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RingCentral Helps AseraCare Improve Customer Service Through Analytics-Driven Customer Engagement

Needed a phone solution that would work easily on day one, scale easily later.
Cloud-based RingCentral enabled easy office expansion and frictionless growth.
Continuing to benefit from RingCentral’s ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Company profile
Company profile:
AseraCare provides hospice and palliative care services, including medical and nursing care, social worker counseling, volunteer services, spiritual support, and more for terminally ill patients.
Year founded:
1500 Employees
Fort Smith, AR

AseraCare offers its hospice services in a variety of hospice care settings, including patients' homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. The company has 53 offices in 19 states across the East, South, and Midwest regions of the US.

Patients are referred to AseraCare by a physician or local hospital. Referral calls go to a local office number and are answered 24/7 by an interactive voice response (IVR) system. When the caller selects the option to make a referral, the call is forwarded to the company’s centralized contact center, which performs the intake services. Other requests will go straight from the IVR to the local office, where clients can work with the people with whom they already have developed a relationship.

This ability to move calls seamlessly between the centralized contact center and the local office allows AseraCare to provide the sort of high-touch service that their customers deserve and allows the centralized Contact Center team to handle the more mundane issues, freeing their local nurses and staff to focus on their patients. Because it is imperative that all types of calls are handled smoothly and efficiently, Matt Dillman, IT Support Supervisor at AseraCare, has put together a system based on RingCentral Office® and RingCentral Live Reports that provides all of the communications functionality the company needs as well as the ability to use call analytics to ensure that callers receive the highest level of support, regardless of the reason for the call.

RingCentral supports a distributed approach to customer service

Dillman had the opportunity to put together his communications system from scratch when AseraCare separated from its parent company. The parent company’s communications system was “a big name that everyone has heard of,” says Dillman. “But I didn’t see that its functionality was really worth what you have to pay for it. I think you’re basically paying for the name.”

He chose to go with RingCentral Office instead. One reason was because it’s cloud based, which minimized his initial costs and eliminated server maintenance fees. “Companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just to maintain a small server farm,” Dillman explains. More importantly, because RingCentral Office is cloud based, it supports the centralized office/regional office approach to meeting patients’ needs that AseraCare employs, allowing calls to move seamlessly back and forth between the different locations.

The beauty of this approach, from the patients’ point of view, is that they need to know only one phone number for AseraCare. Once they make a call, they know their needs will be met, and never have to worry about which office their request should be directed to.

RingCentral supports all the types of staff the company employs, including nurses who are mobile, office staff, and home-based customer service representatives. (Nurses use RingCentral for Mobile.) RingCentral also gives AseraCare employees something other phone systems don’t, but which in Dillman’s opinion is very important to user satisfaction—the ability to manage their own phone settings. “RingCentral gives our users full control of how their phone system operates, and you would be surprised at how happy that makes people,” he says

Other reasons Dillman chose RingCentral include: 1) by standardizing all offices on RingCentral, he eliminated the hassle of dealing with multiple phone carriers around the country; 2) AseraCare clients, patients, and stakeholders only need to know one primary phone number for the agency they associate with: from that main line, using IVR menus, AseraCare can route calls to central intake (for referrals), the agency, or to triage (after-hour nurses); and 3) RingCentral Meetings™, which came with their system, lets them eliminate management of one more product and one more vendor relationship, which helped them create the efficiency they required to successfully split from their parent company.

Live Reports provides hard metrics on customer support

Another benefit of going with RingCentral was the availability of RingCentral Live Reports, an optional feature of RingCentral Office that provides reports on inbound and outbound calls in close to real time, displayed on dashboards.

Using Live Reports, Dillman has created a dashboard that reveals exactly what he needs to know to manage the call center optimally and to help individual agents improve their performance. “I see what is going on with the team in real time and get insight into both the customer experience [queues and hold times] as well as agent performance [handle time per agent, number of calls handled],” he explains.

Specifically, his Live Reports dashboard includes a queue monitor, which shows how many calls are waiting for the support team; call volume, which shows the total calls for the day broken down into total/abandoned/voicemail; and agent detail, which shows calls made, calls answered, inbound talk time, average talk time, and longest talk time. AseraCare also uses the Jira® ticketing system to manage interactions as well as RingCentral historic reports to provide a 

full history of patient interactions.

With constant access to this data, Dillman can intervene in the moment to let agents know when it is and isn’t appropriate to take extra time on a call. This helps greatly with the challenging nature of hospice care, wherein callers must be treated very carefully. Live Reports helps do this by showing, for example, when calls are not backed up, meaning agents can relax and take extra time with the patients, versus times when other callers are waiting and also need to be helped.

Dillman can also use the Live Reports information over the long term to improve agent performance and ultimately to improve customer service. “For me, the best two methods for improving agent performance are accountability and accessibility,” he says. “If you hold someone accountable for their actions and decisions, both good and bad, they will learn to make the right decisions instead of avoiding the wrong decisions. If you provide someone with the tools, software, and knowledge to not only do their job, but to learn past it, you instill a desire for personal growth and enrichment.”

ProductPlan believes RingCentral offers many benefits for small companies and startups

“The RingCentral platform has supported ProductPlan’s growth over the years in a number of ways,” says Semick, “and I think it could benefit many young and small companies. I’ll give you some examples.”

“Ease of use. Setting up a new employee with RingCentral is really as easy as unboxing the phone, plugging it in, and recording a voicemail message. It doesn’t require any specialized technical expertise.”

“Portability. As our staff grew, we had to move to new offices or take over additional space in our existing offices. With RingCentral, the beauty was we could take the phones to our new space and just plug and play. Because RingCentral is cloud-based, we never needed to set up physical phone lines or wait for a telecom provider to activate service for our staff.”

“Time and cost savings. If we had an on-prem PBX or other traditional business phone system, we’d be spending time and money configuring and managing it. And if we instead relied entirely on our cell phones for business communication, that would create inefficiencies in the office in terms of being able to grab a coworker’s ringing phone or easily transferring calls to the right person. Having the RingCentral cloud platform is the perfect solution for a young but fast-growing company like ProductPlan.”

“Easy scalability. As our Account Management and Customer Success teams grow, RingCentral makes it so easy for us to get them up and running. We just add users, order phones, and plug them in. We don’t have an IT team, and when you’re a startup like us, every aspect of your tech infrastructure that you can outsource, simplify, or set up to be self-running makes it much easier to scale quickly. That’s yet another reason I’m so glad we went with RingCentral from day one.” 

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