Develop: Rethink and rebuild at the intersection of people and process


Sutherland Editorial

In the development stage of Sutherland’s Design Develop Deliver process transformation solution, we employ technology to challenge legacies without losing sight of the human goal of optimized customer experience.

The Develop stage means it’s time to rethink and rebuild at the intersection of people and process. With a 360-degree view of a client’s customer base, we examine entrenched processes, remove inefficiencies and rebuild the customer experience. We begin with industry-leading data analytics and take a technology-agnostic view toward the goal – exceptional user experience.

Clients can leverage our investments in analytics, digitization, artificial intelligence and automation and benefit from our rigorous, precise approach to re-engineering process. All front-, middle- and back-office systems get modernized.

As an example, Sutherland helped recently a leading European airline that developed a reputation for poor customer service. The crux of the problem – The airline client could not provide a uniform omni-channel customer experience. This led to low customer satisfaction rates and high customer attrition. At the same time, the client had a fragmented and inconsistent view of its customers, which caused high turnaround times for customer interactions.

We overhauled the airline’s customer experience process and technology systems, developing a solution that drew in part from the airline’s employees and their experiences. We then designed, developed and deployed a Microsoft integrated, dynamic customer relationship management solution.

We created a unified 360-degree view of the client’s customers, removed existing siloes and redefined the customer experience though seamless omni-channel integration. We integrated channel solutions for chat, call, social media, email, and web with the customer relationship management solution to provide a consistent experience.

Following deployment, the airline’s average call-handling time dropped 32 percent and its first-call resolution rose 17 percent.

The U.S. government healthcare coding mandate brought another opportunity the rethink and rebuild.

Like all American healthcare providers, Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Health had to transition to ICD-10 coding by fall 2015 and they looked to Sutherland for help. That’s the coding system doctors and other health-care professionals use to classify diseases, symptoms and procedures. The nation’s hospitals stressed over budget shortfalls, system failures, potentially significant reimbursement delays and costly penalties. While Palomar Health also shared those concerns, it faced a big decision – handle the coding transition in-house or outsource with no guarantee of success. Either choice meant a significant, up-front investment, yet neither option would give Palomar Health the flexibility needed for an unpredictable transition that would bring personnel and outcome fluctuations.

We developed a customized, end-to-end solution that took responsibility for all the client’s coding functions, which helped it increase staff for the ICD-10 transition at no additional cost. That multi-pronged solution for Palomar included a centralized, single-source, U.S.-based management to ensure seamless delivery across geographic locations and an on-demand dashboard and weekly reporting to provide total transparency into productivity and output.

Palomar’s unbilled accounts dropped nearly 76 percent to $17 million, coder production jumped from 65 percent to 95 percent and coder quality rose from 68 percent to 96 percent.

But as Sutherland client Guardian Group notes, technology is not the primary drive of process transformation.

“Working with Sutherland’s model of process transformation allows us to marry available technologies with human centricity,” Guardian Group Chief Operating Officer Paul Traboulay said. “These technologies allow us to become much more agile in connecting with our customer base, which provides significant advantages moving forward. We are now able to provide customer convenience driven by people and supported by technology."

With legacies challenged successfully, rethinking and rebuilding and inefficiencies eliminated, Sutherland’s three-step process transformation really shines. This is where we Deliver.