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This article was written and contributed by our partner, Five9.

As a global strategic partner for companies in health and life sciences, this organization handles nearly 1 million interactions annually and operates two physical contact centers staffed by on-site agents. This challenged the organization with the usual maintenance costs and overall rigidity of an on-premises system, plus employee fatigue and lack of agent accountability for performance.

"We had to spend so much time managing the technology staff just to keep things up and running, and that made us less responsive," explains a company SVP. "We were just focused on keeping the lights on."

When the pandemic escalated, the healthcare partner decided that it needed to pivot — and Five9 was ready to help it modernize.

Under the guidance of Five9 experts, the healthcare partner successfully made the leap to a cloud-based contact center. Today, the company employs more than 900 agents, all of whom operate remotely with the help of Five9 technology. 

In remodeling its communications infrastructure, the healthcare partner achieved dramatic improvements in both the efficiency of its call center operations and the way it engages with clients and partners.

"Our team has really become more consultative and solution-oriented, which has allowed us to have a deeper partnership model with our clients," says the SVP. "They expect us to bring expertise and innovative thinking to the table instead of just thinking of us as a back-office function."

Empowering Employees with Flexibility

The healthcare partner reports that its agents are more productive and much happier since moving to the cloud. In particular, the remote work flexibility has emerged as a critical option for its workforce. The healthcare partner no longer feels the strain of an on- premises system capping the number and restricting the location of its hires.

"We've pivoted our hiring strategy to hire staff anywhere in the United States — a strategic shift," explains the company's Senior Vice President. "Five9 played a large part. It would be impossible, or at least very difficult, to set up an on-premises solution to support such a national staffing footprint."

Saving, Reinvesting, and Expanding

Since moving to the cloud, the healthcare partner has achieved both radical cost savings and operational improvements. Without the burden of physical server costs, it was able to expand its agent count from 400 to 900.

The healthcare partner is now exceeding all SLA targets. Most of its interactions are by phone. The combination of Five9 Quality Management to monitor inbound calls and Five9 Auto Dialer to streamline outbound calls combines to beat its SLAs.

"There was a big fear when everyone went remote, not having that physical presence meant SLAs would fall off a cliff," explains the SVP. "But we actually saw the opposite. And we've seen that increase hold true."

Five9 technology has facilitated massive growth for the healthcare partner's operations. "We launched a global contact center in less than 12 weeks with agents in 50 countries, all on the Five9 backbone," reports the SVP. "For us, the speed of implementing the technology is such a massive improvement over what we would have been able to do prior."

The integration with Salesforce has helped increase agent productivity, providing a single solution for agents to focus on. With a screen popup integrated directly within the Salesforce environment, client information automatically appears for the agents to understand who is calling prior to engaging — helping to provide a more personalized client experience.

"Salesforce is our source of truth for all our client information," says the SVP. "For Five9 to integrate directly into that makes the lives of our agents much easier, as they can focus on a single application that they are already familiar with."

Unlocking 24/7 Customer Service

The healthcare partner intends to continue working with Five9 and WWT as part of its strategic growth plans and use the savings it has achieved to reinvest in similar projects.

As it continues its digital transformation, it will be able to achieve what it once considered impossible. Due to the sensitive and timely nature of many health-based interactions, it had long aspired to deliver 24/7 responsiveness. But the costs of staffing a physical contact center around the clock weren't feasible. Five9 and the cloud have removed that limitation.

Meanwhile, the healthcare partner plans to implement Five9 Intelligent Virtual Agent to enable customer self-service, omnichannel interactions, and limitless service hours. "We look at IVA as allowing our expanded coverage to really be 24/7," says the SVP.

"For basic questions that require highly repetitive, rigid responses, we can offload engagements from our human team onto the IVA, which can quickly respond to them," says the SVP. "IVA better manages either first call resolution or important situations where we need to escalate to a live person who might be on another call but can still engage through an IVA mechanism."

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