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Ad Astra Predictive Model to Increase Customer Retention

As organizations begin to open offices, they quickly need to determine how employees will work both on-site and virtually and thrive in a healthy, connected hybrid workplace.

One thing is clear: Modern businesses need a work model that combines virtual and in-person work.

However, creating strong hybrid and virtual workplace solutions requires a lot of planning and strategy. With the right guidance, going hybrid doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your company’s culture, productivity or information security.

Organizations are asking questions about culture, HR policies, compatibility of job responsibilities with remote work, and how much or what type of real estate they need to support a hybrid work model. They want to know how to help employees transition successfully back to the office, whether they are there full time or just a few days a week.

During this live webinar, we will discuss:

  • Highlights of our company’s hybrid workplace model we’ve been operating for over 20 years
  • What a hybrid workplace is and what’s top of mind for organizational leaders as they decide their work from anywhere future
  • The seven key decision areas to define your hybrid workplace vision
  • Our approach to helping organizations envision, define, prepare and implement a hybrid workplace.

A significant portion of this webinar will allow you to engage in Q&A to explore your most pressing questions with our experts. If you are a senior leader thinking about your business’ work from anywhere future, this webinar will help you identify your priorities and key decisions for moving forward now that hybrid is here.

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AI Holds the Key to Helping Organizations Maintain Great Culture

Take the emotion out of IT outsourcing in your company with a strategic approach that considers your core business, your processes and your reasons for outsourcing.
The decision to outsource IT functions isn’t always easy. On the one hand, some employees may take offense, feeling the decision is a commentary on their skills or work. On the other hand, others may be relieved they can “hand off” a particularly cumbersome problem.

However, when done well, outsourcing is not about either of these concerns. Outsourcing IT should not be about the quality of employees’ work or about “fixing” problems. Instead, it should be about filling gaps so your IT employees can do their jobs easier, allowing the rest of the company to focus on the core business and improving processes for long-term success.

In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at these reasons to outsource IT functions. We can then think about expectations for your outsourcing project and give you some final tips for making your outsourcing engagement a success.

To Outsource or Not to Outsource?

Outsourcing is a valuable tool to have in your IT toolkit. It can allow your employees to focus on core, competitive operations, improve processes and save money. But each of these areas has some important caveats:

  • Limit outsourcing to IT and business functions that are not core to your business or offer a competitive advantage. Generally, you should keep functions deemed critical in your analysis of business requirements within the walls of your company. You may benefit from supplementing your existing talent base to implement key strategies, but it is typically best to keep these under your direct control.
  • Seek to improve processes, not just maintain the status quo. You should avoid outsourcing to fix individual problems and instead focus on improving processes. In other words, at the end of your engagement, you should be doing business better, not exactly how you did it before you encountered a roadblock. The catch is, the better your processes are before you start, the better your outcome. So, it’s valuable to assess the process fully at the beginning.
  • Save money, but don’t let that be the driver. Depending on the functions you outsource, you might save operating expenses by having a third party do some work more cost-effectively.  Areas such as Asia, Eastern Europe and South America tend to have lower hourly rates than the U.S.  However, cost-savings should not be the reason for outsourcing. Instead, outsource when you need to fill gaps among your current staff or improve processes to deliver service levels above what you are currently achieving.
    Once you understand why you should outsource, you can begin thinking about specific capabilities you can outsource to allow your employees to focus on the work that differentiates you from competitors.

Capabilities to Outsource

While by no means exhaustive, many IT functions lend themselves to outsourcing. Again, your goal is to identify processes that are not competitive differentiators, such as:

  • Help or support desk
  • Legacy system application support and maintenance
  • System modernization (e.g., migrating existing code to newer technology platforms)
  • Data entry
  • Routine infrastructure tasks
  • Back office functions (e.g., payroll, accounting, billing, HR)
  • Social media monitoring
  • Legal services
  • Website optimization and security
  • Digitizing paper documents.
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Communicating Change: Three Tools You’re Probably Not Using

The insurance industry is ripe with opportunities to create better experiences through customer journey mapping, a proven method of capturing and meeting customers’ needs.

For decades, most insurance companies have relied on agents to work with customers, and few customers look forward to incidents that force them to call their agents.

However, that model is changing as insurers add more digital tools that allow customers to interact through multiple channels and along nonlinear paths. One simple example: a car accident victim might file a claim through their phone app, talk to their agent by voice, and coordinate repairs through email — all while expecting the same seamless service they enjoy when shopping online.

That’s why the smartest insurance companies are exploring customer journey mapping (CJM), a proven approach to understanding customers’ changing needs so insurers can build tools and processes to meet them.

In this interview with journey mapping and persona development software company UXPressia, our Customer Experience Design practice Senior Manager Noah Grayson discusses the unique opportunities CJM offers insurance companies. The interview will also appear as part of a UXPressia white paper.

Read on to learn why Noah believes that CJM can help you sort out your customers’ journeys and reimagine how you deliver smart, efficient end-to-end experiences that will give them a competitive edge.

  1. One of the dynamics of the insurance industry that makes journey mapping challenging is the coordination of activity between the carrier and the agent when an agent is involved in selling and servicing a policyholder.
  2. The agent’s role and involvement with the policyholder can vary from carrier-to-carrier or even agent-to-agent.
  3. It becomes essential to define personas at the start of the journey mapping exercise and develop persona specific maps.

Associated with the above point, the other factor to account for in the journey map is the nonlinear or non-sequential activity that occurs across channels at several phases of the journey. For example, during the claims process, a customer may bounce from interactions with the carrier, agent and digital tools in different sequences. It is important to isolate behavior patterns across channels and use these patterns in the attribution or definition of personas or archetypes. It is also important to visually depict how stakeholders use these various channels during a journey phase to help the organization better optimize the integrated use of each channel.