Tivo For Your Communications Program

What I have been completely surprised by over the past few months at Silverlink has been the amount of calls from companies who need to execute an automated call program ASAP to address something wrong in a written communication.

  • The mail merge failed.
  • There was a spelling error that no one caught.
  • The date has changed.
  • The letter went to some group that wasn’t supposed to receive them.

[One client I mentioned this to was glad to know that their peers had the same challenges.]

That is certainly one of the benefits of a flexible application which allows us to execute call programs using recorded voice (not text to speech (TTS)) as quickly as same day. But, I have struggled with how to position that “feature” of speed as a benefit.

It’s a benefit when you make a mistake or when something big happens – e.g., black box warning issued by the FDA, drug recall, natural disaster. But, hopefully that is the minority of the time.

Finally, it hit me. As anyone that uses Tivo or another DVR (Digital Video Recorder) knows, it is very convenient to just pause a program to do something else and come back to it later. (There is also the benefit of being able to fast forward through advertisements and just watch your program but that’s not the point here.) So, in the world of communications, rapid implementation with the right application framework actually gives you the benefit of “real-time play calling”. [If you’re a football fan, this would be like the quarterback calling a new play at the line of scrimmage when they see the opponents defense.]

Imagine being able to launch your communication program to your target group of patients.

  • First, you don’t have to send out all million letters at once which crushes your call center with an inbound call spike. You actually can “dial” the rate of calls so that inbound calls are moderated based on your existing volume and ASA (average seconds to answer).
  • Second, you can send out 10,000 calls and watch the response rate to determine if it’s working.
    • How many patients answer?
    • How many stay on through the entire message?
    • How many take action (e.g., answer yes, ask to get transfered to a live agent)?
  • Then based on what you see you can “pause” the program and make modifications – change a word, incorporate a different message for one segment, use a different voice.

And, of course, if you make a mistake and catch it, you can stop the program at any time to fix it. This saves you money as does improving a program midstream to make it more effective. It still probably needs a little work on positioning.

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