At Pegaworld, Speakers Call for More Human Customer Interactions
LAS VEGAS — Organizations that wish to successfully serve their customers must gain access to insights that allow them to act quickly, consistently meet the demands that each scenario calls for in a human manner, and continually evolve their technological capabilities, speakers stressed on day one of Pegasystems' annual user conference here. "If you put those three things together in a comprehensive approach—the insight, the action, and the ability to change, so that the businesspeople can get involved in understanding the dynamics of the changes—you're able to hit a brave new day," and repair broken customer experiences, Alan Trefler, CEO and founder of Pegasystems, told the 3,500 in attendance at the MGM Grand.
Such notions are proving true in healthcare, an industry in which "time is of the essence," according to Jeroen Tas, CEO of connected care and health informatics at Philips. Tas said that the strongest diagnoses can only be concluded via deep knowledge of the patient, "because we're all complex systems; we're all unique." The company has begun uniting its Healthsuite cloud platform with Pegasystems' Care Management application to equip healthcare providers with the tools they need to stay informed of their patients' status. For instance, by leveraging data that can be tracked from connected devices and other sources in Philips's arsenal, doctors can monitor any irregular activity and assess it to see if a patient is at risk; they can also ensure that patients are taking their medications when they're supposed to.
"We're looking at network care with you at the center, where in real time, you're connected to your caregivers, [and] you're connected to the sensors that help you live a better life," Tas said. "We believe that by creating human centers that are outcome-oriented, we can all align behind this, and we're going to create the ecosystem to do it, because Pega is using our software, and we're using their software—we're using our collective relationships to together create a new world of care and health."
Tas highlighted the benefits of the programs Philips has piloted: a 26 percent reduction in care costs, a 52 percent reduction in patient readmissions, and a 67 percent reduction in emergency care. "We're not talking about a couple of percentage points," Tas stressed. "We're talking huge changes to what we can do in health." Tas added that 90 percent of those patients feel that they have better control over their well being.
In a press meeting, Tas mentioned that currently 700,000 patients are using its Lifeline device, and that the company intends to extend that to "millions of patients."
The German insurance company Allianz Health has also realized that it must evolve its systems to accommodate changing customer preferences. Birgit Konig, the company's CEO, noted that even for a 125-year-old outfit, it's important to simplify processes that are seen as tedious, or unnecessarily complex, as customers' expectations are influenced by other industries that provide them with good experiences. The "customer is not interested in insurance whatsoever," Konig said during a press conference. But, increasingly, customers will hold insurance to the same standards as those younger and more appealing companies. The challenge has been to maintain the reliability and stability of its core systems, while also evolving the systems the customer must interact with. According to Konig, Pegasystems has enabled Allianz to connect front- and back-office systems systems to inform each other and deliver quicker experiences.
Representatives from Pegasystems elaborated on its acquisition of OpenSpan, announced earlier this year, and demonstrated the ways in which it can automate repeated desktop processes to enable better service interactions. For instance, if customer service agents making a change of address have to toggle through screens to do so, the system can understand what that repeated activity is and set up a short cut. Freed up from such processes, agents can focus on providing better customer service.
According to Don Schuerman, chief technology officer and vice president of product marketing at Pegasystems, such automations involve figuring out what the customer is trying to achieve and rethinking "processes from the customer's perspective."
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