This article is sponsored by Invoca. In this Voices interview, Home Health Care News sits down with Lyndey Brock, Invoca’s Director of Customer Success, to learn how conversation intelligence lends itself to the complexities of health care marketing. She explains how the pandemic impacted health care marketers, and how they used conversation intelligence to respond to the crisis.
Home Health Care News: What career experiences do you most draw from in your role today?
Lyndey Brock: I frequently draw on my experience in advertising, in which we directly tied campaigns to performance. Whenever we begin an endeavor with an Invoca customer, I ensure that we have tight KPIs in place to help guide us and measure our success. When I meet with senior care and other health care customers, I’m hearing firsthand the difference caregivers and health care providers make for those who need care, which helps me understand the role that sensitivity and compassion play in the patient journey.
The most important KPIs we’re tracking are:
- – If a caller is a new or existing patient
- – If the agent offered assistance
- – If there was an appointment opportunity present on the call
- – If an appointment conversion occurred on a phone call
How do health care organizations approach marketing differently than typical B2C companies?
Brock: In health care marketing, there’s a specific level of care and sensitivity required for each interaction. I’ve had Invoca customers tell me that they listened to dozens of calls between their agents and patients and the agent never asked how the potential patient was feeling. They didn’t offer sympathy, they didn’t assure the caller that their brand could help with the situation. That’s a huge problem. When we compare that to other industries that Invoca specializes in, health care needs to first focus on compassion and understanding.
Second, health care needs to focus on booking appointments and driving revenue. With Invoca, customers can understand at scale how locations are using compassion to speak with prospective patients while also booking more appointments and increasing location performance.
I can give you an example of that. At the beginning of the pandemic, Spectrum Retirement, one of our senior care customers, quickly created a COVID-19 phrase spotting signal in our technology. That allowed them to focus on spoken words from the callers like “coronavirus,” “virus,” “infectious disease,” “influenza,” “quarantine” or “lockdown.”
It helped them analyze the calls coming in to learn what prospective residents were experiencing, and what they were concerned about. When they use this information, they’re able to adjust their messaging accordingly.
Lastly, I’ll say that this enabled them to provide comfort and reassurance to the families of those residents, and it helped keep resident and staff turnover low during such a chaotic time. This is a prime example of how important it is for caregivers to understand the needs of their customers and use conversation intelligence technology like Invoca to do it quickly and effectively, even amid a global pandemic.
What kind of challenges can conversation intelligence help health care marketers address? If you could, please define conversation intelligence for us first.
Brock: Certainly. Conversation intelligence enables businesses to analyze phone calls and understand not only what marketing efforts are driving phone calls, but also what’s occurring on those phone calls between caller and agent. We do that through recording, transcription and artificial intelligence. Health care marketers face a big challenge because most of their new patients and appointments are scheduled on the phone.
Patients find and research providers online where pretty much every marketer has the tools to track the effectiveness of those interactions. However, when they go offline and pick up the phone, that data trail goes cold. This is a massive problem in the health care industry because almost 80% of new patient appointments are booked through the phone.
The conversion of that appointment is one of the most important pieces of the patient journey. Many health care marketers have no way to attribute it to the marketing campaign that originally drove the call. We used to refer to this as the “marketing blind spot” because they don’t have visibility into the true ROI of those campaigns. As a result, they don’t know the true cost per acquisition for patients. Without attributing conversions that happen on the phone, they can’t accurately optimize those marketing efforts to drive new patient appointments.
The phone call is a hugely important part of the patient journey, but it can also cause health care marketers to fly blind, potentially wasting a lot of money on campaigns, messaging and tactics that may not be effective. Invoca can help uncover what’s happening in phone conversations using artificial intelligence. If you’re using AI, you can analyze all of your calls that are coming in. You can automatically detect which ones are new patient appointments, which are from existing patients, and which are non-revenue driving inquiries so you can optimize your marketing to drive those high-value calls.
Through integrations with platforms like Google Ads, optimizations and next best actions like ad suppression or retargeting can also be automated. This reduces your cost per acquisition and increases your conversion rates and new appointments. It also reduces wasted spend.
Compliance is another issue that’s rather unique in the health care marketing space. They have someone calling about a health care concern speaking with an agent or front office staff member, so there can be obvious hesitation around PHI (protected health information) and the technology that Invoca provides.
However, Invoca is both HIPAA-compliant and a platform flexible enough to address additional patient privacy needs. In combining the HIPAA compliance and the flexible platform, we’re able to deliver world-class data safely and easily. Additionally, Invoca conversation intelligence can be used for call QA to ensure that the agents answering calls are on script and in compliance with the type of information that they’re providing. You don’t want call-center agents providing medical advice.
How does Invoca help optimize campaigns and creative for an audience that can be really sensitive to the wrong messaging?
Brock: Invoca helps to optimize campaigns because we’re tapping into the voice of the patient with AI. We’re able to hear directly from them — what’s resonating and what’s not. Invoca health care customers then use these analytics to tailor their campaigns and creative and ensure they’re striking the right note tonally.
How has the pandemic impacted health care marketers, and how have they used conversation intelligence to respond to the crisis?
Brock: The pandemic has shown a need for health care marketers to both innovate and pivot quickly. With so many frequent changes and in-clinic guidelines, and an increase in patient concerns for their health, the need to tap into the voice of the customer has never been higher. Invoca health care customers are using conversation intelligence to understand the needs of callers so both the front office and campaign messaging provide reassurance, and that they’re clear about the services offered as well as safety protocols their locations are taking.
Invoca also allows them to provide the right messaging online to answer all of the most common questions that people are calling with about COVID and make it easy to find. If you’re a health care marketer, you want patients calling because they want to set appointments, not because they can’t find what they want on your website.
Given how much can be done with this technology, how does Invoca ensure its customers are successful?
Brock: From a customer success perspective, we focus on three core fundamentals:
- Outlining of goals and performance metrics at the onset of the partnership
- Strong adoption of the Invoca platform with assisted, tailored onboarding
- Delivery of strategic reporting and analytics
If Invoca is delivering on these three fundamentals, we can confidently ensure success with our customer base, not only in healthcare but in all verticals we service.
Why do health care marketers need to look at the online experience and the call experience holistically when it comes to new patient acquisition?
Brock: This is especially true in senior care because we’ve got a longer path to conversion, a lot more research and typically an increased number of buyers. I think that also speaks to the fact that consumers are conducting more data and research than ever before.
Consumers have never been more informed when making a buying decision. In health care, that buying decision is also met with a deeply personal connection to the process. If I’m making the decision to purchase in-home care for an elderly parent, I want to know the brand I’m considering is quick to respond and operates with empathy. As a health care marketer, I need to ensure the online experience is both informative and impactful, and followed by a compassionate representative who’s eager to help.
Entering this year, no one knew fully what to expect in home health. What has been the biggest surprise to you in the home-based care industry, and what impact do you think that surprise will have on the industry for the remainder of the year and into next?
Brock: At the onset of the pandemic, there were a lot of concerns about how it would impact the senior care space as a whole. I don’t think we expected that as the pandemic wore on, there would be an extreme rise in demand for in-home care.
Some of our customers are seeing their highest growth in the past 18 months. The pandemic raises obvious anxieties around human-to-human interaction. The isolation among the elderly community is also a primary concern. When conducted properly, however, home-based care can provide assistance and companionship to our most vulnerable population. In some instances, it is the only option for them.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
From marketing to sales and eCommerce to CX, Invoca’s active conversation intelligence platform enables revenue teams to create better buying experiences, drive more leads, and increase revenue. To learn more, visit invoca.com.
The Voices Series is a sponsored content program featuring leading executives discussing trends, topics and more shaping their industry in a question-and-answer format. For more information on Voices, please contact [email protected]
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