​Police Health heads to the cloud for customer contact overhaul

Insurance firm Police Health adopted Interactive Intelligence's PureCloud solution to bring its contact centre out of the 1930s and into the digital age.

Established in 1935, Police Health is Australia's only private health insurer run by police, for police. The organisation started in Adelaide, South Australia, and has since spread across the country to now serve more than 50,000 members including police staff, officers, and their families.

Garth Walker, digital solutions analyst at Police Health, explained that as the organisation grew, so too did the number of phone calls handled by its Adelaide-based contact centre.

Around two years ago, with call volumes continuing to climb, the organisation realised that 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," Walker said. "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."

Although organisations are moving to web-based platforms for communicating with customers, Walker told ZDNet that Police Health did not want to write off phone contact, as many of the organisation's customers still prefer to make a phone call.

The problem for Police Health therefore wasn't the communication medium; it was the old systems the organisation still had in place.

"We were operating a contact centre using a small business solution that in and of itself wasn't particularly smart -- you couldn't get a lot of data around how our customers were interacting with us, how efficient we were," Walker said.

Walker said 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 that agents were always available during times of peak demand.

Police Health called in contact solutions firm QPC to assist in finding a suitable replacement platform.

Walker's team, with the help of QPC, selected Interactive Intelligence's PureCloud solution.

"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," he said.

"Moving to PureCloud totally revolutionised the ability for us to get information on how customers trusted us, so it's helped us become more efficient in dealing with customer enquirers."

As a result, the organisation now has visibility over the contact centre, and is able to see how long customers are on hold or waiting in queue, which is one key advantage.

"We can now also track how effective our staff are being and how responsive they're being to customer enquirers as well," he said. "It's given us workforce management options.

"We wanted to make sure the solution enables us and enables our staff to quickly prioritise calls over the phone and keep that quality of customer service."

Walker said PureCloud has now been rolled out beyond the contact centre to other parts of the organisation, with Police Health's executive team also using the platform.

Looking forward, Police Health is looking into integrating PureCloud with the organisation's CRM and private health insurance applications, which is expected to streamline the way agents access membership information and deal with queries.

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