SOURCE: Avaya Inc.

November 11, 2008 07:30 ET

Avaya Delivers New Proactive Outreach Solutions for Financial and Healthcare Industries

New Contact Center Solutions Reach Out to Customers and Use Automated Services to Improve Customer Satisfaction and Business Efficiency

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - VoiceCon -- Avaya today launched two new portfolios of customer service solutions for the financial and healthcare industries -- Proactive Outreach for Financial Services and Proactive Outreach for Healthcare. These solutions help businesses use outbound communications and self service automation to drive new efficiencies, improve cost-savings and enhance customer experiences.

Outbound self service is a contact center technology that enables companies to deliver important information to customers -- such as appointment reminders or bill payment requests -- and let them complete transactions using automated menus or speech commands. Avaya's new Proactive Outreach portfolios provide outbound self service solutions that meet the needs of key vertical industries. The first two versions are available for financial and healthcare organizations, which are early adopters of this technology, according to analyst firm Datamonitor(1).

Financial companies and healthcare providers deal with large volumes of incoming customer calls on a daily basis. Avaya's solutions help businesses reduce these volumes and pre-empt incoming inquiries by reaching out to customers about critical events before they become issues. Companies can use Avaya Proactive Outreach solutions to initiate outbound communications via multiple channels (i.e. phone, e-mail, SMS), and notify customers about doctor visit reminders, overdraft alerts, and credit card or hospital bills. Customers can use self-service to respond to the company, and even make instant payments. This not only helps companies cut down on incoming calls, but also frees up live agents to handle more complex interactions -- driving improved efficiency and customer service.

The new portfolios were designed by Avaya Professional Services, and contain solutions tailored to industry needs. More details on each are below:

--  Proactive Outreach for Financial Services:  This lets financial
    companies use outbound self service to handle functions covering a
    customer's entire lifecycle -- from acquisition to retention to
    collections. For example, the solution can use outbound self service
    personalized to each customer in order to securely handle new account
    openings, alert customers to overdrafts or fraud alerts, and obtain
    payments or promises to pay. This helps inform customers of key events,
    identify potential issues early, and build loyalty among customers.
    
--  Proactive Outreach for Healthcare: This lets hospitals, doctors and
    other healthcare organizations automate and improve patient care
    interactions in the most cost-effective way. A key solution in this
    portfolio is Patient Payment Recovery, which enables healthcare providers
    to contact and remind patients when a payment is due, and offer instant
    automated payment options. The portfolio also includes solutions to enable
    healthcare providers to automate interactions such as patient welcome
    calls, account information collections, and reminders for annual check-ups.
    

Both portfolios let customers choose to connect to a live agent at any time. When customers get transferred, all of their information gets routed securely along with them to another system or agent, so customers do not need to repeat their personal information.

Free & Clear© Proactively Targets Customer Health

An Avaya Proactive Outreach portfolio can be configured to meet any company's needs. A company planning to use its benefits is Free & Clear©, Inc., a health behaviors company and the national leader in smoking cessation. Free & Clear, based in Seattle, WA, currently uses Avaya outbound communications to have live agents reach out to customers who are trying to quit tobacco use. According to Leif Haslund, telecom manager at Free & Clear, an Avaya Proactive Outreach solution can open up new possibilities through automated self-service.

"Avaya's new Proactive Outreach solutions will be a game-changer not just for us, but for customers whose health is on the line every day," said Free & Clear's Haslund. "We operate in 19 states, and need an automated outbound solution that is customized for each individual in each state, and offers greater interaction. The day of the canned phone message is over."

Free & Clear relies on outbound call technology to reach out and connect their live agents, known as "Quit Coaches©," to customers in order to confirm "quit smoking" dates and set up counseling sessions. Free & Clear sees Proactive Outreach as a way to automate "quit-smoking" reminder calls and appointment changes, so that Quit Coaches can be freed up from calling about appointment changes and instead focus on counseling sessions and more complex customer interactions.

Free & Clear also believes Avaya's solutions have the potential to drive new benefits for sales and marketing. For example, the solution can help them more effectively take automated surveys to gauge the company's success using key indicators, such as quit rates since starting a program. With these survey-driven results, Free & Clear can more effectively showcase their achievements when selling to clients.

Avaya Proactive Outreach Solutions Powered By Leading Products, Services

Avaya's Proactive Outreach solutions are designed by Avaya Global Services. In addition to the financial and healthcare solutions, versions of Proactive Outreach will be created for other vertical industries. Key Avaya products that support Avaya Proactive Outreach solutions include industry-leading capabilities from Avaya Voice Portal and Avaya Proactive Contact.

About Avaya

Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large.

For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com.

(1) Datamonitor report: "Hosted Speech and Outbound IVR Services (Strategic Focus)" June 2008

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