Learn More
Patient experience building blocks

Customer Operations: Building Blocks to Transforming Patient Experience

Competitive Advantage for Best-in-Class in the Brand and Consumer Loyalty Wars

  • Share

The role of customer operations, which refers to the  service and back-office business activities that organizations rely on to fulfil customer experiences (CX), are key building blocks in healthcare organizations’ capacity to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver on patient experience (PX). Healthcare organizations that achieve best-in-class performance in customer operations have been shown to achieve superior results that position the role of customer operations as a key area of differentiation in organizational efforts to transform PX.

A 2021 survey  of healthcare and life science organizations found that those with best-in-class customer operations programs experience greater year-over-year growth in productivity (6.1x) and higher patient satisfaction (23.6x) than other organizations. Practices that optimize their performance, as well as the business and technology strategies they can use to augment customer operations to drive long-term performance improvements, include their ability to:

  • Leverage regular audits to gauge and address process inefficiencies
  • Enable quality assurance across all services and activities for regulatory compliance
  • Design and implement workflows to route the right activity to the right employee
  • Allow for real-time customer service operations activity results
  • Monitor digital services to identify and address potential issues

With brand and consumer loyalty increasingly important as drivers of profitability for healthcare organizations, top performing best-in-class organizations have the edge over their peers. In a sample of 178 healthcare organizations, the top 20% performing organizations achieved a 23-fold greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates (41.8% versus 1.7%). This performance outcome translates into top performers reporting a 39% greater retention rate of their customers (78% versus 56%) compared with other organizations. The ability of these organizations to efficiently manage back-office activities to meet and exceed patient needs may explain their superior performance on customer retention. Top-performing organizations also reported employee productivity increasing six-fold year-over-year (40.5% versus 5.7%), which may account for top performers reporting a 23-fold increase in first-time resolution rates when other organizations reported no real change (26.4% versus 1.1%).

Best-in-class organizations also reported higher rates of adoption for certain business activities and technologies that may help explain their superior performance on customer operations. Key among them were the greater role for regular audits to identify and address process efficiencies (83% versus 60%), and conducting quality assurance across end-to-end service and back-office activities (83% versus 57%). Audits covered patient data and information systems for administrative and billing purposes, as well as for care and quality to identify preventative care programs that at-risk patient populations may benefit from being referred to.

Quality assurance allows organizations to monitor and report on organizational compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory standards. Another area of operational excellence among the top-performing organizations was workflow management with artificial intelligence and other advanced analytics capabilities to realize long-term performance improvements.

Best-in-class organizations are more likely to view customer service operations in real-time (69% versus 54%), as well as monitor digital services to proactively respond to potential patient needs (67% versus 54%). This requires organizations maintain a connected view of patient and operational data, leverage platforms that unify systems end-to-end, and offer advanced analytics and reporting for as near real-time as possible data flow, access, and decision support.  

But affecting the large-scale change that achieving best-in-class performance status requires also involves redesigning workflow and reengineering organizational cultures to allow data to flow more freely across departments, systems and teams, and without placing undue burdens on the workforce. Doing so effectively will set the foundation for future success and provide organizations with a leading edge over peers through operational excellence and patient trust.

Latest Research

Employee Experience

Employee Experience

Market Drivers and Barriers, Market Sizing and Forecasts, and Case Studies

CX in the Healthcare Industry

CX in the Healthcare Industry

Patient Experience Management and Patient Engagement: Best Practices, Key Market Trends, Case Studies, and Market Forecasts

CX Market Forecasts

Customer Data & Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Contact Center, Personalization & Optimization, Customer Data Platforms, Customer Insights & Feedback, and Employee Experience

Customer Insights & Feedback

Market Drivers and Barriers, Key Industry Players, Market Sizing and Forecasts, and Case Studies

Related Articles

Healthcare employee experience and patient experience

Healthcare Workers Struggle With EX; Patient Experience Lags

Subpar healthcare employee experience (EX) is having a dampening effect on the quality of patient experience (PX), according to a new Qualtrics study.

Read More
Salesforce patient experience

Salesforce Unveils Patient 360 for Health innovations for More Efficient Patient Care

A new platform from Salesforce, Patient 360 for Health innovations, aims to help lower healthcare costs for patients while delivering more efficient care for them, according to a recent Salesforce announcement. Designed to be cost-efficient and to…

Read More
Medakkua Medicare Stars product launch

Medallia Medicare Stars Solution Strives to Improve Patient Experience Ratings

Patient experience measurement reveals dynamic tensions and differences in the motivations behind what healthcare organizations measure for and why. For some it reflects the strategic pursuit of excellence in improving processes and outcomes, while…

Read More
healthcare evolution

Healthcare Providers Compelled to Adapt or Wither in a Fast-Changing World

Consumers have greater virtual access to care than ever before, but remain overwhelmed by the proliferation of choice and unconvinced that their healthcare experiences as consumers have improved. The market entry of non-traditional healthcare…

Read More
More Related Articles