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The implementation of technology that automates call handling and improves personnel productivity throughout an organization is resulting in significant cost reduction and enhanced customer service.Consolidation: Two premier healthcare organizations – Banner and Emory University – exemplify how communication-center consolidation is successfully being used as a cost-reduction strategy by this industry.Until Emory’s March 2002 consolidation, there were five separate call facilities that supported Emory’s healthcare community.
An increasing number of large, multi-facility healthcare networks are reducing their communications overhead by consolidating multiple communication centers into a single facility.
“Our consolidated communication center has enabled us to reduce both operating expenses and call-processing time,” said Johns.
“We’ve cut our operator staff by 18 full-time employees – more than half – and are now processing about 3,000,000 calls, compared with 120,000 calls prior to our communication-center consolidation.” Banner is so pleased with the results that it plans to build a second communication center in Phoenix to serve an additional four facilities with the two centers backing up each other.
For the past 11 years, computer-telephony integrated solutions have been instrumental in maintaining a level of expected service and professionalism, according to Vince Johns, who is responsible for Banner’s communication-center operations.
For the communication-center consolidation in 1998, Banner created a universal communications workstation by integrating CTI database, attendant workstation applications, and communication-center applications with the health system’s existing phone system and other communications components.