23.5 million Americans are currently in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions, yet only 11.2% receive help for their addiction in a specialized facility. And while the need for care is increasing rapidly, so is the competition to provide it, with over 13,000 facilities now operating in the U.S. dedicated to substance abuse treatment.
In order to deliver patients the quality care they need, quick and effective communications from providers are necessary. Treatment providers must establish contact with prospective patients in a way that expedites admissions, while also protecting the privacy of those seeking treatment. Their communications should also be able to provide data that helps facilities optimize the performance of their marketing and support teams.
We spoke with our Director of Customer Success Jeremy Wingate to learn more about the strategies our treatment provider partners are finding effective for communicating with clients.
What challenges do treatment providers face in acquiring and communicating with patients?
The biggest challenge our clients face is connecting with patients in their time of need. If someone battling with addiction is seeking help, you want to make sure you are getting in touch with them as soon as possible before they relapse, decide they no longer need treatment, or settle on the first facility that’s able to respond to them. You don’t want any critical time to be wasted before you’re able to connect with them and get them the help they need. Truly, every minute counts.
There’s also a challenge in terms of marketing and finding your right audience in a highly competitive—and expensive—advertising landscape. The person responding to an ad and contacting your facility may not always be the person who needs help; it could be a spouse, family member, physician, or friend. So you may think that the people you’re targeting are the ones who are calling in—yet that’s not always the case. You need to target to the families, too. That’s why I think the last piece is making sure that your marketing teams have a seat at the table and are able to get the resources they need to optimize their marketing spend and strategy, as well as justify the value their department can bring.
What marketing strategies are providers finding effective?
First and foremost, it’s essential to have a layered communications strategy where your prospective patients can get in touch with you in the way that’s easiest for them. That might be a form submission on your site, a text message, or a phone call. Many of our partners find it effective to use our FormReactor tool to embed an online form on their site, which can be customized to target specific audiences or issues, such as giving people the option to say “I’m a parent seeking help for my son,” or indicating upfront the specific issue they’re dealing with. That way, when forms are submitted they are automatically routed to the proper team or agent who can handle the issue quickly, versus a generic line where you’ll need to gather all that information manually. FormReactor can also automatically generate an instant call back or text message as soon as the form is submitted so that you connect your potential admit with someone from your team immediately.
Our core call tracking functionality also drives results for our partners because they’re able to assign unique tracking numbers to different advertisements in order to see which campaigns are generating the most calls and conversions. By cross-referencing revenue with other data such as call length, cost per call and cost of channel/ad, you can see the return on investment associated with any campaign, ad, or number and make educated decisions around where to target or increase/reduce spend.
How can a treatment center use contact center tools to drive results?
We help facilities get patients the help they need faster, and part of that is by automating their internal contact center communications—whether they’re a team of five people or fifty answering the phones.
Many of our partners utilize our smart routing and conversation analytics tools to help streamline their intake processes and get rid of unnecessary manual tasks. For example, they might set up their call routing to route existing patients to the agent they spoke to previously. That way they can go to an advisor they might know and trust, rather than a random agent.
Keyword spotting is also a powerful tool to identify words of intent spoken on a call. You can instantly qualify and route calls based on words spoken, such as the insurance type. Our call recordings and transcriptions can be used to review calls, improve agent performance, and identify trends in your conversations. In addition, while treatment providers need a way to track the performance of their call center just like any other business, they also need to protect the sensitive information being collected. Not only is our platform HIPAA compliant with secure data encryption, but you can also set up to automatically redact sensitive personal information spoken on a call from recordings and transcriptions. That way, you can still use recordings and transcriptions as a training resource for coaching your team on how to handle calls, without sacrificing patient privacy.
All in all, our mission here is to help treatment providers holistically manage the calls and the other sources of inbound leads into their facility so that they can scale, invest wisely and deliver high quality care.