Here is the latest article in an eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually takes place at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.
Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.
These articles describe new-gen industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them are success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.
Today’s Topic: Delivering better services for less cost
Firstsource Solutions Limited is a global provider of business process management (BPM) services. The company works with customers spanning the globe–in the U.S., U.K., India, and the Philippines–with more than 100 of the leading brands, including several Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies.
Firstsource Healthcare provides business process outsourcing (BPO) services for health plans and providers to help increase efficiencies and outcomes, reduce costs and risk and improve their Net Promoter Scores. With brands focused on customer and member experience (CX) like never before, Firstsource Healthcare needed a technical partner with a strong heritage in AI and automation technology to build out Firstsource’s Digitally Empowered Contact Center (DECC). Enter Uniphore.
Name the problem to be solved:
The fundamental challenge facing the U.S. health-care system is the counter-intuitive notion of delivering less (in terms of declining utilization) for more (through higher spending). Addressing this productivity paradigm is within the immediate control of both health plans and providers. Firstsource believes that delivering more (services) for less (cost), both administratively and clinically will increase health-care productivity. Investing in digital technology innovation is the key to making this vision a reality.
Enrollment is the first touchpoint in the member’s journey with a health plan. Whether a health-care provider needs to fully outsource all enrollment services or need backup support from a business process manager (BPM), Firstsource operates as an extension of any brand with a strong emphasis on member experience.
Open enrollment season was swiftly approaching, and Firstsource wanted to provide its customers with tools to provide better customer experiences within its Digitally Empowered Contact Center (DECC). It needed a partner that offered cutting-edge conversational AI and analytics capabilities to address customer needs–especially when making a critical first impression during the enrollment process.
Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution:
Firstsource sought a platform that would help to deliver customer experiences that would become a strategic advantage for them and would positively impact their bottom line. They quickly entered into a strategic partnership with Uniphore, the global leader in conversational service automation (CSA), to utilize its platform as an important component to Firstsource’s Digitally Empowered Contact Center (DECC). The agreement centers on both Firstsource and Uniphore bringing together global expertise, deep domain experience and cutting-edge technology to deliver enhanced Customer Experiences (CX).
List the key components in the solution:
Uniphore’s conversational service automation platform gives customer-service agents improved quality of agent conversation, automating agent tasks, automatic disposition capture and after-call work. All with an underlying analytics and security layer. Tools such as Uniphore’s auMina will help associates address customers’ real intent and harness advanced capabilities to transform experiences.
Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took, and if it came off as planned:
Planning for this project began early in 2020 with teams meeting regularly to find ways to onboard customers and make it a seamless experience. With the expertise and experience of Firstsource, combined with the technology from Uniphore, the project came together well, and both teams came away pleased with the results.
Describe the result, new efficiencies gained, and what was learned from the project:
Due to its partnership with Uniphore, customers saw a 10% to 15% reduction in call handling time. This was achieved through call summarization and QA automation.
Additional results included:
- Improved Customer Experience: Every year, Firstsource handles more than 200 million interactions for Fortune 100 brands worldwide. Firstsource contact center associates handle approximately 400,000 calls a month. Deploying AI and automation will significantly increase process efficiency and improve customer experience.
- Higher Customer Satisfaction and Associate Loyalty: Firstsource delivers industry-leading CSAT scores, and with real-time actionable insights, this will further improve. Associates appreciate the “next best action” assistance provided by the AI, improving their ability to resolve customer issues resulting in higher employee engagement.
Describe ROI, carbon footprint savings, and staff time savings, if any:
Deploying Uniphore’s AI and automation reduced the average handling time by 20% and the after-call work documentation by 80%, resulting in an estimated annual savings of $3.5 million. But more importantly, this means that:
- consumers get their most crucial health-care plan questions answered quicker;
- call center employees don’t have to spend as much time recapping calls; and
- they can quickly move on to helping the next customer.