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02.02.17 | blog
Author: Kimberly Layne

Would You Like Fries With That? What the Healthcare Industry Can Learn From the Drive-Thru

Today’s patients have a myriad of choices: Private or public health plans, local or national healthcare providers. Like any other retailer, websites can list every praise and complaint from every patient or member interaction. Your patients are smarter, will compare plans, and will listen to peer commentary. When it comes down to it, it’s very much like asking if they want fries with that appointment scheduling, insurance verification, or billing inquiry? Because the way we evaluate our choices within healthcare today are just like how we evaluate our local dining options.

How do restaurants attract you and keep you coming back for every meal and snack? Advertising, promotional campaigns, and an elevated dining experience which begins the minute you phone in to make a reservation or place your order at the drive-thru-window. It’s simple communication, and patrons expect high-touch customer service with a side of French Fries.

Why not make the communication with your patients or members a high-touch, emotionally connected engagement that attracts, appeases, and keeps them coming back?

Communication is key when it comes to the drive-thru: no one has the patience for a jumbled order. Healthcare leaders can learn from this, and view the industry the same way in which a retailer or restaurant would. Consumers, patients, and members expect more from their customer / healthcare service experience, and if they aren’t satisfied, 95% of customers will share that  bad experience with others.

It affects different sectors in the same way.

The Journal of Medial Practice Management (April 2016) reports that in a study of over 35,000 online provider reviews nationwide, 96% of online patient complaints were related to customer service, not quality of clinical care or misdiagnoses. That is roughly 19 out of 20 patients reporting frustrations about the inadequate communication at their initial interaction. Furthermore, the most unhappiest patients (53%) are those who encountered communication frustrations at the front end of their healthcare experience. Is your front line communication delivering the full meal deal or is it breaking down your patient satisfaction? 

Not surprisingly, critical factors of health plan member satisfaction are highest in areas of the country that have more competition between different health plans, according to The J.D. Power 2016 Member Health Plan Study.

“Competition among health plans is good for members in that it forces carriers to fight for market share, and the best way to do that is with satisfied customers,” said Greg Hoeg, Vice President of U.S. insurance operations at J.D. Power. “In today’s health insurance markets, with increased legal restrictions on profitability, carriers are shifting toward member satisfaction.”  Are your members walking away satisfied in this highly competitive market or still looking for something more fulfilling?

If you are questioning whether or not you are putting your best face forward, Arise Virtual Solutions and our Platform-as-a-Service has your answer. Our platform provides your company access to virtual call centers and their mature, quality healthcare agents to ensure that your members and patients receive not only any extra fries, but the whole Happy Meal by experiencing the highest level of emotional engagement, empathy, and problem resolution to keep them coming back. 

Contact us to learn how our Platform-as-a-Service gets your company customer service that continuously outperforms in-house resources and other outsourcing vendors in member and customer satisfaction.  

 


About the Author

Kimberly Layne, Vice President, Business Development – Health & Life Sciences, brings over twenty years of healthcare experience and expertise in working with Physicians, and C-Suite Executives within pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and Healthcare Organizations seeking best in class performance in services, technology, and outsourcing.

Her breadth of experience in the healthcare marketplace is coupled with creativity, a passion for her clients, and Lean Six Sigma Certification in order to deliver customized and innovative solutions with a strong financial impact.

Kim holds an M.B.A from John Carroll University, and is also very involved in supporting women’s initiatives locally through the YWCA and the prevention of cruelty to animals through the ASPCA.

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