West Corporation

Posted on September 26, 2016 by West Corporation 

The IMAX of Patient Care

By Colin Roberts, Vice President, West Corporation

As today’s healthcare payment models increasingly shift from volume to value, there is intense focus on measuring outcomes. But too often, these measurements rely solely on clinical data, and fail to take into account the 360-degree view of the patient. Healthcare organizations must take into account the social, cultural, and demographic determinants of health to achieve a 3-D picture of the patient that will truly support decisions around care. Healthcare organizations should strive to be the ‘IMAX of Patient Care,’ taking a multi-dimensional view of the patient, including a holistic view of the patient’s lifestyle and any barriers to treatment.
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West Corporation

Posted on September 15, 2016 by West Corporation 

Doing What it Takes to Answer Every Utility Call

Once appeased by the beep, whir, whizz of dial-up Internet, consumers’ patience is now tested by even the slightest lull in Web connectivity or a dropped call and companies in all industries are challenged to keep up.

Utility customers now expect customer service reps to act not only as problem-solvers, but as “trusted energy advisors.” According to J.D. Power and Associates, the top five elements contributing to these growing expectations are:

  1. Promptness in connecting with a representative
  2. Knowledge of representative
  3. Courtesy of representative
  4. Representative’s concern for customer’s needs
  5. Timely resolution of issue

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West Corporation

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Patient Relationships at Risk as Drug Store Volumes Rise

By Robert J. Dudzinski, West Corporation

Pharmacists are the eyes and ears of the healthcare ecosystem. Patients visit the pharmacy once a month – at least – versus the once-yearly visit to their PCP. Post-Affordable Care Act, the wait for doctors’ appointments is rising, and pharmacies prepared to provide patients with a growing array of primary care services will flourish.

In a recent survey by PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Health Research Institute, three quarters of consumers surveyed said they were open to “extenders”, such as nurse practitioners and pharmacists, performing health services.

Relationships at risk
But these important relationships are in jeopardy as pharmacies, too, see their volumes rise. U.S. pharmacy sales crossed the $225 billion mark in 2014, and continue to climb due to patients newly insured through the ACA and to recent Medicaid expansion of drug coverage. Pharmacists are also stretched thin by population health initiatives that demand new pharmacy services such as large-scale medication adherence and chronic disease management programs. So at many drug store chains these days, long waits on the phone and in person may threaten to derail both customer loyalty and pharmacist morale.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best chance the retail pharmacy industry has to preserve and enhance patient engagement is to automate and offload routine tasks so that pharmacists can focus on what they do best, counseling and advising patients to improve medication adherence outcomes. The time is now to free up pharmacist capacity so drug store chains can take advantage of the current opportunity to expand the role of pharmacists as a key hub in the patient journey.

Combining high tech and high touch
Forward-thinking pharmacy chains are looking to technology to automate prescription-filling, maximize workflow, monitor performance, and track medication adherence. The first step in modernizing a retail pharmacy engagement strategy is to enable self-service for those consumers who want it. Collapsed phone menus, guided by IVR, can provide end-to-end service for customers with simple queries.

For those customers with more complex or ongoing needs, a combination of automation and the pharmacist touch can help patients to stay engaged as they initiate, titrate and transition among medications. By creating new touchpoints in the channel of the customer’s choice, pharmacists can help them work through any challenges with their medication, keeping them on therapy and boosting both outcomes and the bottom line.
When it comes to customer channel preference, technology can help by alerting pharmacy staff to which consumers are calling from smartphones. Pharmacists can then proactively reach out to see if customers would prefer to receive text refill reminders or medication adherence education, versus phone calls.

Episode of Care
Here’s an example of how some pharmacies are using a combination of automation and pharmacist touch to optimize patient engagement over an episode of care:

Meet Jim, a 60 year old man with diabetes.
The pharmacist first sends Jim an “order ready” notification. Since this medication is new, the pharmacist activates a customized communications solution geared towards a specific type of medication – in this case, diabetes drugs. Jim has indicated that he prefers text message, so within 24 hours of drug pick-up, the pharmacist sends him an order ready text message. Five days later, the pharmacist sends an automated IVR asking him to take a short survey to reveal any side effects or other hurdles to medication adherence. If Jim is found to be non-compliant, the platform will alert the pharmacist to follow up, via text or phone call, using survey information to customize reminders – such as advice to take a pill with food to avoid nausea, for instance. If the survey shows Jim is compliant, no follow up is needed. Jim will receive an automated message at 25 days to reassess his compliance and remind him to refill his medication.

This type of integrated, customized engagement strategy helps to free up capacity by automating communications for compliant patients, while offering additional support to non-compliant patients. In this way, pharmacies can drive more insightful programs around medication adherence at scale, capacity and lower cost.

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

Wondering if you Need to Start Accounting for Smart Machines in Your CX?

Dan Gordon, SVP of Strategy and Development at West, examines the future of smart machines and provides his take on how enterprises should start preparing their CX for this technological emergence in his guest blog post for Execs in the Know:

“Relying on data and metadata, or “the information of everything,” smart machines are expected to drive a higher level of quality and consistency in everyday customer interactions by relying on neural networks that dissect things like text, images and voice — all without human intervention. Unsurprisingly, their potential impact is creating major buzz among technology providers and enterprises in every industry. Companies are left wondering what the rise of smart machines will mean for their long-term CX strategies, and how to stay ahead of their customers and competition as developments unfold. I’d recommend that most brands don’t overhaul their existing priorities just yet…

Click here to read why Gordon recommends holding off for now.

West Corporation

Posted on September 14, 2016 by West Corporation 

FCC’s TCPA Ruling Will Help Utilities Provide Improved CX

Despite the lowest monthly bills in 10 years, J.D. Power shows that the utility industry remains near the back of the pack in customer satisfaction when compared to industries like retail banking or auto insurance.[i] In a retail-driven customer experience (CX) landscape where even mailing complimentary flowers to customers isn’t unheard of, it’s not hard to see where some utility CX struggles stem from. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on September 8, 2016 by West Corporation 

Nothing Spurs Fitness Programs Like a Little Healthy Competition: Part 1

By Fonda Narke

For most of us, exercise is a daily slog – that’s why there’s Jazzercise, Zumba, spin classes, and the like. They’re the exercise equivalent of putting a packet of flavoring in your water to convince yourself to drink more; a way to make exercise more palatable.

And still, solitude and boredom are two of the biggest barriers to getting the proper amount of exercise. A class full of people can still feel impersonal, and doing the same thing over and over for weeks on end can get dull. Sure, if you’re running or weight lifting and you achieve a goal there’s a momentary high, but then it tends to become routine again. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

Streamline your contact center for a better customer experience

In today’s on-demand world, customers expect a lot. Modern technology promises them convenience at every turn, and they’re looking for the same from your contact center. To sum it up, they want every interaction to feel smooth, quick and easy. In order to keep up, your contact center agents need access to the right information at the right moment. That means you need a solution that can create visibility and connect all parts of the conversation while supporting convenient opportunities for self-service. That’s where Cloud Contact Center and West’s expertise come in.

We started out as a contact center, so we get what you’re up against, and today we specialize in helping businesses improve their entire customer ecosystem. Our big-picture guidance and our enhanced cloud solution can help you meet customer expectations while protecting your bottom line. And with the managed-services option, you can leave the management to us, so you can focus on your core business. Our solutions can help your company by: Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on August 25, 2016 by West Corporation 

4 Customer Service Lessons Starbucks Can Teach Retail Pharmacies

By Mike Snyder, Director, Interactive Services, West Corporation

Let’s face it, the healthcare industry is far behind other industries when it comes to customer service best practices. Other industries, even traditionally regulated ones such as telecommunications and aviation, have long since reoriented their operations with a core focus on the needs of the customer. More recently, retail businesses have focused intently on creating customized interactions via live calls, self-service contact center connections, and interactive mobile apps and web portals.

The good news for retail pharmacies is that among healthcare organizations, they are best positioned to take on this transformation. Their roots are in retail, giving them a leg up on customer experience and lifecycle, versus healthcare providers who have only recently begun to take metrics like patient experience ratings into account. Retail pharmacies now have a window of opportunity – when consumers with more skin in the game financially are seeking a go-to healthcare hub to deliver the same experience provided by the commercial world.

The caveat, however, is that even as retail pharmacies continue their march into more core provider services, such as case management for chronic conditions, they must look outside of the healthcare industry for best practices approaches to engage and delight the modern healthcare consumer. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on August 24, 2016 by West Corporation 

Machine Learning: You Can Take it to the Bank

Greg Ablett, a senior vice president at West, explores the vast customer experience (CX) opportunities that machine learning is opening up in the competitive, security-centric world of banking in his guest blog post for ABA Bank Marketing:

“Machine learning has great potential to improve the CX at today’s banks by taking advantage of the data already at their disposal. When deployed correctly, this technology can predict and actively address customer questions and concerns before they arise. As a result, customers can dodge common annoyances like navigating unwieldy banking websites or complex phone support menus. Let’s look at interactive voice response (IVR) as an example…”

Click here to read Greg’s entire discussion.

West Corporation

Posted on August 18, 2016 by West Corporation 

5 Strategies of Successful Retail Pharmacy Chains

By Robert J. Dudzinski, Pharm.D., Executive Vice President, West Corporation

Customers have long turned to their trusted pharmacist for advice about managing their medications and their health conditions. But as consumers take on more financial responsibility for their healthcare, they need to engage even more with their pharmacists. To that end, pharmacies have an unprecedented opportunity to enhance their status as a valued provider.
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West Corporation