Health Plan Call Center Attrition: Here’s How To Fix It
Call center attrition is a constant challenge with Medicare Advantage plans. According to Avoxi*, the annual turnover of entry-level call center reps is 27%.
The most expensive impact of attrition is not the added training, which averages $5,000 to $7,500 per employee. Star ratings, reimbursements, and your reputation are tied to member satisfaction and timely HRA data. With over a quarter of entry-level staff in constant flux, consistently delivering stellar engagements can't happen. All of this is further aggravated by the fact that call center absenteeism averages 11% higher than other entry-level jobs.
It's no surprise that improper training and low morale are primary contributors to burnout and turnover in call center staff.
Let's be honest, who could endure reading the same scripts and surveys eight hours per day, five days a week, for months on end? That's not a job.
The answer is interactive conversational engagement.
Want to see your call center staff perk up? Tell them, "We're going to ditch the scripts." Conversational engagement is the cutting-edge approach that delivers more satisfying communication for patients, while being much more enjoyable for call center reps. Because every conversation is different, the job is much more interesting.
Talking points are seen as the natural solution.
Topics that need to be communicated are listed in an open-ended question format. The goal is for reps to lead enjoyable conversations toward the campaign's goals.
Talking points make total sense. But the approach doesn't work. Call center managers point out that reading open-ended questions is easy. But thinking of the next question, then weaving the discussion toward the next talking point, all while focusing back on the campaign topic, then remembering to relate the conversation to the benefits of the health plan… It all gets lost in the sauce.
Tech-Enabled Conversational Engagement
The state-of-the-art in call center engagement is interactive technology that monitors the conversation and formulates scripts on the fly. Think of this technology as a virtual assistant that recommends the perfect sequence of talking points for call center reps. The assistant is informed about all features and benefits of your health plan as well as compliance guard rails.
Fully trained on the goals of each campaign, the virtual assistant leads the rep into a conversation whose emphasis is to get to know the member, making them feel heard and known. It's all about getting to know members personally and then personally supporting them.
Having first gotten to know the member, the plan's features and supplemental benefits are presented in the context of how they are the perfect fit for the member's lifestyle and aspirations. "I know you're worried about being strong enough to travel to your granddaughter's wedding. Your silver sneakers benefit is the perfect way to work toward that goal."
Tech-enabled conversations include proactive health visits. Screenings are not discussed as an obligation, they are introduced in the context of helping patients achieve their personal life's vision, whether that is running a half marathon, or parachuting on their 75th birthday.
Simplified Call Center Scalability
Simplified training and increased morale are inherent byproducts of tech-enabled engagement. Initial training takes less than one day, and prep for new campaigns is 90 minutes or less. There really isn't much point to training because every engagement is a unique, dynamic conversation.
Would you rather:
Read the same script 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, for months on end?
Or get to know your members personally, and then personally support them with your ACOs or health plan's benefits?
Conversational engagement yields an average 9.2 NPS satisfaction rating. Because patients look forward to the next call, engagement rates and satisfaction settle into a steady trend of improvement.
Impacts on Call Center Attrition
Call center reps are delighted as they morph from script readers to supportive problem solvers and counselors.
Conversational engagement personalizes your health plan, improving literacy and utilization while increasing patient satisfaction and loyalty. And call center attrition decreases dramatically as reps enjoy spending their time helping other people.
To learn more, click the link below. You'll see tech-enabled workflows applied to the use case of your choice: Onboarding, HRA/SDOH collection, proactive health screenings and more.
It's time to ditch the scripts!