Customers had their own way of talking about their healthcare that was often at odds with how the insurance companies whose insurance we sold, wanted information from them. So I initiated a project to design a call center interface to help customers talk with the sales reps about their healthcare in the whatever way they they thought about it. I wanted their conversation to be as easy as one they might have with a friend at a cafe - with the outcome to the company of greater customer engagement and longer term relationships.
And, of course, with the outcome to the customer of higher confidence in their insurance to cover them and that there was always someone at eHealth they could talk with if they needed more help.
I sat in a large number of calls at the call center and saw customers quickly giving up telling their story to get in line with the insurance sales script. You could see them become disconnected to the process as they realized they were expected to passively respond to questions. The clear message to them was that no one wanted to listen to them talk about what they needed and what had happened to them up to the point of calling eHealth for advice on choosing health insurance.
Stats showed that they often did get through the agents questions though, and an application was submitted. Money was made but only once. Data showed it was doubtful the customer would remember the agent's company the next time they needed insurance since the data did not show a strong metric for returning customers.
And worse, judging from their tone of customer's voice at the end, they finished the call thinking that buying health insurance was still a baffling and complex process that they wouldn't ever really understand.
I thought it would be a better experience for our customers if enrolling in an insurance plan was more like having a conversation with a friend over coffee.
I imagined one person telling a story and the other person asking questions and offering their own thoughts along the way. Wouldn't that be better than forcing them through a script?
It would make the eHealth brand come to life.
We'd create an enduring relationship with the customer.
So I did the following.
I created an product that had three interfaces or layers:
• Conversation layer
• Text Layer
• Form Layer
Through the Conversation Layer, a second agent, the Coaching Agent, would coach the Sales Agent on the phone. AI would also be listening in using sentiment analysis tools to analyze the emotions of both the sales agent and the customer. Via meters in the Conversation Layer, the agents would know when either the Customer or Sales Agent was becoming testy or excited. And the text layer would show exactly where.
The Text Layer uses natural language processing (NLP) to capture the conversation in a real-time text flow. The primary purpose is to help the coaching agent see information that might have been over-looked. The Conversation Layer and Form Layer are panels over the Text Layer which can be slid to the side for a full view of the Text Layer
The Form Layer allows the coaching agent or the sales agent to pull in information as it appears in the conversation and put it into the provider's enrollment form.
What is truly innovative in this tool is the design for the drag and drop field.
Rather than the Coaching Agent seeing a word or praphase they want in a moving stream of words, having to highlight it and then paste it back into the relevant field, they can quickly drag the field itself over the word or phrase they want and drop it. The AI in the app will know what to grab and automatically populate the form field. This solution is not only several times faster than copying and pasting out of a text stream, but the speed at which this is done allows the Coaching Agent to quickly catch up to the conversation between the customer and the Sales Agent.
You can see this working in the video prototype below.
The tool is now moving into refinement at eHealth. Additionally the team is considering applying for a patent.