SQM Group

Emerging Channels Best Practice for Improving CX

The chat contact channel has been in place for many years but did not initially achieve high customer acceptance. However, the chat contact channel has started to gain customer acceptance. Customer acceptance for using the chat contact channel is based on response time, ease of use, and whether it is helpful in answering customer inquiries and problems for both authenticated and non-authenticated contact type reasons. The main reasons why customers are more willing to use the chat contact channel now are:

  • This channel has been around for many years so customers are getting used to it
  • Generations X and Y are now the generations that contact organizations the most and have a higher propensity for using chat compared to other generations
  • The chat channel has improved in speed for answering questions quickly
Many organizations are adding a chat feature to their mobile self-service application. The chat feature on mobile devices provides an organization with the opportunity to support customers at the customer’s convenience, so that they can communicate with an organization anywhere. Given that most people have a smartphone, and many organizations are adding the chat feature to their mobile self-service application, the rise of chat usage is certain. The chat channel may currently have limited uses as it is typically used for only sales and general information


Emerging Channels Best Practice Case Studies

2018 CX Best Practice Award Winner –  Emerging Channels – BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Since 1933, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has offered its customers high-quality health insurance at a competitive price and has led the charge toward better health and more consumer-focused health care in our state. Blue Cross NC is a fully taxed, not-for-profit North Carolina company with major operations centers in Durham, Fayetteville, Winston-Salem, and an office in Charlotte. We also operate three consumer-facing brick and mortar storefronts across the state. We employ more than 4,700 North Carolinians and serve more than 3.89 million customers. This includes about one million served on behalf of other Blue Plans.

Learn how Blue Cross NC ensures a seamless experience for their members with their live chat channel by providing the same high level of accessibility and service as their existing servicing channels.




2017 CX Best Practice Award Winner – Emerging Channels – EA Worldwide Customer Experience

Electronic Arts Inc. is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. EA delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, and tablets. In fiscal year 2017, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.8 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Dragon Age™ and Plants vs. Zombies™.

In late 2015, WWCE created XLabs, a customer experience (CX) focused lab to pioneer innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), technology infrastructure, and new player experiences. XLabs focuses on helping players get the most from their games by creating frictionless player experiences. This case study summarizes the award-winning, emerging channel best practices implemented by EA Worldwide Customer Experience.



2015 Contact Center FCR Best Practice Award Winner – Chat Channel – UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan


UPMC Health Plan, the second-largest health insurer in western Pennsylvania, is owned by UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise. The integrated partner companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes UPMC Health Plan, UPMC Work Partners, LifeSolutions (EAP), UPMC for You (Medical Assistance), and Community Care Behavioral Health – offer a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to nearly 2.3 million members. Their local provider network includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 125 hospitals and more than 11,500 physicians throughout Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland.


They seek to offer the highest quality and value to their members and their community. As part of the UPMC family, they work closely with the world-class hospitals, physicians, and researchers at UPMC, and with community provider partners across their service area, to deliver award-winning health care products, programs, and services. They seek to do all this with a personal touch, helping members and their families enjoy the best possible health and quality of life.

At UPMC Health Plan, we have successfully deployed Mobile Chat. This new channel is supporting our mission to offer innovative solutions for our members, along with service excellence. It is our goal to provide members a choice of how they can contact us at any time. Our call center has already deployed many methods of communicating such as telephonic, email, fax, secure messaging, and online live chat. We also offered an interactive mobile app that was being highly utilized for self-service, so we wanted to take this to the next level. With this, we made the decision to explore leveraging mobile chat. Our Consumer Innovation team led the charge to get this started.

Consumer Innovation understands people deeply, designs exceptional digital experiences, and coordinates efforts to create solutions that increase engagement, access, quality, and savings for all who interact with UPMC Health Plan. We have a consumer-centric approach to developing health tools and technology.



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