Speech Technology Magazine

 

The 2015 Speech Industry Implementation Awards: Rx Outreach

By Michele Masterson - Posted Aug 7, 2015
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Customer: Rx Outreach

Vendor: VoltDelta

Products: Delta Dialog IVR voice self-service and speech recognition, and DeltaCast outbound/inbound automation

Rx Outreach is the biggest nonprofit prescription medication assistance company in the United States. The company began in 2004 as a subsidiary of Express Scripts, and was spun off in 2010. To date, it has provided more than 400 different prescription medications at deep discounts or no cost to more than 150,000 clients who have restricted insurance coverage or no coverage, or who are underinsured.

Based in St. Louis, the company employs 40 to 50 call center agents who handle 60,000 to 70,000 calls per month. These customer reps take prescription orders and must also verify financial information and adhere to government-mandated privacy and security regulations.

"Rx Outreach needed a communications infrastructure that would allow us to more effectively reach and respond to a population of clients that deserves—but sometimes feels that they do not get—exceptional customer care," says Jeff Clark, the company's chief information officer.

Starting in 2013, the company began experiencing phone outages and needed a platform that could scale and handle increased call volume during peak hours. Another major issue was misdirected calls. "One of the things that the company was concerned about was more effectively routing its callers through the IVR and get[ting] them to the right agent queue as quickly as possible," says Todd Schmeer, director of speech application services at VoltDelta, who oversaw Rx Outreach's deployment of its Delta Dialog IVR application in June 2014.

"There is nothing more important than a patient taking their medications on time," Clark says. "Their health and well-being depend on it."

Delta Dialog's voice self-service solution employs speech combined with a voice user interface design. Immediately after implementing the solution, Rx Outreach saw voice self-service automation increase to 32 percent from 20 percent to 25 percent, eventually accounting for 36 percent of calls every month.

"Immediately we experienced stability," Clark says. "Agents reported that the system was easy to use and patients were able to get what they needed without disruption."

Speech recognition was another issue; customers calling in need to be prequalified for acceptance and have to provide personal information, but the company's old speech recognition engine could not always process what was being said. VoltDelta's IVR included speech recognition with greater accuracy. "[After deployment, such] problem areas related to speech recognition…disappeared," Clark says.

The prescription provider also requested a new outbound/inbound system and deployed VoltDelta's DeltaCast solution, which generates automated campaigns. Now Rx Outreach customers receive calls when their prescriptions are shipped or when they need to refill or renew prescriptions. The result is less inbound call volume and increased medication fulfillment.

And since Rx Outreach has already reached out to the subscriber, the company has contextual information—patient profiles, prescription IDs, and other information—already available, streamlining interactions when customers do call in.

"This IVR has a tremendous amount of checks early on in the call flow," Schmeer explains. "It tries to intelligently make decisions about what the caller might be calling about. We can retrieve a profile by going through a list of [identifiers] that the customer is likely calling about."

Clark says that with Delta Dialog IVR, the number of callers able to use self-service to completion has increased from 5 percent to 10 percent. An Rx Outreach phone survey indicated a 5 percent increase in customer satisfaction, climbing from 88 percent to 93 percent.

In late March, Rx Outreach added VoltDelta's WhisperTel solution, which plays a prerecorded audio tag for the agent just before a caller is connected. The tag identifies where the call flow stopped prior to transfer so agents can serve callers more efficiently.

"We continually look for more affordable ways to deliver our services in any case," Clark says. "I'd do it all over again; I only wish I'd made the move sooner."

THE RESULTS

Following the implementation of VoltDelta's Dialog IVR solution, Rx Outreach saw:

  • calls completed without agent assistance increase from 5 percent to 10 percent;
  • voice self-service automation increase to between 32 percent and 36 percent of calls;
  • overall self-service prescription refill and re-enrollment rates rise; and
  • a 5 percent increase in customer satisfaction, from 88 percent to 93 percent.

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