As a strategic healthcare consulting firm, we have a very diverse client list. Clients are located all over the country, some have contact centers with less than 10 agent chairs while others have over 1,000, they’re at various points in the EMR implementation process, and all have their own specific processes in place. Despite these differences, we noticed that they all have the same issues over and over again. This blog will highlight some of these issues.
We deal with a lot of contact centers. It’s very easy to push the contact center to the bottom of the health system priority totem pole, and when that happens, it’s very easy to make us scream. Too often contact centers are considered necessary money pits, when we know they can be turned into revenue generators. One of our clients, Rochester Regional Health System, is working to make the switch, and chose to start from the very beginning and build from the ground up—literally. They’re currently constructing one of the most technically advanced contact centers in healthcare.
The interesting part about this process is that truly important decisions are made now, at this early level, that will affect the success of the contact center. The design, the placement of the agents in relation to each other, the layout, and the quality and comfort of the furniture are all important considerations that can make the center more effective. Take spatial planning as an example. Gone are the days of packing in the agents like sardines, which only contributed to the already-high levels of stress that agents feel. Giving them space to breathe will go a long way in making them feel comfortable at work.
Speaking of comfort, don’t overlook the importance of the items in the room. Ergonomic furniture helps keep agents physically healthy, especially because they spend so many hours sitting. Providing chairs that are easier on the agents’ bodies also helps lower the number of sick days used, as agents have lower chances of developing back, neck and shoulder aches and pains. Even choosing the correct style of furniture can contribute to agent satisfaction and, surprisingly, lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Obviously, we could go on and on about this topic. The acoustics of the space, the placement of washrooms, the ratio of square footage to employee, the amount of privacy afforded to employees—these are all important issues to consider. Luckily for us, we have a client who is willing to do just that. We can’t wait to show you how it turns out.
AJ and Jason Zawodzinski from Rochester Regional are going to talk about constructing a first-class contact center on “Experience. Health. Radio.” on Friday, September 19th at 12 pm CST. Listen in: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/singola/2014/09/19/building-from-the-ground-up
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