People move fast in the modern age and customers are demanding increasing availability from companies. Organizations are now expected to have service representatives available around the clock, as well as accessible via a variety of communications channels.
The insurance industry is one such sector where companies pride themselves on response times. The nature of their client base means that frequent emergency communications are essential. According to Insurance and Technology contributors Mike Ary and Mike Mallahan, the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has upped the need for proper connectivity.
“Historically, contact center management emphasized reduced operational costs,” they wrote. “This cost-control focus led to advanced self-service solutions that reduced the need for human interaction and agents to service customers. This approach has been effective for Insurance Industry contact centers, but with the implementation of PPACA the need for human interaction is trending up. When dealing with significant changes like those related to PPACA, many customers prefer to speak with a live agent.”
Insurance organizations have to embrace the cloud if they wish to remain competitive in the industry. Like other industries, these companies are finding that the only way to provide effective service is to take their customer service telecom initiatives into the cloud. Insurance providers can enjoy new levels of client satisfaction, productivity and innovation simply by outfitting contact centers with custom highly reliable solutions.
Global IT Spending On The Rise
Beyond the insurance sector, organizations all over the world are taking an increasing interest in updating their telecom assets. According to Gartner Research vice presidents Richard Gordon and John-David Lovelock, total global spending on IT will reach $3.75 trillion dollars in 2014. This represents a growth of 2.1 percent since 2013.
“Global IT is in a transition from the era of IT industrialization – where efficiency and effectiveness were the hallmarks – to an era of digitalization and digital business,” Gordon and Lovelock wrote for Forbes. “Digital business is about the creation of new business designs by blurring the physical and digital world. It is about the interaction and negotiations between people, business and things.”
There is little doubt that customer service professionals are some of the biggest reasons for these continued investments. Help desk employees are often considered to be the face of the company. In the digital age, there is far greater visibility than there has ever been historically; successes and failures are more public than they were ever intended. One negative hashtag on Twitter, for example, could lead to a boycott of services and loss of business. This is why representatives need to have the tools that will allow them to be flexible, agile and accurate in their responses.
Cloud Unified Communications Becoming Status Quo
According to InformationWeek contributor Marty Parker, “Enterprises in all industries have started embracing this new communications model to cut costs and improve their businesses.” Part of the reason are advanced analytic capabilities and custom reporting tools that can be successfully integrated with these new systems.
Ary and Mallahan believe that analytics and proper communications are naturally complementary to each other. “Data that can be quickly processed and communicated to users in real-time is an essential source of management information in a contact center,” they wrote. “Combining real-time data sources with near real-time metrics, historical trend data and related customer data the outcome is meaningful and actionable intelligence. Armed with the right information at a glance, contact center managers can quickly identify problems at a regional, site or agent team levels, and recognize trends impacting service level and exceptional performance.”
Insurance Companies Need Cloud Communications
There is a lot on the line for insurance companies. When dealing with large sums of money and the potential well-being of others, these organizations need to be reachable and responsive at a moment’s notice. Insurance providers need to be capable of providing top-notch service to their clients, and it is increasingly being realized that cloud communications are the perfect fit for these requirements.