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In our previous post, we discussed the importance of adopting a data-driven analytical approach to move the needle on patient/member experience, enabling higher CMS Stars Ratings and increased bonus payments for Medicare Advantage plan providers.

The benefits of data insights for healthcare contact centers are plentiful and therefore worthy of further exploration. Let’s discuss how The Northridge Group helped one healthcare client harness the power of advanced analytics to drive operational efficiencies and a more effortless experience for their customers and contact center associates, leading to significant improvements in First Call Resolution (FCR).

A Success Story

A Fortune 50 Healthcare client wanted to better understand the drivers of their high incidence of repeat calls. This inability to resolve customer issues in the first contact not only resulted in a poor customer experience but the staffing requirements to meet that increased call volume created higher operational costs. As with any business problem, you can’t design a solution unless you really understand the root cause of the underlying issue. Northridge was engaged to apply a data analytics approach that identified the profile of their callers and the nature of their inquiries. The outcome was a set of fact-based recommendations, a prioritized implementation roadmap, and an impact assessment.

A Three-Pronged Approach

Our Healthcare client had already been leveraging some of their internal data but was not deriving the full value inherent in their multiple data sources. Northridge applied our healthcare expertise and our analytics framework to integrate call data, claims data, operational information, and external healthcare data sources. This created a robust view, categorizing their callers and the reasons for their calls into actionable healthcare-specific groupings.

Northridge employed a three-pronged approach to the analysis:

  1. Advanced data analytics – Using advanced data analytics and business intelligence tools, we integrated IVR data, call details and claims information across a multi-month timeframe. More than 25 million records were aligned and stratified to not only identify overall trends but also to highlight specific caller patterns.
  2. “Human assisted” analytics – Our healthcare-trained contact center experts listened to customer calls and reviewed chat sessions. These “voice of the customer” inputs enabled us to gather first-hand observations, which supplemented the findings derived from the advanced data analytics. This human-assisted listening combined quantitative and qualitative analyses to test our hypotheses and strengthen our data discovery.
  3. Virtual side-by-side sessions – Experienced contact center front-line professionals conducted virtual side-by-side sessions with associates and supervisors as they performed their customer service responsibilities. The scope of these observations encompassed the actual call flow, associate call handling, and their use of systems, tools and job aids – all to understand the impediments front-line personnel face in performing their customer service responsibilities. This interplay of people, process, and technology all factor into an associate’s ability to achieve first call resolution.

Impactful Results

Using the client’s data, Northridge was able to leverage a Big Data processing platform to perform advanced data analytics. The data was loaded, cleaned, transformed, and analyzed using SQL tables. The cleaned and transformed datasets were then used to build data visualization dashboards which allowed for examining the data by a variety of dimensions and for drilling down into details for more granular insights.

The results of this three-pronged data-driven approach enabled Northridge to develop an actionable roadmap for our client. The scope of the recommendations for implementation covered contact center coaching and training gaps as well as opportunities to improve the IVR and self-service channels and addressed upstream process issues that were causing excessive call volumes.

The outcomes improved First Call Resolution, yielding a 30% reduction in customer contacts. This notable impact illustrates the importance of using data analytics to improve the customer experience, reduce call volumes and optimize costs in healthcare contact centers.

The key to the successful outcome of this engagement was Northridge’s ability to leverage the value created by advanced data analytics tools and use them in tandem with human-assisted quality contact monitoring techniques and side-by-side observations. This combined approach allowed us to accurately diagnose customer pain points, drivers of repeat calls, and opportunities to improve First Call Resolution.

The Northridge Group can show your contact center organization how to harness the power of advanced data analytics to drive operational efficiencies, a more effortless customer experience, and an improved FCR. To learn more, contact us.

Authored by Mary Kane, Managing Principal of Healthcare and Nathan Hart, Sr. Director of Technology, Solutioning and Data Analytics. 

Click HERE to learn more about NRG’s healthcare consulting solutions and client segments.

Click HERE to read about NRG’s technology solutions.

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