, it takes time to properly configure it, develop procedures on how you will implement it, and train staff to use it. A healthcare call center contracted services professional can do these things for you.
4. Departmental Mergers: Are you combining the call centers from two departments or divisions? Successfully navigating this is challenging. You need to consider different, and often incompatible, systems and software. Then you need to factor in different cultures and management styles. Last is serving your callers and customers. You must ensure a flawless transition for them.
While accomplishing this looks easy on paper, doing it in the real world is anything but simple. Instead of stretching and stressing your in-house staff to orchestrate a successful melding of call centers, tap a healthcare call center contracted services provider to handle it for you.
5. Call Center Acquisitions: Even more challenging than merging two in-house call centers is acquiring a call center and bringing it under your management umbrella and into your culture. Again, a healthcare call center contracted services professional is the ideal person to oversee this, manage the transition, and bring about the successful outcome you seek. In addition, they’ll do it quickly while minimizing problems.
Don’t let critical call center initiatives languish over not having the human resources needed to make things happen. Instead use a contracted services provider to get the job done, get it done quickly, and get it done right.
Healthcare call center contracted services are an effective way to help your call center quickly implement new technology, navigate industry opportunities and trends, and optimize operations. Three common approaches are project-based, ongoing consultancy, and using a monthly retainer.
The key with contracted services is that you no longer need to handle every call center situation internally. Instead you can tap the expertise of a seasoned contact center professional to quickly move you from where you are to where you want to be. This will speed you toward a successful completion, faster and better than to do it in house.
Don’t struggle to deal with implementing essential projects using in-house staff, already stretched too thin. Instead, handoff your special initiatives to a healthcare call center contracted services provider who can come in and get the job done in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost.