Life sciences quality assessor RCPAQAP (The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Quality Assurance Programmes) has reimagined customer processes and is using salesforce.com to deliver valuable service improvements.
RCPAQAP delivers quality assurance programmes to more than 5,000 laboratories located in 40 countries. Lives depend on the accuracy of their analysis and reporting, and external quality assurance is one way to independently verify performance and eliminate variances.
RCPAQAP’s enrolment department processes hundreds of enrolment requests received each day during the enrolment period. Processing was slow, tedious work. The approval process took up to 14 days.
Legacy systems stymied process improvement. Customer requests and other correspondence were housed in filing cabinets. A barebones enrolment system didn’t offer an online payment facility for enrolments lodged online. Invoicing, and tracking payments and late payers, were a chore.
“We checked out Salesforce saw that it worked well as a CRM system… we saw how it could streamline our enrolment process, and that became the priority,” said RCPAQAP group manager, IT Nathan Crettenden.
Web platforms create easy access to programmes and let customers select the ones in which they want to enrol and buy them on the spot. It sounds easy, and at the transaction level it is. But underneath, course providers must marry CRM, payment and invoicing, email, programme fulfilment, and customer reporting and purchase histories.
RCPAQAP’s primary focus was to improve customer service. Automation was key and would take care of manual data entry and application validation and approval. Faster turnaround times would reduce customer enquiries, and providing online credit card payments would eliminate manual payment processing and invoicing.
RCPAQAP worked with Salesforce partner ProQuest to build a customer portal to manage enrolments, automate 1,800 programme rules, and provide helpdesk and communications to manage associated customer requests and notifications. They had 12 weeks to do the job.
The system combines services from salesforce.com Service Cloud, app development platform Force.com, and the Service Cloud customer portal.
A new customer portal, called myQAP, funnels programme enrolments. Customers log in to see programmes in which they’ve previously enrolled, making it easy to select all, or just some, of their previous programmes.
The time it takes to process and approve enrolments is down to just minutes. Even notification has ben automated – an app called Congo Composer automatically renders a certificate of enrolment and emails it to the customer.
An online credit card facility lets customers pay online and removes payment processing loads once shouldered by the enrolment team. And reporting shows who’s paid, who hasn’t, and sets in motion automated reminders to chase late payers.
Now that Crettenden and his team have completed the workflow automation groundwork they’re making bigger plays. And there are none bigger than reporting.
RCPAQAP produces reports that tell laboratories how they perform. A single programme might generate a 30-page report every fortnight. But when you consider that RCPAQAP serves 5,000 laboratories, many of whom are enrolled in up to 150 programmes. Paper and postage alone represented significant costs. The total is even greater when people and handling are factored into calculations.
RCPAQAP stands to make huge savings as it moves to electronic reporting. ProQuest developed a small engine in Salesforce that attaches an identifier to each PDF report. The PDF is hosted in an Amazon cloud, but the file creates a record in Salesforce that links to the report. So when customers log in to myQAP they’re able to view their reports online. It’s much faster and reports are more easily shared among customer groups.