By Peter L. DeHaan, PhD
Does upper management consider your healthcare call center a profit center or a cost center? Are you under the control of another department, such as telecommunications, IT, or marketing? Who does your call center director report to? Does that person understand the critical role the call center plays in your organization? Do they comprehend your technological needs and the importance of a reliable infrastructure? Or is their primary concern that you don’t make waves?
Regardless of how your call center fits into your organization, its place in the money stream, your department assignment, or the boss’s affinity for your operation, there is a common need for ongoing, positive visibility. Increased call center visibility is critical for two key areas. The first is budgeting; the second is your center’s ongoing status and viability. Relating to both of these is staffing levels, technology upgrades, and additional software. And then there is respect.
One option is to do nothing and hope for the best, which typically ends in frustration. The other option is to be proactive. Does this mean making demands and becoming a general irritant to upper management? No. But it does mean taking intentional steps to elevate your call center in order to garner the attention of key decision makers.
Look for ways that other people can do this for you.
Will other departments vouch for you and let everyone know the vital role you play? Has your call center won any awards or garnered positive media attention? Has staff earned new certifications, received advanced training, or attended industry events? Have you, your staff, or your operation been awarded or recognized by your vendor? What about life-saving phone calls? A poignant caller testimonial can accomplish much.
Make sure upper management knows about all of these. Each time you remind them it tips the balance in your favor. Take steps to increase your call center’s internal visibility today so you can enjoy the benefits tomorrow.