Most call centers rely on some level of back-office operations in order to service customers, but insurance companies do so even more than most. This may involve accounts payable or receivable, claims processing, shipping or other departments whose work will affect the quality of customer service offered by the contact center. Because of this, it’s critical that productivity levels in the back office match those in the call center, or agents will wind up putting off callers because they don’t have answers for them.
According to a recent blog post on workforce optimization solution provider NICE Systems’ (News - Alert) Customer Interactions blog, it’s common for productivity rates in back-office claims processing environments to hover around 50 percent, compared to productivity rates as high as 85 percent in other parts of the organization, including the call center.
This mismatch will eventually cause a lot of delays and drag down the quality of customer service. So how do you ensure that the back office is working to the same standards as the call center? The answer may lie in monitoring back-office functions as carefully as you do call center operations.
By monitoring desktop activity and making a few simple changes to their claims processes, according to NICE, call centers can make incremental changes that can bring big dividends to companies willing to start the process of achieving more competitive productivity rates.
Another tactic includes using workforce management solutions for back-office procedures as well as in the contact center. This way, you can both forecast and proactively manage back-office processes, creating schedules that billing or claims processing personnel must stick to or risk being out of compliance. It’s also a great way to ensure that you’re not overstaffing or understaffing back-office departments.
Solutions such as NICE’s Back Office Suite can essentially extend front office operational efficiency – such as that pursued in the contact center -- into back office environments. It automates manual processes, integrates data from employees’ desktops, improves forecast accuracy, enables managers to view and manage resource capacity, and empowers employees to improve their performance. It also provides tools to ensure regulatory compliance, and ultimately, elevate the level of service customers receive across the entire enterprise.
By applying call center-based workforce management and scheduling processes and techniques to the back office, companies can ensure that the workflows match one another, and that the back-office is ready to provide answers to questions the call center poses. This can boost customer satisfaction and improve contact center metrics significantly with little cost and effort expenditure on the part of the organization.
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