Case Study

HGS’s Multi-Channel Contact Center Ensures Revenue through Upselling, and Proper Use of Medical Equipment

Objective

The client, an international manufacturer of personal and professional medical products, empowers people to care for their health at home with advanced technology. Through their website and select retail outlets, the company sells and supports blood pressure monitors, body composition scales, electrotherapy units, mobile EKGs, health trackers, nebulizers, and stethoscopes.

The client has a goal to be a global industry leader in customer care and partners with reputable outsourcers worldwide to help them achieve that goal. A decade ago, the client sought an outsourcing partner in North America to delight customers (most of them seniors) with a complement of proficient, patient, and empathetic agents. Because the client’s products require FDA approvals (and audits), the client makes documentation a priority. Agents must capture details of each conversation meticulously in the client’s CRM software, across multiple channels, hundreds of product variations, and three languages.

When supporting a medical device, accuracy is crucial. Well beyond ISO certification, supporting FDAregulated products carries risk and compliance obligations. The client requires that agents adhere strictly to procedures, ensure accuracy in the instructions provided, and limit advice only to the equipment (as opposed to medical/health advice). Meeting standards consistently is not important just for audits — mistakes could affect a customer’s health. With hundreds of nurses on staff on healthcare client accounts worldwide, HGS is well versed in the intricacies of supporting clients in the medical equipment space. Based on that knowledge, the client awarded the North American contact center to HGS. 

Our Solution

Today, HGS agents provide pre- and post-sales support to customers of all ages. Agents coach customers on choosing, setting up, using, maintaining, troubleshooting, and upgrading products. Typical calls include properly fitting a blood pressure cuff, explaining differences between home and medical-grade/ hospital units, maintaining Velcro stickiness, and reading product statistics. HGS displays medical devices openly on shelves and hooks on the contact center floor to help infuse the client’s culture and facilitate more productive conversations.

A total of 22 full time team members cover five channels. Customers have the option of choosing their preferred communications method, but HGS recommends channels based on the complexity of the customer’s inquiry. HGS’s Smart Channel Selector uses analytics to guide the customer to the channel that ensures prompt resolution. Smart Channel Selector learns by gauging customer satisfaction with the resolutions it provides. With this tool in place, HGS can enhance self-service and lower a client’s operating costs.

All the incoming inquiries at this contact center are technical in nature, but none are more complex than the software-related calls. Some products include applications for monitoring fitness goals and clinical statistics. Experienced agents learn to navigate ever-changing configuration differences in desktop, laptop, wearable, and mobile devices to assist those who are having difficulty.

To serve as a hub for precise procedures, HGS built an internal, online knowledgebase that ensures accurate resolution for customer issues. Tailored completely to the account, the online resource provides carefully worded instructions and robust search features. Both client and HGS resources keep the knowledgebase up to date. When content changes occur (often on a daily basis), agents receive an alert, acknowledge the change, and use an internal chat tool to ask clarifying questions.  

The client’s customers are unanimously health-conscious and mostly senior. Many are acting independently to prevent health issues, and many are working to treat and recover from illness under the advisement of a physician. HGS recognizes that ensuring successful outcomes for older, healthdriven customers requires a great deal of patience and sensitivity. While remaining friendly and approachable, agents tactfully avoid pursuing lines of conversation that result in customers sharing confidential medical details.

Agents, after 10 to 14 days of training, take calls courteously and create detailed, structured case notes. They learn the negative implications of recording personal health information, how to take credit card information properly, and how to respect personal privacy. Security is implemented at multiple levels in this center. For example, agents sign nondisclosure, confidentiality, and social media policy agreements as well as undergoing thorough background checks before handling especially sensitive information. Agents enter the contact center by passcard only. In everything they do, agents work diligently to protect the client’s reputation and equip customers to meet their health goals. 

Outcomes

The client visits the HGS contact center regularly, actively contributes to the operations, provides sales incentives, and uses the HGS contact center to train their in-house staff. The client views HGS as an extension of their business. This successful relationship has enabled HGS to thrive and help the client achieve remarkable results.

Upselling and Cross-Selling with Integrity: Upselling and cross-selling take a back seat to addressing the customer’s concerns. However, when a customer could honestly benefit from a higher-end product or accessory, agents offer them as tools to meet the customer’s goals. The client is pleased with this approach and the sales results, which amount to up to $40,000 per month. As a result of this success, the client has asked HGS to submit a performance-based pricing proposal to further incentivize agents toward this revenue generation.

New Channels, New Products, Continuous Adaptation: HGS continues to evolve with the client. In 2016, HGS launched live, reactive DigiCHAT for the client, and early results have been positive. DigiCHAT agents handle all the same inquiries as phone-based agents as well as email. Since launching DigiCHAT, HGS has increased the client’s chats per day from 20 to up to 50 chats per day, a 150% improvement. This has lowered client costs by diverting voice contacts to up to four chats handled per agent.

Top Marks for Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): The client prefers to measure (CSAT) through a Net Promoter Score® (NPS). Year after year, HGS continues to achieve NPS scores of 100% from customers, regardless of channel.

Loyalty that Drives Revenue: The HGS contact center team focuses on customer loyalty, not profit. The client has frequently achieved Consumer Reports #1 status for certain medical device categories thanks to this loyalty, and financials are buoyed as a result.

Long-tenured, dedicated agents with unparalleled skills and knowledge: The HGS contact center model attracts committed agents who revel in the hours of operation, job diversity, and autonomy. Some agents on the account have been with HGS for 21 years, and others have worked on the client’s account since launch (nearly a decade).

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