The onset of COVID-19 significantly increased our dependence on technology and changed the way people expect to connect and interact with vital government services and programs. Establishing connections and engaging through a screen transformed the customer experience (CX) for most industries — particularly health care.
The new CX landscape presents an opportunity for state leaders, industry experts, and companies to re-imagine the Florida Medicaid customer experience for recipients and providers alike. By redefining how organizations approach the workforce, cybersecurity, technology equity, automation, and cloud infrastructure, we can advance public sector CX to better serve the needs of Floridians.
From my work with Cognosante, I’ve seen the transformative power of connection when it comes to improving the customer experience for citizens. Cognosante is a mission-driven technology company delivering innovative and transformative solutions to Federal, state, and local governments. Our dedicated customer experience business sector, CognoConnected, helps public sector organizations modernize and optimize their CX programs, enterprise systems, and business process operations. For example, our team reduced resolution time by 50% for a major health care agency by developing and implementing a casework process tailored to the specific needs of agents, brokers, and assisters, and reconfiguring the customer relationship management (CRM) system to support new workstreams.
The past two years have fostered new thinking about how to approach CX in five critical ways.
Delivering exceptional customer experiences requires a supportive, people-first culture as the COVID-19 pandemic spurred lasting changes in workforce dynamics. Organizations must evaluate how they help their employees adapt to the workspace of the future — a combination of on-site, hybrid and fully remote — while at the same time empowering employees to deliver outstanding customer experiences. This can be achieved by developing a consistent onboarding process, designing effective training programs, focusing on employee engagement and retention, and ensuring employees feel comfortable using and applying the latest technology solutions to serve customers. Implementing people-centric strategies such as these has helped Cognosante achieve the Great Place to Work® certification two years in a row.
Hybrid or remote operations must lead with cybersecurity. Cognosante has developed and prototyped several remote monitoring solutions which help address security concerns stemming from a remote CX workforce. Additionally, organizations should evaluate risk postures and redefine what can be accomplished securely without in-person interactions by customers. This comes with its own challenges, particularly in the realm of implementing digital solutions and securing personal identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). Having a well-defined cyber hygiene program along with security and monitoring solutions to accommodate hybrid or fully remote operations are key components to a successful CX cybersecurity posture.
Consider technology equity and social determinants of those the CX solutions aim to serve. The reality is that technology is not available to everyone — there are many in Florida who lack smartphones or reside in areas with significant data limitations. When developing CX solutions for public programs, organizations cannot ignore constraints like these and must instead leverage customer journey mapping and human-centered design techniques to deliver solutions that are inclusive and available to all.
Invest in self-service and automation strategically. Organizations must look for ways to reduce pressure on existing human channel interactions by investing in self-service and automation solutions while balancing the needs of an evolving workforce. The traditional contact or call center approach is behind us. Advancements in natural language processing and speech analytics allow organizations to utilize robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) to provide a more seamless and intuitive experience while reducing costs. That said, automation should never replace the human element which is so critical to delivering meaningful customer experiences and connections.
Leverage the power of cloud infrastructure. Federal and state agencies have seen real benefits from the adoption of cloud technology. By transitioning from on-premise data centers to cloud-based solutions, government organizations have saved billions of dollars, improved their overall security posture, and served their constituents more efficiently. Cognosante’s cloud practice currently supports agencies across the cloud continuum. We migrate workloads from on-premise data centers to the cloud, develop brand-new solutions using cloud capabilities, and refactor and enhance legacy workloads.
At Cognosante, we’ve embraced the transformative power of connection — combining people, processes, and innovation to help deliver exceptional customer experiences — ones that ultimately support the health, safety, and well-being of us all. Florida must take advantage of the new and emerging CX landscape to re-imagine the state’s Medicaid customer experience and meet the needs of our increasingly technological world — for all our constituents.
James Gordon is president of Cognosante.