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West Corporation

Posted on January 24, 2017 by West Corporation 


How to Communicate During Emergencies

Surprises are best reserved for birthday parties and bouquets. When disaster strikes – like when the power cuts out – organizations can be sure their customers are actively seeking answers on the web, sending text messages and scouting out phone numbers to call. Failing to meet expectations during these time-sensitive situations means risking potentially irreversible damage — starting on social media and ending at the bottom line.

Luckily, addressing emergencies with more proactive communication has the opposite effect. Companies in the utility and pharmaceutical industries, for example, can increase customer satisfaction and cost savings by addressing a whole array of concerns, from preparedness tips to prescription refill reminders, before customers even recognize a problem. In fact, West helped two distinct companies realize the benefits of proactive communication firsthand, facilitating a total of 5.2 million outbound messages during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Click here to read about the positive impact proactive outreach during this emergency situation.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on January 13, 2017 by West Corporation 


Preparing Utilities for Winter Storm Jupiter

As utility companies organize for storms, each has a set of procedures to go through in preparing to make the event pass quickly and safely. They go through their documented and well-rehearsed plan to make the event as easy on their customers as possible.

As a provider of communications services, we also have procedures that we go through for storm preparedness.

West is getting ready to react to Winter Storm Jupiter in a number of ways, like: Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on January 10, 2017 by West Corporation 


Optimizing Performance with Champion Challenger Testing

Unrelenting customer evolution demands unrelenting customer experience (CX) optimization. In traveling along this line of thinking, inspirations to integrate the latest and greatest technologies often emerge before decision-makers take more obvious and immediately beneficial considerations into account. Sometimes, it’s the thoughtful, yet subtle investments that garner the highest returns. And solid consultative partnerships can help ensure these “ah-ha” moments don’t slip through the cracks.

For example, West recently identified two opportunities to increase self-service within a client’s interactive voice response (IVR) system. By making a few tweaks to this leading financial services company’s call flow, West set them up to save an estimated $5.4 million in the next year.

Read this case study to explore how conducting two strategic Champion Challenger tests has positioned West’s longtime partner to save big while providing a more rewarding CX — all while avoiding the need to sacrifice an abundance of organizational resources.

West Corporation

Posted on January 6, 2017 by West Corporation 


The Future of CX: Machine Learning Will (Finally) Make Business Personal

Greg Ablett, SVP of Utilities and Business Support at West, offers insights into how businesses in every industry can prepare for the future impact machine learning will have on the customer service industry in his article published by Data Informed, a leading resource on data analytics and management strategies.

“Business analytics and, specifically, machine learning are turning the proverbial ‘dating’ game between businesses and consumers on its head. Instead of assembling interactions based on preconceived notions about how consumers want to be treated, machine learning enables companies to deliver truly personalized communication based on up-to-the-moment data…”

Click here to learn what steps Greg recommends companies take to stay ahead.

West Corporation

Posted on January 5, 2017 by West Corporation 


SaaS or Managed Services: Which Contact Center Option Fits Your Needs?

You’ve made the big decision. You know you’re going to update—or even upgrade—your contact center with a cloud solution. But there are more choices you need to make. One of the first and most important choices about a cloud solution is whether to choose Software as a Service (Saas) or Managed Services.

Each option has its advantages, but your ultimate decision will depend on several factors. These include the depth of your in-house resources, your desired level of support and your outlook on a strategic partner that will continually optimize your business. To see the features and differences between SaaS and Managed Services, view this helpful infographic describing the benefits of each. It covers what you’ll need to consider about:

  • Staffing
  • Configuration
  • Support
  • Analytics
  • Channels
  • Cost
West Corporation

Posted on December 28, 2016 by West Corporation 


Tackling Hunger One Text at a Time

The classic adage “it’s better to give” rings especially true for one of our partners’ “Hunger: Not Impossible” project this holiday season. Not Impossible Labs and a leading retailer set out to simply address a complex issue: the rampant struggle for people facing housing insecurity to easily obtain fresh and healthy food. Recognizing that 50 to 60 percent of homeless youth and veterans own cell phones, they pulled in West and other technology companies to help support a modern SMS/text messaging solution that reaches them wherever they are.

Hunger: Not Impossible (HNI) empowers hungry citizens to send SMS/text messages like “HELP” and “STOP” to receive information about where to get their next meal. They’re currently piloting the project in Northwest Arkansas. Read more about how HNI is making a difference here. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on December 19, 2016 by West Corporation 


A Better Contact Center for a Better Customer Experience

If you haven’t replaced or upgraded your contact center solutions recently, there’s a good chance your customers have noticed. Customer care has made huge advances over the last several years, and customer expectations have responded. Today’s customers demand the flexibility to communicate with you in their preferred channel at their preferred time. And they no longer accept long wait times and impersonal service as the norm.

You need to keep up in order to keep your customers.

In the past, updating or replacing your system to provide a higher level of service was cost-prohibitive. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. With a good cloud-based system and an experienced partner, you can take your customer experience to new heights without doing the same for your expenditures.

To discover how that’s possible, download our e-book, The Many Benefits of Modernizing Your Contact Center. In it, you’ll find how a modern contact center:

  • Saves your business money over time
  • Provides a better experience for your customers and agents
  • Needs more than just software
West Corporation

Posted on December 15, 2016 by West Corporation 


The New Bitter Pill: Patients Not Taking Medications

By Mike Synder

In healthcare, we love to highlight the latest innovations and medical breakthroughs—and while that first-of-its kind surgery is important, it’s also important to focus on the basics—which often prove to be not so basic.

One “basic” lesson for healthcare providers is that prescribing life-saving medications isn’t enough. Medications don’t work if patients don’t take them. In fact, studies have shown that 3 out of 4 patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Now, this isn’t necessarily an ‘aha moment,’ but it’s an issue that has come to the forefront with the release of a recent Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the report, 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 and older have high blood pressure (which is defined as 140/90mmHg or higher), but nearly half do not have their blood pressure under control. What’s even more troubling is that at least 25% of those adults with Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance are not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed.

High-risk populations
Whether that means skipping doses or forgoing the medicine altogether, it’s problematic. Not taking blood pressure medication contributes to higher risks of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death. Further, the CDC report highlights that some populations are more at risk than others, with the percentage of Medicare Part D enrollees not taking their blood pressure medicine being higher among certain racial/ethnic groups, like American Indians, Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics, and in geographic areas like the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

At first glance, it’s easy to be baffled by those statistics. Why is it so difficult for patients to take their medications, especially when the consequences are potentially deadly? As the report explains, there are many reasons why patients don’t take their medications. Some fail to fill the prescription at all or forget to refill it on time. Others stop taking the pills because they don’t have noticeable symptoms or because they experience unwanted side effects. In some cases, medications are just too expensive for patients.

Regardless of the why, providers have a responsibility to empower patients, not only within the walls of the exam room, and at the pharmacy, but also at home, on-the go, and everywhere in between. After all, healthcare today spans across the continuum of care. It requires providers to connect with patients in new ways that are meaningful and relevant. It demands that providers adapt their communications to meet patients’ needs, rather than expect patients to adapt to their needs or preferences.

Communication gaps
At the core of the important work that needs to be done is communication, which might be classified as basic, but is a shortcoming for many healthcare providers. This communication gap is arguably one of the biggest cracks in our healthcare ecosystem. At West, we know that engaged patients are healthier patients and that’s the foundation of everything we do. We believe that combining technology-enabled communications with clinical resources to help engage patients beyond the clinical setting, across the continuum of care, is critical to improving the patient experience, outcomes, and costs.

In order to be impactful, communication to increase medication adherence must be patient-centric, proactive, and consistent. We’ve learned that once communication becomes reactive, it’s usually too late to be effective. That’s why we offer providers the ability to send smart, automated communications like text messages, voice calls, and voice messages, based on language preference (multiple language on voice, and Spanish for text). With our approach, providers can personalize interventions, delivering the right communication, at the right time in the patient’s channel of choice. Our technology also helps providers to best allocate their clinical and administrative resources by assessing which patients are engaging with the communication as expected and which patients require an escalated intervention.

We’ve seen the results of these communication strategies firsthand at health systems across the country. By keeping our focus on patients, and leveraging technology, we can all make an impact and help to improve blood pressure control nationwide. And while that may seem ‘basic,’ the outcomes can be quite profound.

West Corporation

Posted on December 9, 2016 by West Corporation 


The Right Speech Fit: Directed Dialog or Natural Language?

One of the biggest hurdles companies must face when interacting effectively with today’s evolving customers is supporting automated care that feels natural. This obstacle becomes especially pronounced when customers reach for the phone — hoping to connect with an agent but getting an IVR system instead.

When implemented with the proper forethought, automated speech recognition applications offer an intuitive way for brands to create more organic IVR interactions than typically possible with touchtone (DTMF) alone. (Certain tasks are simply too cumbersome to key into your phone!) But to avoid blindly rolling out a sophisticated voice application and making a poor long-term investment, companies must keep in mind that the speech solutions at their disposal are not interchangeable.

Check out these Directed Dialog vs. Natural Language tips, to discover the key differences between the two types of applications, and consider how DTMF can intelligently fit into your CX ecosystem when speech really isn’t the best option for your brand’s needs. Read More >


West Corporation

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