The Gift of Peace of Mind: Minimize Risk while Creating Memorable CX


3 Holiday Wish-Listed Gifts to Give Back to Your Customers... And Your Business | Part 2, Peace of Mind


In our first part of this blog series, we talked about giving back the gift of time. This week we’re exploring a resource that’s just as precious and can be equally hard to come by: Peace of mind.

Managing risk in a world that prioritizes digital transformation has remained one of the top concerns for business leaders over the last several years. This trend is likely to continue as demand for innovation grows. Combined with pressure to accelerate release cycles, adopt and scale new capabilities, and maximize ROIoften with fewer resources and a reduced workforceit’s easy to see how these factors can compound many of the existing challenges in any organization.

Here are three organizations that took steps to make life easier for their customers, their staff, and their executive teams by addressing potential risks head on.

Ensuring an Exceptional Contact Center Experience

“Partnership, collaboration, transparency and communication, I think those are the four things that we focused on.” —Ankan Mukherjee, Healthfirst

Healthfirst is New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, offering high-quality, affordable plans for every stage of life. They were founded on the belief that insurers should be true partners in the health care system, and their dedication to serving their 1.6 million members and over 40,000 providers proves they take this mission seriously.

Customer experience is so embedded into the culture at Healthfirst that they refer to members as “North Stars,” a reminder to always stay aligned and focused on delivering a world-class member experience. Continuous improvement through DevOps is one way Healthfirst quickly responds to its members’ needs.

The contact center operations team uncovered an opportunity for improvement that would directly affect their members’ experience. At times, issues with the IVR that occurred overnight would not be discovered until teams arrived in the morning. They needed the ability to proactively perform health checks of the IVR in order to identify and fix any issues with audio quality, prompts, or call routing, before they were encountered and reported as incidents by members.

However, Ankan Mukherjee, Healthfirst’s Director of Engineering was adamant about not simply adding another tool for the company to manage. Instead, he was looking for a platform-based solution with a full range of capabilities for automated testing, IVR performance monitoring, reporting, call flow modeling, health checks, and insight into the overall customer experience. Mukherjee stated:

“My vision is to reduce the human effort to as minimal as possible on my release cycles so that I can be using that towards doing new things. Maybe building more transformation work, digital transformation work.”

Healthfirst used the Cyara Platform to implement a series of automated health checks on their IVR system that run early in the morning and conclude before 9 a.m. so teams are aware of any issues before starting work. They also perform ongoing checks at several points throughout the day and on weekends.

Healthfirst has virtually eliminated their dependency on manual testing and releases continual updates every month that improve the experience of their members.


Transitioning an Entire Contact Center to Remote Working

“Agile doesn't necessarily mean quick. It means the ability to be able to pivot.” —Cheryl Parsons, Capital Group

Capital Group is one of the world’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with over 7500 associates focused on delivering superior results for long-term investors. They are also committed to fostering a highly collaborative corporate culture—one that that enabled its teams to pull together to address the challenges of the early days of the 2020 pandemic.

Within the span of two weeks, Capital Group was forced to transition from all 2500 of its call center agents working in physical locations, to enabling all agents to work from home. This was not only challenging from a logistics perspective, but technologically as well. They had to be sure agents had the equipment they would need to work remotely while ensuring that their contact center platform could connect agents to physical phones. As they set up hotlines for customers to request assistance, they were continually testing to make sure the VPN could handle their call volume.

Such a huge shift in a short period of time created issues with voice quality that needed to be individually tracked down and addressed. From physical distractions and background noise in an agent’s environment, to issues with the agent’s carrier or ISP, Capital Group needed visibility into the root cause of each quality issue.

Fortunately, Capital Group had already begun moving toward an Agile way of working when the crisis occurred. This enabled teams to apply many of the same Agile concepts to their enablement of work-from-home systems. Ongoing, automated testing was especially critical to their success. As Capital Group’s Application Development Manager, Cheryl Parsons, put it:

“We were able to make changes that we were able to quickly test and make sure they were working correctly. And that's where Cyara made a huge difference for us because we had so many automated testing suites put together that we were able to test a lot of this new functionality very quickly.”

The pandemic put Capital Group’s collaborative culture to the test, and all teams rose to the occasion. In addition to weathering the many challenges of shifting to an at-home workforce, they implemented many positive changes that are likely to result in long-term gains in workflow efficiency and agent productivity.


Improving Incident Management and Visibility for a Better CX

“We brought awareness to the IT and infrastructure teams to how their part played a bigger role in the whole.” —Richie Gass, Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California is one of the state’s largest health plans, serving 4.4 million members who frequently have important questions about eligibility, claim status, enrollment, payments, and finding providers. Great customer care is essential, and a key part of that experience is ensuring that their CX technology systems remain up and running 24x7.

With members often waiting in medical facilities to obtain authorization for needed treatment, immediate response through the IVR is critical.

Prior to using Cyara, Blue Shield’s IT team monitored individual pieces of technology at the
device level, with no clear insight into how each component contributed to the overall customer experience. So, while teams understood in theory the importance of maintaining an IVR that handles over 100,000 calls each day, they had no visibility into the full impact of an issue with voice quality, transaction completion, or IVR function.

Blue Shield equipped its teams with Cyara Pulse as well as the Pulse Mobile app, designed to enable teams to quickly see granular, real-time details about the nature of any failure, including issues that spanned multiple systems. Teams were then able to easily share details of an incident with colleagues responsible for other systems, leading to greater collaboration and more rapid issue resolution. They no longer had to rely on a siloed, device-focused approach; they were able to clearly see the status of activities and prioritize incidents based on their impact to the business.

While this view was incredibly valuable to the IT team for incident management, Blue Shield’s leadership team also benefited from an executive-level dashboard view that provided a quick and efficient way to monitor compliance with regulatory mandates related to customer inquiries. Richie Gass, Blue Shield’s Sr. Manager of Telephony and Conferencing Services, IT, appreciated having the ability to share the right information with the right people:

"My engineers get alerts and the technical details they need to resolve the problem quickly, while my executives get a roll-up to understand the big picture and business performance.”

Improved internal collaboration and visibility has resulted in measurable gains in customer experience, as well as the security of knowing that any technical failures or compliance concerns can be immediately flagged and addressed.

Hear more about Blue Shield’s accomplishments in our interview with Richie Gass.

You can also watch on-demand replays of our Virtual Xchange sessions featuring Capital Group and Healthfirst, plus many of the other Cyara customer success stories we profiled in this blog series.

We’ll be unwrapping the final installment of our 3-part series next week. Stay tuned!