Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Police Health is Australia's only private health insurer run by police, for police. Established in 1935 in Adelaide, the organisation has grown across the country and now serves police staff, officers and their families in all states and territories.
Police Health's underlying fund is managed by a team of health insurance professionals which operates under the direction of a Board of Directors. The organisation currently provides services to more than 50,000 members.
As Police Health has grown during the past decade, the number of calls handled by its Adelaide-based contact centre has continued to climb. Handling queries from members around the country, the facility acts as the nerve centre of the organisation.
The facility is staffed by 25 customer service agents who handle everything from questions about membership to medical claims payments and benefits. About two years ago, with call volumes continuing to climb, the organisation realised the centre's infrastructure was in need of a significant upgrade.
"We had been relying on a very basic, business-grade phone system which could receive calls but that was about it," says Police Health's Digital Solutions Analyst Garth Walker. "Because of its configuration, we found that if all our agents were busy there was no ability to queue calls and so members were getting a busy signal. This was a far from ideal situation."
Centre operations were also limited to one physical location. This was highlighted during one instance when a police incident closed access to the building, preventing staff from getting to work. "Member's calls were going unanswered because we simply couldn't get into the centre," says Walker. "We realised we needed a more flexible approach to prevent this from occurring again in the future.
Walker says the organisation was also keen to have more insight into call volumes and how agents were handling workloads. This would, in turn, allow better scheduling of rosters and ensure agents were always available during times of peak demand.
Police Health retained the services of QPC to assist in the task of finding a suitable replacement platform for the contact centre. QPC worked to scope out requirements and then evaluate a short list of potential vendors.
"The importance that we place on personal service meant that we knew we didn't want a system that would require people to press 1, 2 or 3 and then get an agent who transfers them to someone else," says Walker. "From the outset, we wanted a platform that could ensure that those high levels of personal service are delivered for members."
After examining alternatives, the Police Health IT team initially selected Customer Interaction Centre from Interactive Intelligence. It was felt the fully-featured platform would provide all the capabilities the organisation required as well as headroom for future expansion.
"However, after consideration and consultation with QPC, we instead opted to deploy Interactive Intelligence's PureCloud solution," says Walker. "We realised Interactive Intelligence had been able to take the key features of CIC and put them into a cloud platform which would suit our requirements very well.
"With PureCloud, all the features we required were available 'out of the box' and it was able to be quickly deployed. We signed a contract in June 2016 and the system was operational within six weeks."
After testing the new platform with a small pilot group of agents, it was quickly rolled out across the contact centre.
Once the PureCloud platform was fully operational, Police Health quickly began to enjoy some significant business benefits. “The visibility we now have over the call centre queues has meant we’ve see the Average call wait times reduce and we have consistency met or exceeded our Target Service Level.”
"We have also enjoyed some significant cost savings as a result of shifting to the PureCloud platform," says Walker. "Our previous on premise solution meant we had expensive call rates, and to maintain investment in infrastructure. However we have now been able to achieve cost reductions of around 10 per cent as a result of lower call rates and improved user licensing. We are able to dial up and down our PureCloud licences as agent numbers change."
Because PureCloud is cloud based, contact centre staff are now able to work from virtually any location. Walker says that, if there was another incident that prevented access to the building, they would be able to work from another office or even from home.
"We also have much better visibility of centre staff and can obtain detailed reports of how agents are interacting with members," he says. "This is helping to drive cultural change and improve our levels of customer service."
Walker says PureCloud has now been rolled out beyond the contact centre to other parts of the organisation. Staff from senior managers to the front desk are using the platform to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively.
Future plans include integrating PureCloud with the organisation's CRM and private health insurance applications. This will streamline the way agent’s access membership information and deal with queries.