4imprint, LLC

4 min read

We’ve all experienced a less than stellar call center experience. Long hold times, confusing information, and the need to repeat the query to multiple staff members can leave callers feeling frustrated. But you can help your patients get what they need, when they need it, with help from these six call center best practices.


Best practice #1: Onboard everyone

An outstanding call center starts with an outstanding onboarding process. Why? Because the better your staff understands your organization and the tools at their disposal, the better they’ll be able to support patient callers. Provide training on your organization’s computer system, knowledge database and phone system. And give each phone representative the opportunity to practice using these tools with instructors, supervisors and each other before taking live calls.

And because they’re working in healthcare, it can also be valuable to:

  • Practice provider name pronunciation.
  • Review key medical terminology—especially specialty departments within your organization.
  • Cover basic HIPAA laws and other privacy concerns.

Training giveaways, like a notebook, pen and sticky notes, can make it easy for staff to jot down key ideas or keep important instructions at eye level.

(Bonus best practice: It can be helpful to hold an updated training session every six months or annually to review new laws, new doctor names, and new policies and procedures.)


Best practice #2: Support your agents

Eighty-seven percent of call center employees experience high or very high stress levels (PDF). Taking care of your phone staff is one of the best ways to prevent burnout and reduce turnover.

Keep their stress levels regulated with perks, such as:

  • Flexible schedules to handle personal or family concerns
  • Access to stress management, counseling and professional mental health resources
  • Adequate break times.

You can also offer staff members a stress reliever or a fidget block to help them remain calm and focused during a stressful call.


Best practice #3: Ensure smooth transitions from self-services to call centers

Customers may appreciate the opportunity to solve a problem on their own—but that appreciation may soon dwindle if they find themselves stuck in a voice system they’re unable navigate.

Make sure your automatic interactive voice response (IVR) and chatbot systems make it easy to go from “computer help” to “person help” with the click of button or mouse, or with a simple voice request. And remember to make that transition seamless—85% of people (PDF) want the live person to know about their interactions with a chatbot.


Best practice #4: Train your supervisors

Outstanding call center team members don’t automatically make outstanding call center supervisors. Properly train your leadership to help your call center staff be the best that they can be. Offer agent-coaching training and role playing to better prepare supervisors to handle escalated calls. Understanding and discussing call center metrics is another great tool for those supervisor toolkits.


Best practices #5: Keep your knowledge database up to date

Every call center has policies, procedures and best practices that change yearly—and sometimes even more frequently. Keep this information database up to date so staff have access to the right answers at the right time.

To ensure your staff isn’t working with outdated information:

  • Assign a staff member to update the knowledge database as needed.
  • Update titles and descriptions for easier searching.
  • Add pictures or videos to clarify steps that may be confusing.
  • Consider pruning articles that are no longer used or relevant.


Best practice #6: Separate employees by expertise

Although having staff members cross-trained might make things easier for scheduling purposes, when it comes to answering specialized questions, creating pods of expertise can help patients get the right answer the first time—significantly boosting customer satisfaction.


Creating healthy calls

When a patient calls your office, they need help—and you can be the one to provide them with top-quality care. These call center best practices and training giveaways can help keep your callers—and your staff—happy and healthy.