Rachael Jones shares how Sharp HealthCare transferred social care to their contact center and improved consistency across their organization

As Senior Social Media Strategist at Sharp HealthCare, Rachael Jones leads the patient engagement and social media strategy for Sharp HealthCare’s social and reputation channels.

The first thing we honed in on as a short-term goal was creating consistent scripting. Rachael Jones
According to Rachael, a big part of that is making sure Sharp's organizational values are represented in its interactions with the community on social media.

“Our commitment at Sharp is to treat people with compassion and go above and beyond to help them — we call this ‘The Sharp Experience,' and it's really embedded in our culture,” explains Rachael. “But at first, with different marketing teams and hospital staff responding to complaints that come in, everyone was doing things differently.”

Last year, a work group was formed to help refine Sharp HealthCare's patient experience and social care processes to see how they could make them more efficient and effective.

“We wanted to see how we could embed this core process into what we're doing and make it a better experience internally — but also externally for our customers,” says Rachael.

The team — made up of patient relations and social media personnel — decided to break the project into phases and developed long- and short-term goals.

“The first thing we honed in on as a short-term goal was creating consistent scripting,” says Rachael. “We had our Sharp Experience team — which works in patient experience — review some of our scripting documents and make sure they're consistent with some of the talking points and elements of The Sharp Experience that we use in our hospitals.”

Their next step was establishing a consistent process for social care across the organization.`

We respond on Twitter differently than we would on Yelp or Facebook. Rachael Jones
“Once we finalized the process documents for patient interactions on social, we held meetings with the marketing and patient relations teams at each hospital to train them on the process and why consistency on social was important,” explains Rachael.

Rachael says these training workshops were an important component of their first phase, because it helped them directly open up communications channels between the hospital marketing and patient relations teams they were working with. And through this training, they onboarded 20 to 25 team members to the new process.

Then, they set out on their long-term goal to centralize their social care efforts.

“Phase two was moving social care off of the hospital and digital marketing teams and onto our contact center,” says Rachael. “They're trained customer service professionals, and our team isn't — so we thought it would be a natural fit.”

The Sharp HealthCare digital marketing team and its contact center are located in the corporate office, and both teams report to the same vice president. Location and organizational structure allowed them to work closely during the transition.

“They're already addressing a lot of the same questions and concerns over the phone, so it was just a matter of us familiarizing them with the social platforms,” says Rachael. “It also centralized everything so only one team is distributing these complaints and questions out to the organization versus three different teams.”

They trained their contact center on their social media monitoring tool and how to respond through it.

“When we use Sprinklr, there are little variances in how we respond on our different platforms,” says Rachael. “We respond on Twitter differently than we would on Yelp or Facebook.”

They outlined those processes, provided how-to documents for Sprinklr (a social media monitoring and management tool), and created a voice and tone guide for the social platforms.

Additionally, Rachael and the digital team did writing exercises to get the contact center acclimated to responding on social instead of via phone.

It has made it a lot easier for our patient relations teams to keep track of and receive all of the complaints that are coming in. Rachael Jones
“We would put up actual complaints that had come in on the screen and have them type up a response,” explains Rachael. “Then we would go around the room and share feedback.”

For the first five months of the transition, Rachael and the digital team paired with the contact center team for platform training to make sure everyone was comfortable with the tools.

Now, the contact center fully handles social care from 8 AM to 5 PM. Currently, the digital team still monitors after hours and on weekends, but soon they hope to have the contact center take that over as well.

The transition has allowed teams to refocus their resources.

Rachael says this transition has allowed them to refocus the digital and traditional marketing teams' resources on strategic content and campaigns where, previously, they had to dedicate time to customer care.

“This transition has freed up a lot of resources and time within the marketing department,” says Rachael. “As the contact center has taken over, we've been able to be a little more strategic with our communications — which is really fantastic for our organization.”

The transition has also helped their organization streamline and centralize their work structure.

In a large organization like this, it took a lot of back and forth to make sure that we were doing everything appropriately. Rachael Jones
“It has made it a lot easier for our patient relations teams to keep track of and receive all of the complaints that are coming in because they're not coming from three or four different people every day,” says Rachael. “Our response time has improved dramatically.”

She says their goal is to respond to every complaint within one hour, and this new system is helping them get much closer to reaching their goal.

But to reach their success, digital and contact center leadership had to work with HR to rewrite the contact center roles and get everything approved.

“In a large organization like this, it took a lot of back and forth to make sure that we were doing everything appropriately,” says Rachael. “And we had to be careful of knowledge gaps and make sure we didn't pass over any important details in the transition — especially since our team had owned it for close to a decade and was so close to it.”

For anyone working on a similar project, Rachael advises making sure that communication channels are open between all teams involved.

“Before we were very siloed,” explains Rachael. “So, I think figuring out how we all work together and collaborating between these teams has been a really exciting part of this process. It's really helped us deliver The Sharp Experience online and create more cohesiveness among our different teams.”

Rachael adds that it was valuable to form a work group that could plan out shared short- and long-term goals and how to meet them.

“I also think taking the time to do your research and meet with organizations inside and outside of health care to learn how they did it, why they did it, what tools they use, and what was important to them was instrumental to our process being as successful as it was.”

Rachael Jones has been a member of SocialMedia.org Health since 2017. You can follow her on LinkedIn.