Before COVID-19 took hold in the U.S., healthcare providers were changing the way they delivered care. Leading organizations were investing in digital technology to create more personalized and empathetic patient experiences. Then, the pandemic accelerated this trend. According to Deloitte, the healthcare industry’s investment in digital technology increased from $1.1 to $7.4 billion between 2011 and 2019. Then, in 2020, it jumped to a staggering $14 billion.
Why are healthcare providers doubling down on personalization? During the pandemic, consumers became accustomed to a higher level of service from businesses. With social distancing measures in place, companies could no longer rely on providing great in-person experiences. They had to create exceptional digital and call experiences tailored to their consumers’ needs. This set the new standard — patients have begun to expect consumer-level personalization and convenience from their healthcare providers. In fact, 75% of U.S. patients say they want their healthcare experiences to be more personalized.
When you’re personalizing experiences for your patients, it’s important that you’re connecting the entire omnichannel journey. This includes an important but all-too-often overlooked channel: phone calls. Calls play a critical role in the patient journey because that’s where the human connection begins, and ultimately 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled over the phone.
To harness the insights from patient phone conversations, healthcare teams are using conversation intelligence. This HIPAA-compliant solution captures data from phone calls at scale that you can use to inform personalization, create patient-first experiences, and provide more convenient access to care.
In this blog post, I share how leading healthcare providers are using conversation intelligence technology to create personalized experiences that fuel new patient growth and improve retention.
The first and most important step to personalize the patient journey is to let patients engage with your organization the way they prefer — not the way that’s most convenient for you. Some patients want to call to schedule appointments, some want handle it online, and others will jump between channels. It’s important not to view your channels in silos and to create a seamless experience regardless of the path your patients choose.
Oftentimes, healthcare providers will receive unnecessary calls because patients are having trouble scheduling an appointment online. This not only creates a poor experience for patients trying to convert online — it also drives unnecessary calls to your contact center or locations, increasing hold times.
To identify pages that are causing digital abandonment, healthcare providers use conversation intelligence to quickly identify “problem” pages that are causing patients to call when they’d rather schedule an appointment online. You can then tap into the phone conversations to fully understand the issues. Conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca automatically record and transcribe every phone conversation, so you can hear exactly what your patients are saying when they call you. With Invoca, you can also utilize global transcript searches to get a better idea of how often patients are saying certain terms or phrases.
Don’t want to sift through your transcriptions manually? No problem — you can use Invoca’s Signal AI to automatically detect certain words or phrases that you’ve deemed important. For example, you could set up a signal that identifies when patients ask questions about insurance coverage or when they mention an issue with your website. This will allow you to quickly address key issues on your webpages.
Sometimes, however, you may not know what words or phrases to look for. There may be issues impacting your patients that you haven’t detected yet. To identify topics and trends you may not have known to look for, you can use Invoca’s Signal Discovery. This feature uses unsupervised machine learning to discover macro and micro trends that are happening in your patients’ phone conversations. As a result, you can detect new patient issues and barriers to conversion at scale, without having to listen to call recordings to find them.
Below are some examples of how you can use the insights you uncovered with conversation intelligence to improve the patient journey:
Correcting these issues makes it easier for patients to engage with you on their preferred channel. It also reduces unnecessary calls at your contact center and locations, lowering wait times and creating better experiences for everyone.
One of the most frustrating parts of the patient journey is going through unnecessary transfers. According to Invoca’s Buyer Experience Benchmark Report, 79% of people say they’re rerouted at least once when they call a healthcare provider. This creates friction and makes people less likely to become patients.
To personalize the patient journey, healthcare providers are intelligently routing callers to a relevant agent right away — without making them endure transfers. They accomplish this by using conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca. With Invoca, you can identify which marketing channel, digital ad, search keyword, and website page drove each call. You can then use this digital intent data to automatically route the caller to the best agent or location to handle their inquiry. For example, calls driven by the insurance and billing page would be automatically routed to a billing support specialist. Calls driven by “schedule an appointment” search ads can be routed to the appropriate contact center agent or the practitioner that’s nearest to the caller’s geographic location.
Personalizing call routing will not only make your callers more likely to convert, it will also help you to minimize unnecessary transfers at your call center or locations. This will decrease the total amount of time each caller is engaged with your contact center, and reduce strain on your agents.
If you want to give your callers the ability to self-route, Invoca also allows you to set up custom voice-activated IVRs. Unlike other solutions, Invoca’s cloud IVRs can be easily configured in minutes without any assistance from your IT team. This way, you can easily update your IVRs as patient needs change, as you add locations or services, and as your hours change.
University Hospitals is one of the leading healthcare providers in the United States with more than 200 locations, 18hospitals, 55 health centers, and about 30,000 employees. It uses Invoca’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration to swap out the generic call center phone number from each email campaign with the phone number for the provider the patient most recently visited. So, rather than going to a call center handling hundreds of thousands of calls, the patient is immediately directed to their preferred provider. This has allowed patients to schedule appointments more quickly, cutting their total call duration by 50% and raising conversion rates by 300%.
Read the full University Hospitals case study here
Patients expect you to anticipate their needs before you even say “hello.” In fact, our recent study found that 71% of respondents said that they believe healthcare providers should already know why they’re calling.
To give agents the insights they need to personalize phone conversations, healthcare providers use conversation intelligence. Invoca’s Salesforce integration delivers pre-call data about each caller’s service interest or campaign interaction to your agents via a screenpop or whisper message before they answer the call. Your agents can use this information to anticipate the caller’s needs and tailor the conversation accordingly. This increases conversion rates, since your agents are able to quickly and efficiently serve the needs of each patient.
Once a patient has engaged with your healthcare organization, you need to ensure that you’re tailoring their follow ups and future targeting accordingly. Otherwise, their interactions with your brand will feel disjointed and inauthentic. This could lead to lower appointment conversion rates and increased patient churn.
To personalize future experiences and deliver empathy at scale, leading healthcare providers use conversation intelligence. The solution captures data from every phone call, such as the phone number, caller name, geographic location, and marketing source that drove them. It also captures insights from the conversation, such as the caller’s healthcare needs and what stage of the journey they’re at. You can then unify this data with your existing technology platforms, such as Salesforce, to build more detailed profiles about your patients.
When you enhance your patient profiles with conversation intelligence data, you can deliver more personalized messaging at scale. For example, you can ensure that each patient receives email campaigns that are relevant to the healthcare needs they voiced over the phone and the geographic location they called from. Or, if they already called to book a treatment, you could exclude them from seeing future search ads about it, to avoid wasting spend.
In the video below, Chris Pace, Chief Digital Marketing Officer at Banner Health shares how his organization uses Invoca to personalize patient experiences and deliver empathy at scale.
Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you improve the patient journey? Check out these resources: