UC and Inter-Enterprise Customer Experiences

It is getting pretty obvious that health care organizations are not only going to get the most benefit from Mobile UC, but are also knocking down the silos between other organizations when it comes to dealing with a common customer/patient. Since, by definition, all consumers may be customers/patients, the payoff from UC-enablement will be huge.

I personally experienced evidence of this just the other day, when I received a billing statement from my health care provider, which showed that my insurance unexplainedly did not cover two of my office visits. So, I called my provider’s contact center, where the representative indicated that my insurance company had not (yet) responded to my claim, and I was therefore being billed accordingly. The representative suggested that I follow up there to find out what happened.

I then called my insurance company’s contact center, where the representative looked at the information in my file, but wasn’t sure what could have caused my claim to be delayed or denied. Rather than asking me to go back to my health care provider (again) to question them further, the representative suggested that I stay on the line while she called the insurance company contact.

After a few minutes, she conference me in on the call so that I could verify my identity to the health care provider’s agent, and after discussing the nature of the problem, the two representatives told me that they would work together to resolve the issue and notify me as soon as possible.

It’s Not Just “First Contact Resolution!”

Where companies and organizations share customers, as in health care, government, education, etc., it will be increasingly necessary for them to share customer information to insure consistency and good customer experiences across the board. It would be nice to have problems fixed instantly, but when errors are made, it may take time to track them down. The real benefit to consumers/customers is when they are not obliged to chase down everyone involved themselves.

Because health care issues are privacy protected with HIPPA regulations, the communication procedures are constrained, but don’t really get in the way of improving customer experiences. So, when I suggested that they simply send me an email about my problem, the insurance company representative told me she would have to call me directly, and, if I were not available, would leave me a voice message.

Conferencing, Not Transfers, For A Better Caller Experience

It is already well recognized in contact center operations that transferring callers to other personnel is like “passing the buck” with no guarantee of a successful connection, nor of satisfying the customer’s needs. That’s one reason “skills-based routing” is critical to contact center technology to minimize such frustrating transfers. Even when it comes to bringing in a subject matter “expert,” chatting with the expert or conferencing in the expert will be better than blindly transferring the customer.

Even with self-service applications, whenever the customers require assistance at some point, UC-enabled applications can use “contextual” information about the customers’ activity to connect them to the most appropriate and available person. With increased customer multi-modal mobile accessibility, such connections don’t really have to be made immediately, but can become an “ASAP” response (voice, chat, SMS, email).

Since voice (and video) conferencing are part of UC enablement, such actions can be done more easily by customer-facing staff in the “UC Contact Center.” What will be most important, however, is that it is not simply making a voice or video connection for conferencing, but also displaying all the necessary contextual information about the customer that is appropriate (“screen pops”). So, maybe we should call it “smart conferencing,” rather than just call or video conferencing?

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