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Outsourced vs. In-House Customer Experience in Healthcare

Joe Marte

Consider the pros and cons of outsourced vs. in-house patient support teams before deciding which approach is best for your healthcare organization. 

Are your customers and patients getting a support experience consistent with your brand’s promise?

If the answer is “no,” or “I don’t think so,” you’re not alone. This issue is prevalent throughout countless industries, but in one as sensitive and personal as healthcare and healthcare technology, the importance of high-level customer experience (CX) is paramount. 

For some organizations, taking the brunt of the customer service end off their employees’ plates is best. For others, customer support needs to stay in-house. There’s no perfect answer to this problem. While we at Epiphany are certainly on the side of outsourcing customer service functions to a qualified professional firm, it’s essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your customer experience team versus keeping them in-house and under one roof.

Is Outsourcing CX Right for Your Healthcare Organization?

Outsourcing customer and patient experience teams offer a wide range of benefits, including cost savings to improved patient satisfaction. But there are some drawbacks to consider compared to an in-house team.

Before you invest in a new CX strategy, it’s important to understand the topic from every angle.  

The Advantages of Outsourced Patient Experience:

  • Savings. Outsourcing CX is a great way to save money with faster customer service from more knowledgeable CX experts. A third-party team also means you won’t need to worry about unneeded resources being used when your CX services aren’t in use.
  • Scalability. When your business shrinks or grows, CX outsourcing offers a flexible solution. Without the scalability of off-site CX, you can quickly find yourself short-staffed or overstaffed in the CX department. 
  • Omnichannel support. Omnichannel support means your customers can reach your CX team in a variety of ways — from phone calls to emails, text messages, and more. 
  • Greater customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is arguably the most important metric of any CX service. CX outsourcing services provide dedicated agents who are focused exclusively on addressing customer questions and offering patient support night and day.
  • Better overall outcomes. A qualified and capable outsourced CX provider will ensure a level of service in line with your own organization’s goals and expectations for customer interactions. 

Potential Disadvantages of Outsourced CX:

  • Lack of expertise. All too often, outsourced CX connects patients to ill-equipped agents unable to answer important questions. A strong third-party CX service must include extensive training to ensure CX partners know your product — and each patient’s unique needs — without a knowledge gap or delay.
  • Security risks. CX partners must understand your industry’s security regulations, respect your customers’ personal and medical information, and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive company and customer data. As with most industries, results will vary between different outsourced CX providers, so doing your research is key.
  • Language barriers. Outsourced CX that is staffed by offshore agents can lead to misunderstandings as a result of call center employees who may not speak perfect English. In discussing their health and wellness, having someone they can relate to is essential. But not all outsourced CX is led by offshore teams. An outsourced CX partner with an onshore team can provide real-time support that blends seamlessly with your company’s image and standards of support. 

When to Turn to In-House CX Support

Despite the industry’s gravitation toward outsourced solutions, some leaders still prefer in-house CX. As with outsourced CX, there are pros and cons to relying on an in-house team to staff your customer support lines. 

The Advantages of In-House CX:

  • Company knowledge. Your team knows your business inside and out. There’s no denying that the best experts are often your own employees. An outsourced CX team needs reliable training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to serve your customers. 
  • Control. Many leaders prefer the control they have over in-house operations. Outsourced CX can create uncertainty about the security of your data, the effectiveness of your customer service, and the speed of your operations. 

Potential Disadvantages of In-House CX:

  • Gaps in service. On-site CX simply doesn’t have the capacity to answer customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Outsourcing your CX allows you to engage with customers ASAP while providing multilingual support for a diverse client base. 
  • High costs. Dedicated on-site CX can cut your profit margin. Internal customer support agents may experience periods of low demand that result in expensive downtime. 
  • Low productivity. When developers and engineers have to focus on CX it often becomes overwhelming and dampens productivity across the board.
  • Poor scalability. A fully in-house CX team cannot scale up or back depending on customer demand. Should an issue arise, staffing up to handle a large influx of customer calls isn’t an option, whereas an outsourced CX team can adjust and increase or decrease customer support resources as needed.

Meeting Increasing Demand for World-Class Patient/Customer Experience

An outsourced CX partner lets you focus on your core business while they focus on theirs – world-class customer support. With a partner like Epiphany, excellent customer support, reduced costs, and increased productivity are possible. 

With our dedicated multilingual, 24/7 CX team, your organization can work with dependable experts who will learn the specific needs of both your business and those of your valued customers and patients. Entrust your CX strategy with a world-class partner like Epiphany today. 

Joe Marte

Vice President of Business Development

Joe has worked in the healthcare and home care sectors for the past 15 years, with senior roles spanning business development, operations, and account management. This has given him invaluable industry experience and an appreciation of the strategic value of the customer care function.

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