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Academic Network

Customer Contact Center Solutions

  • 1-800 Ad Response and Fulfillment
  • Direct to Consumer Campaigns
  • Interactive Voice Response
  • Live Operator Programs
  • Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention

Customer Contact Center Healthcare OperatorsAcademic Network’s customer contact solutions go beyond simply answering the phone. We offer a medical/health-oriented customer contact center managed and staffed by academic healthcare, telecommunications, and internet professionals. Our expertise in direct-to-consumer marketing, and clinical trial management, recruitment and patient retention is the core strength of our customer contact center.

The Academic Network call center team consists of MDs, PhDs, nurses, dietitians, and telecommunications specialists to handle consumers’ health-related calls and clinical trial recruitment strategies.

Our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) program provides a solid, cost-effective foundation on which to build your telecommunications program. Our online patient recruitment tools can be implemented as stand alone or in combination with a live operator or IVR program. All projects are fully customized to meet our clients’ needs. Most recently, chat and blogging services have been added to our customer contact services.

Automated Call Center Solutions

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
The IVR system supports inbound calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Academic Network provides services ranging from a simple IVR application to a combined IVR and live operator application to meet client needs. IVR technology allows your callers to access information for a fraction of the cost of a live operator. Common applications that Academic Network has established for IVR include:

  • Ad Response to Print, TV, and Radio Campaigns
  • Information Requests
  • Patient Recruitment Pre-screening Applications
  • Health Professional Messages
  • Surveys/Market Research
  • Informational Messages for Consumers and Health Professionals
  • Priority Queuing for Callers Selecting a Live Health Professional Representative
  • Auto Faxing

Reverse Directory Academic Network’s Lucent Technologies IVR uses the extended functionality of reverse directory. The reverse directory application prompts the caller for his or her telephone number and then compares the data with an Acxiom names database. If there is a matching phone number in the database, the application is validated by asking the caller to confirm his or her street address and name. If no match is obtained, the caller is prompted to record this information. The match rate for the Acxiom database has historically run at approximately 85 percent. The benefit of using reverse directory is twofold: it significantly lowers IVR usage, in some instances up to 50 percent, and it is far more accurate in capturing callers’ names and addresses than traditional voice recording and transcription.

Professional Live Call Center Solutions

Telephone Service RepresentativesCustomer Call Center Healthcare Operators
Academic Network’s telephone service representatives are trained health professionals available to respond to health-related questions about our clients’ products. The expertise of these individuals includes the medical knowledge necessary to meet the demands and expectations of today’s health-focused public. Our services include:

  • Inbound and Outbound Teleservices
  • Registered Dietitian and Nurse Call Center Representatives
  • Customer Inquiries
  • Product Information
  • Direct-to-Consumer Campaigns
  • Dietary Counseling Provided by Dietitians
  • Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention
  • Web Site Support/Internet E-Mail Response
  • Behavioral Strategies to Incorporate Lifestyle Changes
  • Targeted Promotional Campaigns to Health Professionals
  • Media Education

Notably, Academic Network has developed a direct-to-consumer counseling program for the Campbell’s Soup Company and, for the past 8 years, has provided the dietitians who staff the GlaxoSmithKline-sponsored Calcium Information Center.

Call Center Technology and Other Services

Systems and Technology
Academic Network uses the highest-rated call center equipment in the industry. A Lucent Definity System in combination with Lucent Conversant Interactive Voice Response is used to handle inbound and outbound calls to our call center. The Lucent ACD system is in place to manage such situations as skill-based routing to maximize the resources of the agents and telephone equipment in the call center.

Telecommunication Services

  • Automatic Number Identification (ANI): Ability to determine what number the caller is dialing from (caller ID)
  • Dialed Number Identification (DNIS): Ability to determine the telephone number your caller has dialed
  • ANI Blocking: Ability to block abusive callers and excessive system users
  • Text-to-Speech: Ability to convert text from a database or outside source into voice files for callers to hear
  • Dedicated Internet Access: Network is connected directly to the Internet for real-time data reporting, file transfers and e-mail functions
  • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR): Ability to recognize words and phrases; spoken menu navigation
  • Fax on Demand: Ability to respond to callers’ questions via faxed messages
  • Reverse Directory: Ability to match address and name of callers based on the number from which the call was placed

Program Design and Account Services Academic Network staff work closely with each client to develop an individualized program from its inception through to its termination, incorporating changes and updates as needed. Every program is assigned a dedicated account manager to provide oversight to the client’s program.

Academic Network keeps clients apprised of call trends or content changes as they occur, such as marked changes in call volume on a specific topic, enabling clients to respond quickly to market changes and opportunities. Academic Network offers seamless transitions between telecommunications service providers and related vendors. We have extensive experience in coordinating efforts of multiple outsourcing agencies for the smooth transfer of information and/or numbers between companies.

Scripting and Technical Writing Academic Network develops scripts and provides technical assistance for our clients to create efficient and customer-friendly scripting. Scripting, programming, voice recording, and voice talent are all services of Academic Network.

Data Collection and Reporting Database programs are designed to give clients feedback and data regarding their advertising and marketing programs and are individually developed in conjunction with the client. Reports are customized to meet individual client needs during the program set-up, and can be revised at any time as changing needs are identified. Standard reports for IVR include general call information: date, time, duration, number of calls, etc. Additional captured information can be included in the reports, such as monthly summaries, media source reports, menu summaries of IVR options, and transcription summaries.

Generally, call data is captured in Microsoft SQL Server databases. Reports are transferred via the method(s) of the client’s choice. Common modes of transfer include secure real-time web-based interfaces, e-mail, FTP, fax, U.S. mail, and overnight delivery. All customer data files are backed up on a real-time basis, and the entire system is backed up daily. Academic Network maintains remote files for disaster recovery.

Database Transcription Standard transcription turnaround time is 72 hours. Faster service is readily available for time-sensitive promotions. Our in-house medical experts provide oversight of all health-related transcription to ensure accurate documentation of health and medical topics.

Call Center Service Levels Academic Network designs and maintains the service level acceptable to the client. Generally, our inbound live operator call center requires that 80 percent of the calls be answered in 20 seconds or less with an abandonment rate of 3 percent. On an individual project basis, we work with the client to determine the demand for inbound IVR and to establish service levels that assure ports are expanded or contracted as the project demands, depending on various factors such as financial resources, media events, and positioning of the number.

Long Distance Academic Network has secured toll-free numbers and reduced long distance rates for its business. Our costs are substantially lower due to the combination of projects and resource sharing among clients. In the event that a client wishes to assign a toll-free number over to Academic Network, it will be assigned back to the client on completion of the project and terms of agreement.

Customized Services Academic Network offers an excellent, cost-effective alternative for some businesses by offering cost sharing of our state-of-the-art IVR system. Our services can be developed for either short- or long-term projects ranging from one-time media events to large-scale national advertising campaigns. We work with each client to establish a program that is effective, efficient, economical, and reliable.

Depending on complexity, programs can typically be established in 45 to 60 days. Less complex IVR and live-operator programs have been initiated in 3 to 4 days to accommodate more urgent needs. All applications available through our IVR system are designed to operate on various Microsoft platforms, depending on the needs of our clients. Academic Network uses multiple programming languages in order to match the specific database requirements of our clients.