How to Automate for the Unpredictable

Flexibility in case management is critical to ensure customer service experiences run smoothly.

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Wham! You lurch forward in your car, but your seatbelt holds, and your car’s airbags deploy. You’re shaken up, but OK. Soon, you’re exchanging license and registration information with the distracted motorist who rear-ended you. Then the police and a tow truck appear, and your car is off to the body shop.

But a few weeks later, you’re not OK. You’ve got some serious pain in your back and neck, so you go into urgent care. It turns out you’ll need surgery, plus medication for the pain. And your troubles are only beginning. Because your pain didn’t appear right away, your health insurance provider will have to vet your case for fraud. That means input from doctors and the police – and a background check on you – will be needed. Although your auto and health insurance companies are handling your claims, will their employees working from home during the pandemic be able to access the information they need to handle your cases?

While people are slowly returning to offices, local lockdowns, pockets of COVID variants and ongoing international uncertainty are likely to mean a more hybrid approach to work locations — and not just in the short term. This uncertainly requires organizations such as in the auto and health insurance industries to start implementing cloud-based, dynamic case-management solutions. It enables organizations – and not just insurance companies, but also government agencies, retailers, banks, and more – to respond in real time to customer needs and provide an extraordinary customer experience. For efficiency’s sake, automation handles much of the interaction, but not all of it. Customer contact staff is empowered to make decisions at key points if the right workflow technology is in place and they have accurate and timely information at their fingertips.

According to research firm Omdia, survey respondents rated the typical pain points [1] that case management software is designed to address:

  • 69% Difficulty and length of time taken to share information and documents between departments or sites
  • 63% Ineffective handling of customer inquiries or complaints
  • 60% Lack of visibility and/or reporting into the status of knowledge-driven work
  • 59% The length of time taken to process documents
  • 57% Bottlenecks in processes
  • 57% An inability to provide customers and potential customers with speedy responses
  • 56% Security issues
  • 31% Staff having to toggle between multiple applications to fulfill a request, respond to an incident, or conduct an investigation
  • 24% Manually entering the same information into multiple systems

The pandemic’s acceleration of digital business transformation and the shift to remote work has caused many organizations to seek a cloud-based case management solution to:

  • automate manual processes
  • empower multiple stakeholders
  • streamline collaboration
  • provide access to a variety of data types, and
  • adapt to changing workflow patterns in real time

The auto accident scenario above is just one example. Consider a bank handling a mortgage application. Many banks follow a pre-defined workflow for such transactions, but what happens if a hurricane hits and the applicant is suddenly out of work? Rather than automatically reject the application, a better business practice would be to consider the applicant’s temporary cash-flow disruption by creating an exception requiring approval of the bank’s loan supervisor. It’s a logical step, but if a bank is using a rigid workflow program, it might not be possible.

Too often, automated customer interaction works only when all customers and all interactions are alike. But they’re not: People are different; circumstances change; a new piece of information leads to the creation of a new task and the involvement of a new person. Workflows must be flexible.

Today, customers expect things to just work. When they engage with your company, they expect resolution of their issue on first contact. If it doesn’t happen, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

OpenText Digital Process Automation solutions give customer service staff a holistic view of information, even when working remotely, so they can make better decisions and be more productive. Most important: Customers get the service they need – and deserve.

For more information, visit  OpenText Digital Process Automation

[1] Source: Omdia, “Gaining the Best Business Value from Case Management”, March 26, 2019

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.