Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
The healthcare insurance company enhanced customer service and increased customer loyalty with an Avaya communications network makeover.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City faced a number of challenges in achieving its business, customer service and IT goals. Its network and communications systems were severely outdated and did not provide the flexibility or resiliency required to take them into the future. “In order to out-pace our competitors, we needed to upgrade our network and communications equipment to enable next-generation customer contact applications and unified communications,” said Kevin Sparks, Sr. Vice President, Internal Operations and Group Executive. “One of the key project components was an alignment of our business and IT goals, to create a cost-effective environment that was flexible, resilient and allowed us to provide better service to our customers.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City processes 6,000 calls per day, with employees at three locations and two major contact centers for handling customer inquiries. Part of the challenge was handling peak call volume periods, specifically in January when 70 percent of its members require plan re-enrollment and make critical decisions on their benefits for the upcoming year. Average call time was also of great concern as it was driving greater costs with the further need for more customer service representatives to handle the call volume. Additionally, calls were being transferred multiple times to reach the right resource, and completion of the customer interaction was also driving increased cost. Patient privacy compliance requirements (HIPPA) also meant that customer service representatives were spending an extraordinary amount of time verifying member identities. With all of these challenges, BCBSKC embarked on a technology and business transformation endeavor to achieve greater efficiency, reliability, cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City chose Avaya as the trusted advisor to deliver a next-generation communications network and customer contact solution. Avaya collaborated with BCBSKC on initial planning and design, followed by products and services that provide BCBSKC a truly customized and unique communications and customer contact solution. The end result was a complete communications make-over that has transformed the way that BCBSKC serves their customers.
Contact Center Manager (CCM) — Provides skill-based routing so that every customer reaches the appropriate resource quickly, reducing average hold time and call time. And, because this is a virtual contact center, agents can be located anywhere and still be managed as a single contact center entity.
Communications Control Toolkit (CCT) — Allows integration with speech recognition via the IVR, providing screen-pops to the customer service representatives immediately so that they do not need to re-key or repeat basic authentication questions to the customer.
Media Processing Server (MPS) 500 — Is the foundation for the BCBSKC self-service and speech recognition system that automatically authenticates each customer and works seamlessly with Avaya Contact Center 6.0. This ensures that the right customer service representative is handling customer interactions.
Communication Server 1000 — Is the foundation of the BCBSKC VoIP communications network that helps reduce costs by routing calls through the least expensive path — on one unified network. The Communication Server 1000 is a key component of Avaya’s unified communications solution that allows users to connect, communicate and collaborate with anyone — on any device — streamlining communication and enhancing productivity.
CallPilot™ — Provides voice/fax messaging as well as integrated Unified Messaging capabilities. CallPilot Application Builder enables caller services, including auto attendants and voice menus, and provides seamless integration with Avaya Contact Center Manager (CCM).
2000 Series IP Deskphones and 1140E IP Deskphone — Are the IP telephones that each employee and customer service representative utilizes on a daily basis. Each telephone provides a large display and standard USB port, with the 1140E providing multi-line capabilities as well as an integrated Bluetooth audio gateway
Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 — Is a chassis-based Ethernet switch that is the BCBSKC network foundation delivering “always-on” networking through Avaya’s resilient terabit clustering technology based on Split Multi-Link Trunking (SMLT), over which all voice and data communications travel.
Ethernet Routing Switch 5520 — Are stackable Ethernet Layer 3 routing switches that provide BCBSKC with high-density Gigabit desktop connectivity and Power over Ethernet (PoE).
Avaya Secure Router 3120 — Delivers BCBSKC low-latency, high packet throughput required by IP telephony and multimedia applications, providing wire-speed performance for high-speed Internet and private WAN connectivity.
First contact resolution
One of the most significant and cost-effective benefits achieved from the Avaya solution and new service delivery model was the ability to get callers to the right resource immediately. The BCBSKC new self-service system now qualifies and authenticates caller identities automatically, saving time for the caller and the customer service representatives. Multiple call transfers were also eliminated, providing a hassle-free environment for BCBSKC customers. “We vastly increased efficiency by achieving a 24 percent drop in the number of calls handled by customer service representatives,” said Nancy Creasy. The BCBSKC customer service representatives can now concentrate on the customer instead of playing the role of switchboard operator. “We are now averaging 72 percent first contact resolution.”