Omada Health's innovative approach to patient care
Omada Health reduced its time per ticket by 2 minutes with an omnichannel solution from Zendesk.
First call resolution rate
CSAT for patient support
Each year the United States spends about $2.7 trillion—yes, trillion—on health care, a staggering figure driven largely by the cost of treating chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
For many patients, changing lifelong bad habits can be particularly difficult, especially when doing so requires meeting in-person with a counselor. That’s why Omada Health takes a different approach: the San Francisco-based company delivers digital diabetes and chronic disease prevention programs, making it easier for patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and stick with it. The company offers its prevention program through web and mobile apps and wearable technologies, aided by human health coaches.
Omada Health’s mission to conquer chronic disease may be clear-cut, but its customer service challenges were anything but. Four support teams serve a wide customer base that includes program participants, the employers and health care plan providers that sponsor them, and health coaches. Add internal employee IT needs to that mix, and there’s a lot of people to take care of.
As the company grew, its original customer support software provider, Help Scout, began to show signs of serious strain. Poor voice integration, limited metrics, and the inability to integrate with Omada Health’s own platform were hamstringing the company’s efforts to provide seamless service.
“We wrote some custom code to allow an inbound phone call to be identified out of our internal database, except it didn’t work very well,” explained Bill Dougherty, vice president of IT and security. Even when the custom code did work, it didn’t automatically populate the ticket with the caller’s data. Agents would often need several minutes to identify the correct caller in another system before they could begin resolving a ticket, leading to frustration on both sides of the conversation.
By early 2017, Omada Health realized that it had another pressing issue to solve: the health care providers and businesses that it serves were demanding better reports around service levels, response times, and dropped or abandoned call rates. The support team kicked off an RFP process for a new solution and quickly narrowed their choices down to Zendesk and their existing CRM vendor.
“We were looking for something that was more robust and that we could easily integrate into our core application,” Dougherty said. “We also wanted a solution that would help us improve our service quality and speed, and that would better enable people to work remotely.”
It was Zendesk’s native phone support solution, Zendesk Talk, more sophisticated out-of-the-box reporting, and flexible API that led the team to select the Zendesk omnichannel solution. “Beyond that, I think we had 10-15 people look at both user interfaces and they unanimously decided that the Zendesk UI and workflows were better suited to how we wanted to run support,” he said.
There was another key factor—even though Omada Health’s commercial team uses a CRM tool, the team wanted a best in breed solution for its support software. Dougherty added, “CRMs with bolted-on support capabilities weren’t good enough. Zendesk is a support tool from its birth. We wanted something that was really built around good email support processes, and Zendesk was the obvious choice.”
Omada Health engaged the Zendesk Professional Services team to roll out 5 instances of Zendesk Support, Guide, and Talk for its participant support, customer support, health coach support, marketing insights and internal IT needs.
Making the switch immediately impacted agent productivity. Omada Health receives over 6,000 contacts each month and customization via the Zendesk API allowed Omada Health to immediately ID each participant and display their pertinent records within Zendesk.
“We took a two-minute support process, identifying and validating inbound contacts, and reduced it to mere seconds,” Dougherty said. “I no longer have to fumble around and make sure I’m dealing with the correct customer. At scale, that’s a full-time employee worth of time.”
Aided by the newfound ability to track metrics like abandoned calls and time-on-ticket, and to prioritize tickets based on service level agreements, the team now boasts a 95 percent first touch resolution rate with phone calls and 85 percent first touch resolution rate across all channels. From a management and training perspective, Dougherty appreciates the call recording functionality, as well as the fact that agents can now take calls from outside the office.
“The ability to listen to the call has been huge,” he said. “Previously, we could look at things like satisfaction rates on an agent and try to infer from what was written in a ticket what happened, but now we actually know because we can listen to the call.”
The bulk of the company’s total support volume comes from participants and their employers or healthcare providers, mostly via email, though about 12 percent of participants prefer to call.
Another big win was transforming the participant application process. When users first apply to Omada Health, they are automatically accepted or rejected based on certain criteria, but borderline cases need to be manually handled by agents. Before Zendesk, agents were monitoring two distinct queues—one for applications and another for incoming tickets. Without time-tracking, it was difficult to measure which queue was claiming the lion’s share of an agent’s time.
Through a custom integration using the API, each new application now automatically creates a ticket in Zendesk. When an application is automatically accepted or rejected, the ticket is updated and closed; any that require a human eye show up in the agent’s queue between tickets. The unified process is both more transparent and efficient.
These changes are reflected by the support team’s customer satisfaction ratings in Zendesk. Patient support has been averaging a 95 percent CSAT, with a 16 percent response rate. And internal IT is knocking it out of the park with a 100 percent CSAT rating.
In keeping with the company’s focus on personal empowerment, Omada Health is working to build out its self-service offerings. Each Zendesk instance includes an external-facing help center and internal knowledge base powered by Zendesk Guide. The support team leaned on the Zendesk Professional Services team for help with training and migrating over legacy data.
“The Professional Services team is fantastic. They were there when we needed them, and we didn’t get nickeled and dimed with change orders,” Dougherty said. “They recognized the partnership nature of what we were doing and adjusted schedules around our business needs.”
When it came time to review Zendesk’s security—an absolutely critical need for a company working with sensitive patient data—Dougherty didn’t have to dig very deeply to get the answers he needed. “The security information is outstanding. Just about every question I had, Zendesk had already made the answer publicly available. By now, I know a lot of people at Zendesk—it’s a good team, a team I trust,” he said.
Having a customer service tool with strong security infrastructure helps Dougherty with his mission of ensuring that patient and customer data remains secure. “I have three roles,” he explained. “On the IT side, my role is to make our systems more efficient and effective for the overall organization. We’re driving scalability and cost containment, and enabling better collaboration. In Support, we are fanatical about delivering high quality customer support. Enabling participants and customers to solve their own issues, and answering requests quickly, accurately and completely is critical to the user experience. And in security, my role is to make sure we never show up in the headlines. Protecting our data is foundational to everything we do. We’re a service organization, and we exist to empower other organizations.”
“We’re an organization that never met a SaaS product we didn’t like, but most aren’t tied together. Zendesk allows us to integrate with our other systems to drive efficiency. It’s one system that meets the needs of multiple groups.”
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