Faster customer service thanks to intelligent technology

“Healthy Everywhere” is an international health insurance provider, active in over 150 countries. They serve both business clients and their insured employees and family members, as well as individual clients who have purchased health insurance themselves. With customized health insurance plans covering all types of medical care in every single country of the world, the operations are anything but simple and straightforward.

With clients in every time zone of the globe, a 24/7 multi-lingual service is a must and is provided by a handful of service centers spread over different continents. Contact center agents and customer service representatives (CSR) handle hundreds of calls and thousands of written messages per day. Service requests come from employers, insured individuals, hospitals, doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, labs and other kinds of medical service providers.

Despite repeated efforts to educate their clients, covered families and healthcare providers to use one of the many dedicated email addresses, the well-defined mailboxes in reality receive all kinds of messages. Moreover, due to the diversity and complexity of these requests, it needs proper evaluation to decide which message type can be best handled by which CSR.

To guarantee a swift reply by the best-skilled person, a “digital mailroom” team scans and evaluates the emails and assigns each message to the right team or person. It takes the digital mailroom team on average about one business day to reroute every message. With peaks in incoming volumes – at least after every official holiday – or unexpected absences of team members this could go up to two days or sometimes more. The effort of rerouting is estimated at 1 full-time equivalent per 400 e-mails per day. Not counting the corrections afterwards for wrongly rerouted messages.

Healthy Everywhere wanted to speed up this process. In fact, who today still wants to wait 2 days or more for a reply to an email? The company could consider doubling the “digital mailroom” team or re-educate their stakeholders. It is no surprise that both options were unacceptable. They decided to look at other possible solutions and turned towards advanced analytics.

Data scientists used the database of previously processed e-mails to develop an algorithm that mimics the evaluation by the experienced team. During the analysis they also came up with an improved approach of labeling and bundling the messages to decrease the handling complexity for the CSR’s.

With the help of a specialized data science company and the customized algorithms embedded in their CRM-system, Healthy Everywhere is now able to correctly process over 80% of incoming messages within milliseconds. With a few small iterations they expect to arrive at 90%.

This allowed them to free up experienced staff for real and faster service with added value for their customers. Happier customers thanks to a faster response to their request.