I’ve talked before about the imperative to accelerate digitization in healthcare.
It’s worth discussing how digitization is transforming the role of healthcare services agents. As you begin to accelerate digital channel engagement, the contact center team is spending much less of their time handling simple, transactional calls. Instead, they’re increasingly focused on high-skill, high-value tasks, such offering more complex or adjacent care options for serious conditions.
Artificial intelligence is a rich capability that should be engaged throughout the member or patient journey and agent workflows to provide an experience that’s effective and efficient for all involved. When AI is integrated into their workflows, care agents are better able to respond to inquiries – and members and patients benefit from faster problem resolution.
Here are four ways artificial intelligence can empower and support your agent care team:
#1 Give them access to information in real-time
The knowledge that could solve the vast majority of customer support issues already exists inside your organization. The problem is making it easy for your agents to find and use it on-the-fly. Too many companies rely on highly cumbersome knowledge bases that are hard to navigate and often stale.
Agents need a way to quickly predict and identify the intent of what a patient or member is asking and then find relevant information in real-time.
In milliseconds, artificial intelligence can examine what a patient or member is asking on the phone or over messaging, compare that to the myriad of previous ways patients have asked that same question, and quickly surface to the agent the right content and actions based on what has successfully solved that exact problem before.
#2 Let them learn from the best agents continually
No knowledge base in the world can capture all of the knowledge in every agent’s heads. What if you could tell every agent exactly what your best agents have both said and done to resolve similar issues. What if you could do that in real-time?
Artificial intelligence learns from every interaction across your contact centers. It then identifies what words and actions resulted in the best and fastest resolution to questions and problems. So when that question comes up again, even if it’s being handled by a brand-new agent, it can surface to that agent exactly what previous agents have said and done to resolve that problem.
#3 Show them the entire patient or member journey
A patient or member calls or engages not because they want to – but because they have to. So making that experience from first contact a wonderful experience sets the tone for everything that follows.
Ensure your agents have visibility into vital information. I’m not talking about private health information, of course. I’m talking about previous times they contacted you, appointment details, unresolved issues, and such.
No service or care desk should be an island.The right artificial intelligence platform enables agents to see everything relevant to a patient or member – no matter what department or channel that insight came from. The agent has the right context to provide necessary help, and the patient/member is spared the frustration of repeating this history to every new agent.
#4 Automate tasks that waste their time
A lot of contact time with patients and members can be spent on routine questions and mundane tasks. For example, for healthcare and insurance providers who offer live chat today see their care representatives spend a full 30 seconds just checking to see if the patient is still on the other end after a wait. An AI system can automate that check – and only engage the agent’s attention when there’s a ready patient or member on the other end. This is just one example of automation that can be integrated into the member/patient journey and the agent’s work flow. There are multiple opportunities for this type of automation in your everyday transactions – and the small increments of time can really add up.
You’ve hired the best people you could find and invested in their training – let them shine and add value in the complex issue resolution. Free them to to focus their experience, dedication and compassion where it will make the most impact.
Members and patients have their expectations set by the experiences they get from Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. So your contact centers and CX teams are being compared with the very best CX operations in the world – even if you don’t compete directly with them. If you empower your care agents with AI, you’ll be setting the bar for others to follow..
Dr. T. Greg McKelvey Jr. MD, MPH is VP of Health at ASAPP. In his role, Greg leads teams of doctors, designers, data scientists and software developers to create products enhancing patient engagement, access, and experience.
Prior to his role at ASAPP, Greg was the Chief Medical Officer at KenSci. He trained in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Biomedical & Health Informatics at the University of Washington (UW). Greg received his Masters of Public Health (M.P.H) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from Dartmouth Medical School.