Head of Customer Support and Engagement
Patient engagement platform HotDoc aims to improve the healthcare experience for everyone in Australia by bringing practitioners and patients closer together. The COVID-19 pandemic established it as a household service for booking appointments, and now it services 10 million patients and 21,000 healthcare practitioners.
Naturally, this kind of rapid adoption has required a significant transformation of the HotDoc customer experience team, and one of the most pressing issues that Agnes has been tasked to solve is how to scale a small customer support team while the customer base and product stack grows so dramatically.
The two areas that Agnes has prioritised are making self service the primary destination for customers to receive help, and reducing the propensity to contact by surfacing the top reasons for contact and solving for them in collaboration with the product team.
Building a business case for self-service meant securing buy-in from leaders and stakeholders - not only in terms of it delivering an ROI, but also that it would simply be viable, particularly as the audience was historically viewed as "tech averse". However, Agnes was able to make a convincing case by focusing on data demonstrating that time could be saved answering questions which were repeatable and easily answered using self-service, the FTE costs that could be saved by moving to a one-to-many training strategy, rather than the existing one-to-one training mode, and how providing speed and ease for customers would lead to stronger NPS, CSAT as well as greater loyalty.
With COVID-19 driving rapid adoption, plus the Australian government tasking HotDoc with a tender to help create and implement a platform to book PCR testing and vaccinations in 150 pop-up respiratory clinics across Australia, it became clear that the next phase would involve the organisation having to (in Agnes' own words): "Build the plane as we flew in order to quickly support a larger customer base with more complex needs."
With this in mind, Agnes focused on what processes needed to be changed to place self-service at the heart of the business, and what organisational structure was required. This led to the transformation of the CX team from a handful of support agents to a team that now encompasses Tier 1 and 2 agents, support team leaders, knowledge and content writers, a customer insights contributor and an events and community manager. There was also a focus on mapping and rolling out a product release process in collaboration with the product team to insert customer insights into the heart of the organisation's product cycle from the conception of the idea, through to management post- deployment.
The launch of Australia's vaccination programme also enabled the organisation to stress-test this new approach. And through the use of the product release framework designed by Agnes, HotDoc was able to contribute to the creation of the vaccination product by creating tight feedback loops and QA-ing the features through the lens of the customer to ensure they made the right decisions for them. Furthermore, a new learning portal (HotDoc Academy) was launched alongside the vaccination features so as to virtually onboard the 2,000+ customers they knew would want access to this feature come launch day. HotDoc Academy has since grown from 170 active users upon launch to between 400-500 users a month to date, removing the need for the customer success team to perform one-on-one training.
The organisation estimates that without the self-service project, customer teams would have had to have doubled - and even tripled in some months - to account for the contact volume. And at the same time, churn remains low while NPS and CSAT have remained high, with ‘Overall Value’ being the highest driver for NPS promoter scores.
I’m most proud of how we’ve been able to prove that investment in self- service and learning for our customers can equate to true ROI for the business.