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Leading organizations are simplifying customer service and delivering great customer experiences using an agile transformation strategy

Fortuné Alexander, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

For many organizations, 2020 was a COVID-driven, make-or-break year. Customer contact centers and customer service agents, inundated with calls and emails, struggled to provide service and keep up with massive increases in volume. And business leaders had to react quickly to adapt operations for remote, distributed work. At PegaWorld iNspire 2021, we heard how organizations like CNO Financial Group and Truist successfully transformed their customer service during this disruptive time.In every case, an agile approach to digitalizing operations created immediate impact and provided resiliency for future challenges.

As COVID-related furloughs and shutdowns created situations of financial worry and instability for many families, Truist, the sixth largest bank holding company in the U.S., began receiving more than 10,000 customer calls per day from customers seeking mortgage relief. Staffing increases alone were not enough to handle the 82% increase in volume, and – like most businesses – Truist had to shift many of their workers to remote setups. Truist’s leaders realized that responding effectively to such a large uptick in volume required different thinking and rapid change. They needed to move customer interactions online and toward digital channels, and they needed to scale their processing capabilities – fast. Truist had strong back-end systems, however the information stored in those systems wasn’t connected to front-end, customer portals.

Within four weeks, they were able to use Pega’s low-code tools to stand up a new system that made it easier for customers to interact with them online and for them to process large batches of similar requests – all while reducing loan request processing time from upwards of 120 minutes to only five seconds per loan, capturing and recording the outputs of those processes in multiple systems of record, and bringing a new agility to the application development process. “We were able to provide a simple and streamlined outlet for clients to seek financial assistance from the Truist family,” said Chris White, SVP and Head of Client Default operations. “Not to downplay the technology or the application, but when you hear the calls from struggling clients, you realize how important it was for us to get this right.”

It used to take four or five different applications for agents at CNO Financial Group to respond to a customer inquiry. Not only was this a subpar experience for employees and customers, but it took a long time to train agents to become proficient in system knowledge. With some of these disparate, aging systems up to 15 years old, CNO Financial Group needed a back-office transformation that would simplify customer services in the contact center and beyond.

Replacing multiple policy admin platforms, two contact center applications, a workflow system, knowledge management, and other call management tools required an agile approach. First, they created a common set of policy and customer information screens to provide critical customer info in a consistent way – a “single pane of glass” concept. Then they took advantage of the built-in functionalities in Pega Customer Service™ for Insurance to build out the steps needed to initiate an interaction, find relevant info, document, and wrap up. As they incrementally built out and released new features and functions every few weeks – like automatic call documentation, eSignature integration, and robust reporting – they were able to transition from legacy systems. “Once we had our data sourced and the integrations to our back-end platforms in place, we were able to move quickly to develop new workflows,” said Whitney Fisher, Pega’s Product Owner for CNO Financial Group’s customer service functions. “Our teammates from the CNO IT team and from our implementation partner, Cognizant, helped ensure we leveraged the Pega Customer Service for Insurance framework to accelerate delivery and keep us between the guardrails.”

Pega orchestrates and automates your service processes so you can deliver great customer experiences

What we’ve learned from each of these customer stories is, even in short timeframes and under heavy volumes and complicated circumstances, a low-code, agile approach to digital transformation can improve the overall experience for:

  • Customers – Reducing friction that prevents fast, easy service in their preferred channel.
  • Employees – Removing friction and orchestrating and automating work itself (not just workflow) so they can focus on the customers, not the processes.
  • IT teams – Making it easier to configure and update apps with low-code tools for greater agility.

Watch more PegaWorld iNspire replays and get the inside info from brand leaders on how they are successfully simplifying service, boosting revenue, and improving the end-user experiences for customers and employees.


Product Area: Customer Service Topic: Customer Service

About the Author

As Product Marketing Director for Pega Customer Service™, Fortuné Alexander helps the world’s largest brands modernize their enterprise systems to simplify service and deliver outstanding customer experiences.

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