Six Steps to Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center

Regardless of the reasons for outsourcing your healthcare call center work, pursuing a reasoned path is the surest way to a successful outcome. Here are six steps to follow:

1) Determine Objectives

What do you want to accomplish through outsourcing? Common reasons include increase quality, reduce costs, counter labor issues or shortages, streamline operations, or eliminate management frustrations. Regardless of the reasons, establish your goals before you take another step and make sure your potential call center outsource provider can address them.

2) Seek Options

Make a list of potential providers. This can occur through a formal process, an online search, or using a call center broker. The main thing is to consider more than one provider. Choices make for better decisions, yet too many options can result in confusion.

3) Compare Providers

The challenging part is analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each potential call center partner. You may opt to take a comprehensive path using a formal RFP (request for proposal) process or the streamlined approach of getting a shortlist of vetted operations from a healthcare call center broker. Regardless, don’t expect to find a perfect match, but do take time to find the best one that aligns with all of your key criteria.

4) Establish Expectations

Let the call center know the outcomes you want to have occur. Communicate the criteria you will use for tracking your expectations and how you will measure success. Too often uncommunicated expectancies result in a misalignment of activity that results in frustration for both parties. Avoid this by clearly setting your benchmarks in advance.

5) Make Your Selection

Once you pick a finalist review everything before committing. Go back to your objectives and confirm your prospective call center can meet them. Verify pricing. Discuss your organization’s expected interaction with the call center and how communication will occur. Address how they will handle changes in your programs and resolve problems when they occur. Once you confirm everything to your satisfaction, go ahead and sign the deal.

6) Form a Transition Plan

The final step involves developing a strategy to smoothly migrate calls from your in-house operation to your outsourcer’s call center. To ensure a successful migration, both parties need to work together. Don’t set the timetable and make the call center comply. Likewise, don’t let the call center dictate the schedule. Work together to balance your needs and ideals with theirs in order to make a smooth changeover that produces the best results with the least headaches. Outsourcing your healthcare calls can produce great results providing you do it the right way. The key is preparation. Following these six steps will guide you to successful outsourcing.   Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center industry and who provides a healthcare call center matchmaking service. Contact Janet at or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.