A selection of Humana Pharmacy customer service agents have had the opportunity to try a calls coach powered by artificial intelligence. The coach monitors the biological markers in both the agent’s and the customer’s voices then sends cues to help the agent keep the call on-track.
The cues, which are invisible to the caller, include continuous speaking, empathy cue, energy cue, extended overlap, slow to respond, etc. Each cue comes with a suggestion, such as “Think about how the customer is feeling. Try to relate.”
The goal with the artificial intelligence tool is to improve the customer experience, and results from the digital coach have been positive. From January to March 2019, Humana measured all of its customer call centers, and for those calls where the artificial intelligence coach was utilized for real-time feedback, Humana experienced a 3.1 point increase in our transactional net promoter score (NPSt), a three point increase in the perfect call metric (PCM), and a 26 second decrease in the length of the call.
Cassandra M. said, “Since using Cogito (the vendor for the artificial intelligence coach), I discovered that based off the tone of my voice and the member, it can tell me when I should be applying empathy – even when I don’t think it’s necessary. This has definitely improved my interaction with the members which gives them comfort and reassurance that I understand and relate to what they are going through, which in turn, has increased my PCM on the surveys which is super helpful.
“It also has the ability to alert me when I should giving off more energy in the tone of my voice. When I am sounding more energetic during the phone call, I have come to find in my experience that it also raises the energy of the member which creates for a better conversation.”
The artificial intelligence tool is voluntary. Humana Pharmacy Service Operations team believes that by showing agents how the tool can improve their results will create additional engagement and utilization. Ultimately, the goal is to help agents feel more emotionally tuned-in and satisfied with their jobs as well as provide more personalized customer service.
USAToday interviewed two Humana leaders about the technology. Read their comments here.