When a patient calls a hospital, they’re usually directed to a call center whose job is to triage them to the right department and get them the information they need so that they’re satisfied enough to end the conversation. Call centers are used for appointment scheduling, providing information about the hospital, insurance matters, and more.
Now, think about it from a patient’s point of view. They’re in a vulnerable place and they’re doing something that they’d rather not do, whether that’s scheduling an appointment or trying to figure out when they can see their sick relative. You want someone with the right qualities to answer the phone and provide the support that the patient needs.
So what qualities does a successful medical call center agent have?
Qualities That A Medical Call Center Agent Should Have
The ability to communicate with compassion.
When someone calls a hospital call center, they’re not exactly in the best frame of mind. They might be short with an agent, or they might express sadness and frustration with their situation. Someone who wants to see their sick relative is not looking to waste a lot of time on the phone and might be feeling overwhelmed.
A successful medical call center agent is compassionate and shows it through their tone of voice and their choice of words. An agent should show that they understand what the person on the other line is going through and that they’re not alone, and that the agent is there to help.
A willingness and ability to handle pressure.
Medical call center jobs are not easy, and some situations can literally be life or death. Having the ability to work under pressure is key for a call center agent because of the stakes. This might be something you want to filter out during the hiring process, but training for high-pressure situations is also recommended.
A thorough understanding of your hospital’s or practice’s offerings.
Nobody wants to be directed to someone on the phone that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. By training a call center agent on what your hospital or practice does, they will be able to sound more knowledgeable over the phone and they’ll be in a better position to represent your brand in the most positive light.
Attention to detail
As stated earlier, these jobs are pretty high stakes and one crucial missed detail could be a problem for things like insurance and relaying important information about an appointment. A good call center agent should have a high level of attention to detail and they must be able to juggle multiple things while keeping those details straight.
Ability to retain and recall important information
This can’t be understated, because call center agents are bombarded with information that they might not be able to record right then and there. Remembering key information for when someone gets on the line next time will be the difference between providing poor service and excellent service. Encourage agents to utilize their resources and keep good notes so that they can use their recall abilities on the most important info.
Sequence Health is a top provider of patient engagement solutions for healthcare businesses of all sizes.