A research study that was held by “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project” in November of 2011 – showed that applications that helped track or manage your health, were amongst the lowest in the ‘food chain’, as far as what adults users download for Smartphone.
Customer Service in Healthcare:
HealthCare Apps seem to move to the back of the line and do not seem to take the place of the “most researched ones” on the ‘App Store’ or ‘Android Marketplace’.
So why is this tidbit of information so important?? As most people prefer to think of themselves as healthy in general (shocking….) and do not really want to contact their HealthCare providers (Surprise, Surprise…) – it is twice and triple as important, for the HealthCare Providers, to Make Every Interaction Count… and when your members do contact you – make the most out of that cherished interaction.
It is a general notion in the Call Center Industry Industry – that one of the key measurements for effectiveness and cost savings is “Call Handling Time” (otherwise known as AHT – Average Handling Time) – But surprisingly enough, for HealthCare providers – it may not be the most important one.
You will be pleasantly surprised to know, that it is in the HealthCare provider’s best interest to actually CARE about your HEALTH – and Why? Because it saves them money in the long run!
The constant battle on managing and bridging the gap between funding and medical expenses and costs, drives a unique interest to better the members’ health.
So when they talk to you – they may not want to get you off the line as soon as possible… but actually make sure you are well!
Think about it – if your HealthCare Provider could help you make all the right health related decisions, make sure you are on track with medications and tests as well as being treated regularly for any chronic conditions, etc. – they get you on the “Preventive Maintenance” track and would potentially not have to treat you with any emergencies.
They could prevent more costly treatments by:
- Ensuring you are signed up with a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and being checked annually which reduces risk of undiscovered conditions that may be costly to treat when uncovered in more advanced stages
- Validating chronic condition patients are being treated periodically, as recommended, for their condition which reduces the risk of a costly Emergency Room visit
- Tracking pregnancy process and making sure all expecting moms are going through all the necessary diagnosis, taking all vitamins and supplements and are being seen regularly by their OB/GYN which increases chances of healthy pregnancy and reduces risks of having to treat un-healthy babies through the rest of their lives
- You get the point…
And while HealthCare providers shift their focus in that direction, the Members learn to expect that from their HealthCare providers as well – especially now, when the new HealthCare Reform is under way, and every one of us would have to select a provider out of an available pool – the people would look at not only the costs – but also would ask themselves “Would the provider I select, really CARE about me”??
The challenges many HealthCare providers are facing, is that looking at the member in a holistic 360o view – may not be as simple as it sounds…
Traditionally – HealthCare organizations have systems that support separately –
- Member interactions with their call centers
- Member’s health and categorization
- Claims data
- Provider relationship
- Various community programs
- Special plans for the members
And all of the above are operated in a highly regulated environment, that is ever changing and does not leave much room for errors.
So with the members appearing as an entity in each of these systems, that in many cases were either developed by different software companies or internal IT departments and are held in separate databases – is it really possible to get a true 360o view of the member?
Multichannel Customer Service:
That’s where Uniphore comes in – Our solution integrates vital applications and multiple customer communication channels across contact centers to provide a single, optimized view of the member information. This integration enables agents to easily navigate through member’s data and services in a more efficient matter and when they contact the call center – provide a true 360o view that enables the agents to make recommendations, on top of what the member was originally calling about.
From a member’s perspective – wouldn’t it be really cool and change the member experience altogether if when needing to contact their HealthCare Provider – they could do it from their own Smartphone device.. ? skipping the ‘loved by organizations, dreaded by customers’ IVR experience, looking up information or choosing actions on their Smartphone and when they do eventually decide to contact the Call Center – the agent immediately knows who they are, why they called, and what they were trying to do? (Almost like a David Copperfield mind reading illusion…)
So, no – we are not magicians (although we sometimes create that illusion..), but we did think that this type of customer experience would be counted as the next (re)evolution in the relationship between an organization and an individual, and decided to do something about it.
Uniphore Mobile Agent:
Our Uniphore Mobile Agent product – does exactly that – we integrate with your existing mobile app (or create one, if you do not have one yet) to simplify and accelerate customer service for users of Smartphones and mobile devices by providing visual self-service flows (think “Visual IVR”) that result in a substantially reduced number of calls to the call center.
Uniphore Mobile Agent is the only mobile service platform that reduces in-bound call volume, reduces average handle time, and enables business agility through easy to use tools and rapid deployment processes.
Think about taking all those labyrinth steps you used to take on the automated phone system (“Press 7 for the billing department or # to hear all options again”…) and instead – looking at a visual, easy to read, self guided menu flow that allows you to self serve and potentially resolve some of your needs without ever getting to an agent… and when you do need one – the agent ‘automagically’ knows what you are calling about and what you tried doing already.
So how could HealthCare Providers benefit from all of that? You probably figured that out already… but just in case…
We can provide an enhanced member’s dashboard view that will:
- Present and pop up alerts for outstanding member related actions
- Combine all your communication channels to one and have one place where you could see all member interactions and touch-points with your organization (imagine that…)
- Leverage your claim system to understand what treatments your members went through as well as provide feedback back to your providers
- Integrate with your knowledgebase and provide your agents with a guided workflow to ensure they make the most out of every key interaction
- Create and provide a scripted flow per scenario that would guide the agents through steps and help them complete the interactions quicker and in a more effective manner
- Enable better customer experience
- Present you with reports and analytics on all the above so you know how you perform and what members are calling most about
- Surprise your members with an unexpected level of service and a whole different experience upon contacting you
- And much more…
Think about it…. or simply contact us at Uniphore to learn how we can help your organization.
The author, Amir Sabo is the Director of Business Analysis of Uniphore, Inc.