The Impact of the Coronavirus on How We Do Business

Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, I’m sure you’ve read a lot about how businesses and organizations should be preparing for when things go back to normal. But the thing is, it won’t look like our old normal, rather our next normal.

There a vast number of possibilities when it comes to what that will actually look like, but for the past few months we’ve been thrust into a world of face masks, social distancing, and Zoom meetings.

How can companies come out of these uncertain times stronger than before?

The answer is that, well, there is no specific right answer. What we can say for sure is that there will be a shift in how we do business, connect with each other, and perhaps even what we value.

Missed opportunities can be incredibly costly to a business, especially in uncertain times like the ones we find ourselves in.

The financial challenges of the coronavirus coupled with the rapidly changing needs of employees, customers, and suppliers has proven to be an insurmountable task for too many businesses around the country and the world at large. Customer habits are changing, meaning that companies will need to redefine their digital strategies in order to capitalize on new opportunities.

For retailers and businesses with traditionally high-contact touch-points like grocery stores and restaurants, the first step on the path forward will likely involve a slew of new ideas about products, promotions, and how to redesign and plan stores with social distancing in mind in the future. For service-oriented businesses like education and healthcare, the ability to connect virtually will be more important than ever.

Customers will go elsewhere if speed isn’t a priority. In our current culture of instant gratification, the expectation that problems will be solved quickly, questions will be answered correctly the first time, and the overall experience will be seamless are becoming the norm – as they should.

Help On Demand is a real-time consumer referral system that connects people with questions to the experts in their area that can answer them. Enroll for healthcare from your couch, get answers to the legal questions you can’t by watching another episode of Law & Order, or get advice from a trained educator if your children’s school isn’t open yet.

In a time where meaningful, fast connections are becoming a hot commodity, it’s important to realize that sometimes, we all need to ask for help. Whatever it is you need, we’ll connect you with the right person to get the job done.

Call us at 1-888-245-1922 or email us at info@nullhelpondemand.com for a quick chat about how to adjust your business practices for the COVID era.

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The Rise of Telehealth

While the trend indicating an increase in the popularity of telehealth, the practice of providing clinical care remotely, might have originally started to tick up due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it had the potential to stick around for lots of reasons.

By the end of March 2020, telehealth “visits” had increased my more than 150%. The impetus for this jump was largely due to pandemic-related health and safety policy changes that made it harder for people to get treated at an in-person clinic. There have been a plethora of benefits, from expanded access to care for patients to less wasteful practices when it comes to personal protective equipment.

Not to mention, the practice made people feel a lot safer. In fact, more than 40% of U.S. adults reported delaying care that they would have otherwise sought out due to concerns about COVID-19.

But now that we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, what are the lasting benefits of keeping this system in practice?

First of all, it’s important to talk about the difference between telehealth and telemedicine. The American Academy of Family Physicians distinguishes the difference in the following way. Telemedicine is the practice of using technology to deliver care from a distance, whereas telehealth is the technology that provides that care.

Before the pandemic a much smaller portion of patients were actively using telehealth services – less than 5%, to be exact. And this was largely limited to mental healthcare. That probably has to do with the fact that traditionally, insurance providers have been pretty particular about the instances that they would reimburse telemedicine visits under. Telemedicine use has exponentially increased since those restrictions have been loosened during the past year.

Most doctors and industry experts expect these numbers to stay at this higher level, even now that the pandemic seems to be almost under control.

Of course, there are certain instances that demand in-person consultation. Procedures and lab tests still require equipment, sterilized surroundings, and other factors that make telehealth-related solutions impossible. However, follow-ups and simple instructions can easily be dictated during a video “visit”.

Telehealth will likely never fully replace in-person care, but we have learned valuable lessons about the practice over the past year. Perhaps most importantly, how technology can be leveraged to improve the doctor-patient relationship for all parties involved.

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How to Build Relationships as a Healthcare Insurance Provider

Building trust between the providers of health plans, physicians and patients is absolutely vital. When these relationships are strong, patient satisfaction and quality of care increase exponentially.

 

We know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done. 


There are, of course, obstacles to creating this collaborative relationship. It helps to take a look at the situation from everyone’s point of view. Let’s start with the physician. 

 

From his or her perspective, health plans – and by extension, their providers – represent cumbersome processes and policies. In other words, roadblocks to quick and quality care. However, from your viewpoint, we’re sure that it’s incredibly frustrating when these providers fail to follow these rules or seem to view themselves as exempt from the standardized processes. 

 

It helps to frame the importance of these steps next to something that is already a benefit to the physician. For instance, larger support organizations that they are no doubt a part of like physician organizations (PO’s) or independant physician associations (IPA’s). 

 

Additionally, it’s important to initiate conversations with your stakeholders. In the case of physicians, these can take the form of joint committees or quartelry meetings. These meetings will add value for all parties involved, and can lead to discussions that will allow health plans and physician practices to work in conjunction more effectively. 


When it comes to your end consumer, engaging information is your way in. Staying top-of-mind is important if you want to retain current clients, and equally important to attracting new ones. Newsletters, webinars, and an active social media presence are all prongs to a marketing mix that will help this process along. 

 

In today’s constantly evolving (and let’s be honest, sometimes convoluted) healthcare marketplace, there are pressures and problems affecting parties at all points on the supply chain. 

 

There are many positive benefits to making and maintaining relationships as a healthcare insurance provider, just a few of which we’ve touched on in this blog post. From improved quality to streamlined processes, implementing some of these tactics will not only positively affect your larger brand perception, but make you more competitive in your specific industry niche. 

Contact us today to talk to one of our Experts at Help On Demand today about relationship building, increased connectivity, or anything else we can assist you with.

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Self-Promotion Tips for Healthcare Providers

Being able to successfully market yourself as a health insurance provider is essential to business success and serves as the foundation of any strong brand. Here’s how to do it: 

 

Figure Out Your Unique Selling Proposition 

What makes you different? What value are you offering? Think critically about this, and look at your specific market niche. Do your customers value your history and years of experience? Or maybe it’s a specific area of expertise? There is some “it” factor that you provide that goes beyond health insurance coverage. Whatever it is, make note of it and use it to your advantage. 

 

Search Engine Optimization 

Do not take SEO for granted. This could be an entire blog post on it’s own, so we won’t get into the weeds here, but a quick Google search will provide you with a wealth of information on this vital tool in your self-promotion toolbox. 

 

Update Your Web Presence 

It is incredibly important to maintain an up-to-date online presence. This is, after all, likely to be potential customers’ first impression of your company. Don’t miss out on engagement because of a difficult-to-use customer interface or anything else that can easily be fixed with a quick audit and update. 

 

Engage with Social Media 

Millennials and Gen Xers are a larger and larger percentage of the uninsured population – especially millennials, the youngest of which are approaching their first experience as potential customers of insurance plans. It’s important to use the channels available to you to build relationships with these members of your potential target market. You can be promotional, but not too promotional. The aim here is simply to start a conversation and put yourself in front of the right eyes at the right time. 

 

Take a More Personal Approach

Think of prospecting as relationship building. Provide your clients and their employees with benefits for engaging with you – webinars, seminars, networking events, a newsletter with important updates and relevant information – you get the idea. 

 

As you can see, there are a plethora of ways to promote yourself, and different mixes of these tactics can be effective in different situations. But the first step is to get started. We hope some of these ideas work for you! Check out our other blog posts here for more industry updates and helpful tips.

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How On-Demand Technology Will Affect Your Industry

It doesn’t really matter if you think that the rise of on-demand technology will make a positive or negative impact on the workforce – regardless of where you fall on that issue, it’s becoming hard to deny that it will have some kind of major effect.

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The Role and Relevance of Technology in Business

 

In a certain sense, technology has always played a role in business. Yes, even before the internet age. From the typewriter of the nineteenth century to the automated software of today, tech has always propelled commerce and driven business growth. 

The question is, what does that mean to the modern day business? In this blog post, we’ll dive into what the role of technology is today, how your company can embrace continuing updates, and what these technological advancements can ultimately mean for your bottom line. 

A tech-savvy workforce is an imperative these days, but this is especially true when it comes to the IT department. This is true regardless of industry. There is arguably nothing more important to a sharpened competitive edge than a deep bench of IT experts that can quickly diagnose and fix any technological difficulties that will inevitable arise. 

Of course, we all know that we’d be in a bind without the many different aspects of technology that we rely on to keep our businesses functioning. 

But why exactly has technology become so important? How did we get here? 

The importance of technology in the average business day only continues to grow, and that’s true for a number of reasons. 

First and foremost, technology keeps businesses relevant and reachable. Communication is invaluable in a business context, whether that communication takes place in-person, over the phone, via email, text or (as became so common during the last year) in a Zoom meeting. 

The importance of communication doesn’t change based on product offerings, service capabilities, varying industries, or any other variable factor. At the end of the day, in order to sell to customers, you need to be able to reach customers. 

Another reason technology has become so indispensable is because of the array of tools it has made available to business owners and analysts. 

From an analytic perspective, technology and the insights that it provides us has allowed targeting to become extremely granular, meaning that your messaging is more likely to reach the right person at the right time and in the right way. Not to mention, this analytic data can provide information about the customer experience, what can be improved upon, and what is running smoothly. 

While this isn’t exactly new information, more businesses and corporations than ever are using technology to propel their ideas, reach new people and increase profits. From simple productivity reports to human resources management to mapping out customer experience, technology plays a role in almost every function of the average business day. 

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Tackling Teacher Shortages with Smart Technology

One of the most pressing problems facing school leaders and education communities today is a growing number of holes in the teacher pipeline. This shortage has become an increasingly large issue in recent years, and affects school districts across the country. 

 

While it is difficult enough to ensure that a school will be fully-staffed with capable, competent teachers, finding last-minute substitute teachers can be even more of a challenge. In fact, according to Nathan Burrows, a senior research associate at Michigan State University, “The substitute teacher problem is the first area where you’re seeing an emerging crisis in staffing.” 

This past year of learning losses due to Covid-19 and an increased normalization of virtual learning has led to an even shorter supply of people ready and willing to revisit the classroom. 

Because this problem is inevitably something that nearly everyone in a leadership role in the education industry will come into contact with, we thought it would be helpful to map out how taking advantage of smart technology can help to fill these gaps. 

At Help On Demand, we’re no strangers to connecting people quickly to the parties that can solve their problems. We have worked to understand our clients, where they’re coming from and what’s important to them. Below are some of the ways technology can alleviate the most common pain points of academia’s leaders:  

 

Breaking the Pattern 

Historically, certain districts and schools have been tragically underserved based on location, population, or simply circumstance. And more often than not, the most underserved and least resource-rich districts are the ones that lose out. The good news is, we’ve evolved technology to not only have the ability to connect you to relevant matches in your area who can fill your needs quickly, but the ability to do that in any area – yes, even those that have been traditionally underserved. That means increased productivity, less stress and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your students won’t suffer from sub-par or unenthusiastic last-minute substitutes. 

 

Meeting (and Exceeding) Expectations 

We value ease and efficiency in so many aspects of our society. Rideshare technology, food delivery apps, same-day shipping… the list goes on. But all of those things are material. Why do we not have the same expectations for the important things in life? Using short-term coping mechanisms like temporary staffing services to fill the gaps isn’t going to fix the problem, merely put a Band-Aid on it. Tested technology exists that can filter qualified candidates to you in just seconds. Imagine how great it would feel to get a few more minutes of sleep in the morning instead of trying to track down an underprepared, unprofessional replacement for that rambunctious group of second graders before school starts at 8:00am. 

 

Timely Implementation 

Fully integrating our Classic product system can take as little as 30 days, which means you can be fully prepared for flu season – and provide you with an out-of-the-box system configuration and access to 50 locally available Expert Users. 

If you want to be prepared for the coming school year, start by getting some help covering teacher absences. Get in touch with us today, and thank yourself later!

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Your CRM Sucks 

Do you have a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, and you are still losing leads to your competitors, leads are lost or not closed because your sales team cannot locate them or does not check the system each day? Your sales reps complain your current system does not distribute leads fairly and in real time, 24/7. These are just a few complaints our clients had before they implemented Help On Demand technology. So why aren’t you doing anything about them? 

Most CRM systems don’t actually add the value they advertise, especially when it comes to immediately connecting in real time the consumer to a member of your sales team in seconds, so the lead is not lost. CRM technology is created to manage the client after contact, not to link them immediately so you can close the sale. After Help On Demand connects the consumer to your sales person, we then will add the contact to your CRM system, NOT before the lead has been connected to a member of your sales team! 

Help On Demand will enhance your CRM system to the level of success you had in your mind when you purchased your system. Your CRM is only successful if the sales person checks the system multiple times a day for leads that have been placed into it. This way, they will catch the lead in a timely manner before the consumer gets frustrated and purchases the product from your competitor because of NO response. 

Before we get into why your CRM isn’t working, let’s talk about what you expected it to do in the first place. When most companies implement a CRM they are looking for improved productivity, a 360° view of customer interactions with your salesforce, a virtual warehouse of useful information that could lead to more closed deals and increased revenue or some combination of the three. 

So, why are these needs not being met in so many different instances? Why can’t these supposedly intuitive systems provide the results they’re supposed to? 

A few reasons. 

Sales is largely about timing, and most customers aren’t willing to wait. While most CRMs do allow you to have a sort of “command center” for your salesforce that allows you a full picture of what’s going on, they require tedious clerical steps that actually tend to lengthen the sales process as opposed to compressing it. If a customer is looking for health insurance, let’s say, they won’t wait days for you to move them through the cycle manually. In fact, sometimes they won’t even wait minutes. 

That means that even if you have a great product or service and a dedicated team of salespeople, you’re likely still letting leads slip through the cracks because of simple, fixable holes in your system. 

But then there’s the pushback. 

Updating the system to something that actually works the way it should takes time – time that some would argue could be better used on the actual sales process. After all, if you’re losing leads and sales shouldn’t we focus on closing what we can as opposed to working on something behind the scenes?

Well, here’s our pushback. 

The implementation of Help On Demand and the technology that powers it can take as little as 30 days. Not to mention, there are limited needs on our end when it comes to IT resources within your organization. Help On Demand was born to fill a need in the healthcare industry, but all industries and businesses of all sizes can take advantage of our customizable technology.

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Your Close Ratio Isn’t High Enough – Here’s How to Improve It 

In fact, if we’re being honest, your ROI on marketing dollars probably isn’t what it should be either. If you aren’t closing at least 50% of your leads and maximizing your ROI, you should be – and with our help, you can. 

50% might sound like a lot to you – after all, many sales teams consider a 20% close ratio a success. Here’s the thing. They’re selling themselves short. 

The sales cycle is a journey for the customer, and sometimes it’s a long one. Sales teams put a considerable amount of work into attracting and nurturing prospects, ideally turning them into customers eventually. 

But it doesn’t matter if you have a steady stream of leads coming in if they don’t ultimately result in sales or closed deals. 

If you’re working in a high-volume environment, this is especially true. The numbers might look great coming in, but not so great on the other end of the sales cycle. The good news is, these environments are our specialty. 

Lots of things hold companies back from achieving the close ratio they are capable of.
First and foremost, old systems and technology. Outdated tech has your solutions multiple steps behind those who have invested in consumer experience and on-demand technology. The on-demand market has doubled in four years, and examples of this can be seen in almost every facet of day-to-day life. Ride sharing services, food delivery, telehealth… the list goes on and on.

If you don’t adapt, you run the risk of losing your customers and having them picked off by more nimble competitors. 

So far, this might all sound like bad news… 

But there is a possibility for change. To help you facilitate that change, we’ve put together a few tips that can prove effective when looking to improve close rate. 

First of all, you want to show them the value of your product or service. If your prospects don’t find value in not only what you’re actually selling, but their initial sales conversation with you, you’re already playing with a losing hand. It helps to provide references or testimonials from real, satisfied customers. 

What concerns did they have before starting this working relationship? How did you alleviate them? How have you improved their ROI since? 

All of these are understandable, universal concerns you will run into with nearly any potential client. The secret is to find a way to connect these pain points and worries to the long-term benefits of your product or service. 

Secondly, it’s important to remember that a sales conversation is a two-way street. Listening is just as important (if not more) than lecturing someone about the value of what you’re offering. In fact, it’s been proven that the longer a prospect talks, the higher the likelihood of a deal closing is. Of course, listening isn’t enough on its own. Instead of passively listening, make sure to ask clarifying questions and find out exactly how you can help them. 

Additionally, you need to really know your product. This allows you to speak confidently, quickly assist customers with questions or concerns, and clearly walk people through the more intricate aspects of the sale like pricing structure, use of product, or specific features.

Last but not least, it’s about your hardware. 

Our lead conversion services are better than the competition, it’s as simple as that. 

How do we know?

We’ve designed our technology to be more intuitive, improve performance quicker and keep our customers connected to their target prospects. We have a 100% connection rate of live customer touches for over one million referrals. 

Let us show you the difference we can make today. Get in touch with us here.

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Your Customers Deserve a Better Customer Experience

…and if they’re not getting that from you, they will find it somewhere else. 

In this day and age, customer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been before.

What does that mean for you?

Your potential customers won’t wait on hold. They will go to a competitor with a better customer experience, it’s that simple.

In fact, according to a report released by Salesforce in 2018, almost 60% of potential buyers and customers say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of a better customer experience they had with a competitor. 

And can you blame them? Nobody wants to wait in a long and painful IVR Call Tree. People want to talk to a live, local human – and they want to be connected in seconds. 

In our increasingly online world, creating connectivity throughout the digital experience is absolutely crucial when it comes to finding new customers, but also retaining historically loyal ones. And if we dive a little deeper, it’s easy to see that speed is what makes the difference when it comes to these digital experiences. 

When systems aren’t working together, they really aren’t working at all. What we mean by that, is that fragmented technology that is designed to improve the customer experience can actually end up highlighting areas for improvement.

Your call center is slow, overworked, and might even be in another country and therefore experiencing challenges related to language. 

Help On Demand technology can interface with many types of systems, like Contact Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Learning Management (LMS), and yes, call center systems, through an API. 

Once yours systems are connected, it’s much easier to coordinate operations and create personalized experiences for all of our existing and potential new customers. At this point, the customer experience is almost an extension of the human experience. It is our mission to enrich that experience by connecting people faster when they need it most.

Aside from being a way to build strong, lasting relationships with your target market, the customer journey is an integral part of the sales process. Don’t wait until it’s too late to fix yours. Contact us today.

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