Why Empathetic Care is Vital for Successful Telehealth Interactions
As client service professionals, we know creating a successful customer journey is imperative to achieving positive business outcomes, yet in a constantly changing world, it’s challenging. As the telehealth industry accelerates change during a worldwide pandemic, interacting with patients in a supportive, empathetic way is key to authentic customer/provider relationships. And it helps keep those patients in your programs.
It may surprise you to know the invention of telehealth had its beginnings in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Each decade since has had significant events to help move it along. The American Telemedicine Association was founded in 1993 to expand patient care with new technologies. Spurred on by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the federal government poured millions into the healthcare industry for development. As a result of this breakthrough legislation, systems were introduced that enabled providers nationwide to share information digitally, forever transforming the space.
In 2020, as the global pandemic locked down communities, telehealth was key in providing crucial healthcare services to those in need from the safety of their homes. Now, with the help of apps and devoted customer service teams, patients have a wide variety of access to providers, support services and more.
Progressing as a Customer Champion
Empathy, by definition, is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.” This is why approaching telehealth service needs as an empathetic customer champion is crucial. Not only does it offer ongoing support when patients can’t be with their providers in person, one-on-one customer service agents impart a sense of comfort throughout the entire telehealth process.
By taking the time to troubleshoot issues, walk patients through features of an app or openly address concerns, an agent builds trust. With encouragement and empathy from your team, the patient is empowered to use the product on their own. Creating a rapport during such personal moments is amplified by the agent simply being a good listener and knowing how to adapt their communication style appropriately, given the diverse client base.
Connecting and Empowering
When agents are actively nurturing human connection, they create a positive and valuable consumer experience. Giving patients the power to easily track and treat chronic conditions, allows for freedom of choice to adapt their lifestyles accordingly, whether they are home or on-the-go.
For example, Biotelemetry, a leader in the heart monitor app space servicing more than a million patients per year, is known for its remote monitoring technology. The company’s worldwide network contributes data and insights, which help tailor cardiovascular care to each individual patient’s needs, wherever and whenever it’s required. Individualized service, from a distance, has changed the healthcare industry forever.
Expanding the Value of Your Brand
The more customers feel supported by your teams, your reach and your brand value increases. Look for opportunities to drive engagement and develop ways to expand and retain clients. Ask for customer feedback and utilize data and strategic insights to help solve consumer issues and concerns.
After assessing how to help their consumers during the 2020 pandemic, A Place for Mom launched a virtual tour app, enabling families to virtually participate in touring senior living communities with the personalized support of their highly experienced and compassionate customer care advisors. Not only did these advisors address the current health crisis and find a way to work through it, they also looked to the future and created a viable, long-term solution.
As agents, empathy is paramount to supporting the customer through the entire telehealth service process—and in building valuable, long-lasting relationships that elevate the integrity of your brand. Ultimately, being a compassionate listener and knowing how to respond appropriately is invaluable and vital to the ongoing success of your teams and business.
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