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How SelectQuote is using call center voice AI for differentiation

November 29, 2023


We were thrilled to be joined by Dan Savino, SVP of Artificial Intelligence and Innovation at
SelectQuote, for PolyAI VOX 2023 to discuss using call center voice AI for competitive differentiation. This blog post is a summary of the key points Dan shared at the event.

In his role as Senior Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Innovation at SelectQuote, Dan is responsible for figuring out a way to bring AI into the company in a responsible and profitable way.

“Our company’s unique customer offering is centered around providing high-quality healthcare service,” says Dan. “We differentiate ourselves by integrating advanced technologies, such as AI, to enhance our service delivery, improve operational efficiency, and ultimately, patient outcomes.”

Given Dan’s job title, it’s no surprise that SelectQuote is excited about the potential of AI.

“Everyone in my company has heard something about AI,” says Dan, “and even though they might have a healthy fear of it, they want it, and they want it now. They might not know what they want it to do, but they want it.”

But it’s not just the company that benefits from Dan’s AI expertise.

“On a personal level, I’ve found that employing Artificial Intelligence has given me a competitive advantage by allowing me to offload some tasks and spend more time on those things that really need my attention.”

On choosing call center voice AI

“The decision to incorporate AI into our operations was driven by several challenges,” says Dan.

“We faced issues related to data management, operational efficiency (scaling), and the need to personalize patient care.

AI has been instrumental in addressing these challenges. It has improved our data analysis capabilities, enabling us to make more informed decisions and provide personalized care. It has also streamlined our operations, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs.”

Unsurprisingly, seasonality is a huge challenge for SelectQuote customer care team.

“Identifying the right employees to staff a call center in a seasonal environment has been extremely challenging,” says Dan. “Anyone that’s had any recruiting efforts at all over the last couple of years could probably empathize with that. Being able to employ AI in our call centers has been a game changer.”

Since deploying a PolyAI voice assistant, Dan has discovered just how much value the company had been missing out on.

“Since we employed AI to handle overflow calls, we have realized hundreds of sales a day that we just weren’t answering before.”

On battling existing attitudes to call center voice AI

Previously, when looking at voice technology, Dan has been faced with rigid touchtone IVRs.

“I absolutely hate those things,” Dan says. “They’re horrible to use.”

As a company dedicated to delivering exceptional service, it was crucial that a voice assistant working on behalf of SelectQuote delivered an experience worthy of the brand.

“When I first met PolyAI, you gave us some auditions for the voice of our company. I sent the recordings to my CEO for feedback and, like me, he was blown away. We hadn’t heard anything like this from our competitors.”

On the future of CX

“Looking ahead, we plan to further leverage AI and other emerging technologies to enhance our customer experience,” says Dan. “We’re currently identifying the most impactful areas to further use this technology and make our team’s jobs easier.

“We aim to provide more personalized, convenient, and efficient services. This includes expanding our telemedicine offerings, improving our digital interfaces, and using AI to provide more personalized care. We also plan to invest in data privacy and security to protect our patients’ information.”

On advice for those considering call center voice AI

“For someone looking to create a competitive advantage in a role like mine, I would advise focusing on continuous learning and innovation,” says Dan. “Stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in technology, especially AI.

“Understand the unique needs of your industry and how technology can address those needs. Build strong teams and foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. Lastly, always keep the customer at the center of your strategies.”

Thank you so much to Dan for joining us at PolyAI VOX! You can watch all the talks on-demand now here.

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