+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)

Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Contact Centers

  • Report

  • 62 Pages
  • October 2021
  • Region: Global
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • ID: 5483319

Top-of-Mind Challenges Shifted Overnight as Millions of Agents Were Moved to Work-At-Home (WAHA)

The healthcare industry was hit hard by the pandemic as it tackled the toughest of challenges around the globe- slowing down the virus, managing hospital capacity, keeping its staff safe, and ensuring patient privacy and confidentiality. Contact centres were busy far beyond capacity, driving organizations of all sizes to accelerate investments in self-service channels and the cloud.

The publisher surveyed decision-makers in the healthcare industry to discover the effect that COVID-19 had on its customer operations. Not surprisingly, the pandemic had a significant impact on contact centers. Key insights from the survey revealed:

  • Traditional pain points for contact centres (such as being seen as cost centres or operating as silos) faded away in importance as healthcare facilities were forced to change to deal with the exponential growth in communications with patients.
  • Top-of-mind challenges shifted overnight as millions of agents were moved to work-at-home (WAHA) and ensuring the stability, reliability, and security of network operations; training agents/supervisors on new applications; persuading customers to use new interaction channels became a top concern.
  • Healthcare organizations were not afraid of moving to the cloud or utilizing new technology made easier through cloud deployments.

Respondents included IT decision-makers from hospitals, clinics, health systems, pharmacies, health services, and physical therapy organizations. It explores their plans to improve CX expectations as the world recovers from the pandemic.

Voice interactions for healthcare providers went up in 2020. However, other channels such as social/messaging apps gained importance as the pandemic put pressure on healthcare providers to update information constantly. Providers must improve the level of customer satisfaction (CSAT); social channels were at the bottom of the pack when it came to delivering a high CSAT. Proactive customer care is also a top priority and essential for healthcare organizations to survive as costs skyrocket. Patients want, and now have, much more control of managing their health, and if providers proactively assist them with the tools to stay healthy, they are more likely to thrive.

For most organizations moving people to a WAHA model did not negatively impact productivity. Instead, more than half of them reported that productivity improved. As a result, roughly 75% of organizations will maintain or increase the number of remote agents staffed during the pandemic.

A top priority is improving the employee experience. Ways to improve agent retention include acquiring new workforce management (WFM) tools with flexible scheduling/preference management, agent empowerment, and management training.

Integrating unified communication/collaboration is essential to many healthcare organizations, primarily to improve the customer journey and employee experience, and agent engagement. Highly reflective of the rapid shift to a WAHA model is that the respondents use collaboration tools to integrate other departments.

Channels covered: 

  • Voice
  • Email/Web Form
  • Social Media Messaging Apps
  • Social Media Apps
  • Mobile Apps
  • SMS
  • Chat With Live Agents
  • Virtual Agents
  • Video Chat
  • Video Teller/Kiosk
  • IVR

Technologies covered: 

  • Conversational AI & Virtual Assistants/Bots
  • Quality Monitoring
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Performance Management
  • Flexible APIs/CPaaS
  • e-Learning for Agents
  • Proactive Customer Care
  • Gamification
  • Augmented Reality

This study is valuable for solution providers to better understand what each industry seeks in delivering excellent CX, and healthcare organizations to benchmark themselves against the competition and other industries.

Table of Contents

1. Research Objectives and Methodology

2. Executive Summary

3. Key Findings

4. Survey Results - Goals & Challenges

  • Investment Plans
  • Factors Preventing Contact Centers from Meeting or Exceeding Goals and Objectives
  • Plans for Technology Investment to Improve Contact Center Performance and Workforce Engagement
  • Top COVID-19 Issues/Concerns on Contact Center Operations

5. Survey Results - Agent Trends

  • Agent Seat Trend
  • Percent of Agents Moved to WAHA Due to COVID-19 - MEANS
  • Has Remote Agent Performance Improved, Worsened, or Stayed About the Same from WAHA?
  • How Organizations are Improving Agent Retention Rates

6. Survey Results - Interaction Trends

  • Total Interactions Trends
  • Percent of Interactions by Channel Type
  • Channels that Became a Higher Priority due to COVID-19
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Voice Interactions
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Agent Interactions

7. Survey Results - Customer Satisfaction Metrics

  • How Organizations Measure Customer Satisfaction
  • Channels with Best CSAT Scores
  • Have CSAT Scores Improved or Worsened During the Pandemic?

8. Survey Results - Integration of Unified Communications/Collaboration (UCC)

  • Importance of Integrating Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Center (CC) Tools
  • Percent of Respondents that Integrate UCC and CC Solutions
  • Top Benefits of Integrating UC and CC

9. Survey Results - Omnichannel

  • Current Level of Channel Integration
  • Factors Preventing Organizations from Providing a Fully Integrated Omnichannel Experience
  • Survey Results - Hosted/Cloud
  • Hosted/Cloud Contact Center Solution Usage
  • Cloud Capabilities
  • CPaaS Benefits

10. Growth Opportunities in Healthcare

  • Investment Priorities in Healthcare, Global, 2021
  • Quadruple Aim of Healthcare Providers, Global, 2021
  • Trends, Opportunities and Unmet Needs
  • Patient-First Philosophy - Delivering Excellent Customer Care is Critical for Healthcare Organizations
  • Patient-First - Use of AI, Telemedicine and Biotelemetry
  • Shift to Cloud will Accelerate Innovation and Improved CSAT for Healthcare Providers
  • Improving Collaboration has Become a Top Healthcare Priority
  • WAHA Model will Continue to Exist
  • Employee Satisfaction is a Top Priority
  • Proactive Outreach is a Competitive Advantage

11. Respondent Profile for Contact Center Survey

  • Respondent Profile - Level of Decision-Making Authority
  • Respondent Profile - Percent of Respondents by Contact Center Size
  • Respondent Profile - Percent of Respondents by Country
  • Business Functions Supported by Respondent’s Contact Center(s)