No matter your org type or industry, your customer (or patient, policy holder, or client) is royalty. I say royalty because while you undoubtedly strive to provide them the royal treatment and a smooth customer experience, let’s face it—depending on your industry, compliance is king. And accommodating regulatory considerations can add hurdles to both internal and customer-facing processes, leading to a less-than-optimal experience for clients, and internal inefficiencies.
That is where DataMotion’s solutions and APIs, notably the secure message center, come into play.
In this second installment to the Meet the Secure Message Center series, we take a deep dive into three real-life customer use cases. Each organization is in a regulated industry and sought to improve their customer experience and simplify internal processes while remaining within their industry’s regulatory compliance.
Ensuring an Optimal Insurance Experience
A healthcare insurance start-up had compliance-related, internal efficiency challenges that interfered with the customer experience. The challenges they cited are not uncommon in the sector, where organizations are under strict data protection regulations. But the need for secure and compliant data exchange led to additional steps for both staff and customers. Here is an example, starring customer service reps named Agent A and Agent B, and Mrs. Smith, a policyholder.
Mrs. Smith needs information about her health insurance policy. Agent A will start the call by asking for some basic info—name, member id, etc. When Mrs. Smith asks her question, the agent might need more information, such as a snapshot of a prescription and other sensitive information, so the agent can look up records and eligibility. Because personal identifiable information (PII) is involved, Mrs. Smith would need to send this data securely via email. Below are the steps the agent would need to complete to accommodate Mrs. Smith:
- Leave the call center app
- Go into Outlook
- The next step involves sending a secure email to Mrs. Smith. A separate system is used to send an encrypted email, and including “Secure” in the subject line, triggers the encryption
- Send the email to Mrs. Smith
- The encrypted email sent to Mrs. Smith includes a link to the secure portal
That’s a long list, and a significant gear switch in the agent’s workflow. But Mrs. Smith also has a few steps to follow:
- Upon opening the email, Mrs. Smith needs to click the link to the new portal and create an account
- The account setup includes a username and password, along with other registration information
- She then logs into the portal
- After logging in, Mrs. Smith navigates an unfamiliar portal
- Mrs. Smith starts questioning her entire existence, and every decision she has ever made
- Mrs. Smith then uploads and submits the information, then logs out
But life happens. In Mrs. Smith’s case, let’s say the phone rang after she sent her information, and she needed to take this call. After hanging up, Mrs. Smith calls the insurance company to say, I’ve sent my information, please let me know the status of my inquiry. But Agent A is not available, and Agent B is now taking the call. Because Agent B does not have access to the encrypted call notes and communications, the entire process must start all over again.
All Mrs. Smith needed was an answer to a question, and is not what you would call “happy.” Agent B is confronted with a frustrated customer and wants to help, but has no access to the encrypted communications or encrypted records.
After implementing DataMotion’s secure message center, this is what this process looks like:
- Mrs. Smith logs into the company’s standard customer portal using her regular credentials
- Mrs. Smith uploads her information and clicks submit
- Mrs. Smith is done, eliminating a potential existential crisis
The process has been considerably streamlined for everyone involved. The secure message storage repository allows other agents access to see where a previous agent left off. Creating a simple, seamless experience and cutting down on the time it takes to submit and resolve issues has led to much better internal efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.
A Wealth of Customer Experience Opportunities
A wealth management company was using a traditional secure exchange solution. But clients were becoming increasingly tired of having to log into a third-party portal rather than the company’s native customer portal. Customers complained about additional steps, as well as forgetting the username and password that were required. The firm tried new solutions, including redesigning their own secure message and document exchange functions. But the company was clear, as discussed in part one of this series–they are not software developers. They want to focus on their core competencies and did not want to apply the resources to develop this type of application.
DataMotion was able to meet the company in this use case’s needs by integrating the secure message center into their existing workflow. During the initial discussion, we walked the firm through our basic, secure email functionality and talked about SafeTLS. (In case you’re not familiar with SafeTLS: remember our wealth management client in part one of this series, who sent and received messages through a highly-secure tube system? SafeTLS is basically this, and established email encryption from the advisor’s email server to clients for back-and-forth discussion.)
While many customers requested not to use the unfamiliar portal, others were fine with it, but wanted an easier process. We were able to accommodate this by integrating the third-party portal with the firm’s single sign-on (SSO). When clients log in, they only need the credentials they use on the firm’s website.
For this firm, flexibility was essential. While the secure message center will accommodate a company’s existing workflow, in this case, the firm did make a few changes, and dropped a couple of applications. In addition to a simpler process for customers, one key element was that customers and advisors alike could now send much larger messages than before, as they were previously limited in this capacity.
Merging Security, Compliance and Ease
Mergers and acquisitions involve more than creating a new company letterhead and business cards. There are internal adjustments to be made—including integrating different systems. The challenges in the next secure message center use case involve implementing a smoother, more efficient secure communications flow for clients and CSRs (customer service reps) and accommodating the secure communication needs for over a dozen departments, bringing them all into compliance.
The company is a public consumer finance company (read: a highly regulated sector). Like many companies in this vertical, our client had a self-service customer portal. While customers could access general account information via the portal, there were no secure exchange capabilities.
As mentioned above, there were over a dozen departments of varying sizes using disparate systems from multiple vendors to communicate with clients. This hodgepodge of disconnected systems could not “talk” to one another and needed a central hub to uniformly secure and track each transmission for compliance. As a result, the customer experience looked a little something like this:
- Customer inquires about status of loan application, and needs to provide sensitive information
- CSRs must obtain permission to respond to the inquiry, as there is sensitive information involved. This is a long and arduous process—if they cannot send secure messages today, they needed to speak to the security team. Then, the CSR must speak to numerous individuals to request and obtain licenses for a secure inbox, change orders, inbox requests, FTP access, creation and exchange for new credentials, etc.
- Because of disconnected systems between departments and the number of hoops to jump through and approvals needed, permission could take up to two weeks
- Customers could therefore wait weeks for a response
- Nobody was happy. Nobody.
Staying both compliant and efficient was an ongoing burden for the InfoSec team. They needed a cost-effective solution to connect departments while keeping the same workflow and allowing secure exchange with customers. DataMotion worked with the company and took a “fit for purpose” approach, meaning that they could integrate security into their existing systems rather than dismantle the infrastructure. Both customers and staff can continue to communicate in the environments familiar to them, but cut down on response times while keeping information secure, and staying within regulatory compliance.
Securing a Compliant, Simple Experience
To sum up: if your organization is in a regulated industry, compliance is the order of the day. But it doesn’t have to trump the customer experience, nor does it have to create inefficiencies in internal workflows. DataMotion’s secure message center helps you stay compliant and efficient, giving your customers an easy, seamless experience.
We’ve talked about the secure message center’s role in helping regulated organizations remain within compliance but that is not the only reason to consider implementation. In my next series installment, we’ll take a look at some other secure message center use cases where the solution benefits your organization, whether or not bound by regulatory compliance. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about this and DataMotion’s other solutions, please reach out to me, or to our larger team of experts. We are always happy to assist!