Vertafore Ensures Great CX with NewVoiceMedia
When Steve Cox joined insurance software services provider Vertafore as vice president of customer support in January 2018, he surveyed customers for ways to improve. The company, which is based in Denver and this year marks the 50th anniversary of its founding, already had customer satisfaction scores of 8.7 on a 10-point scale, but Cox knew there was room for improvement.
Based on the feedback he received, Cox established three main goals: to increase CSAT scores, reduce hold times, and expand its omnichannel capabilities. He achieved that and more with contact center software from NewVoiceMedia.
“We really liked [NewVoiceMedia’s] road map; we liked where they were going with their technology, what they were delivering, and it’s been good to work with them as partners to get the best out of the system to deliver for our customers,” Cox says.
With NewVoiceMedia, Vertafore saw its CSAT scores increase from 8.7 to 9.2 in just seven months. “For me, that’s probably the most important statistic. When I think about building any customer support function, I focus everybody on customer satisfaction,” Cox says. “We’re a very customer-centric organization, so CSAT is top of mind for us.”
To motivate contact center agents toward the same goal, Cox’s team launched NewVoiceMedia’s gamification program to focus reps’ attention squarely on customer satisfaction. TV screens throughout the office display customer satisfaction scores, and top-performing agents are rewarded quarterly and annually. NewVoiceMedia allows managers to listen to calls via the whisper feature and coach reps on specific skills that will help them raise their scores.
When it came to reducing hold times, Cox and his team started crunching the numbers and discovered that contact center personnel and other resources were being misallocated. “We took a hard look at the data in NewVoiceMedia to understand our agent availability,” Cox says.
What he found was that reps who were trained on Vertafore’s most popular products were almost always busy while reps who were trained on lesser products had much more free time. To address the discrepancy, the team began to cross-train reps to help on products with higher hold times.
As a result, overall hold times dropped from about 160 seconds to between 35 and 40 seconds, a 125 percent reduction. And in the process, Cox discovered that the contact center was actually overstaffed. He was able to move some reps to other teams, reducing the customer service head count by about 20 percent.
As for expanding the omnichannel capabilities, customers could reach Vertafore via a customer portal, phone lines, email, or chat, but chat in particular wasn’t getting the attention it deserved.
NewVoiceMedia now allows Vertafore to run multiple chat sessions and answer calls simultaneously. In so doing, Vertafore has seen chat interactions increase from 1,000 to 4,000 per quarter.
Going forward, Cox hopes to explore artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities with NewVoiceMedia, which was acquired by cloud telecommunications provider Vonage last September. “When I think about where we want to go next, one of the things we’ve talked to NewVoiceMedia about is doing more around intelligent auto attendants, where people can phone up and, rather than press one or press two, they can talk to [the attendant] and get routed to [specific agents] based on specific problems. There’s a good opportunity with some of the AI and ML stuff to be able to use voice-based call routing to give our customers another option and another opportunity to get a better experience.”
Since deploying NewVoiceMedia in its contact center, Vertafore has done the following:
- increased CSAT scores from 8.7 to 9.2;
- reduced hold times from about 160 seconds to between 35 and 40 seconds, a 125 percent reduction;
- decreased contact center staffing by 20 percent; and
- increased chat interactions from 1,000 to 4,000 per quarter.