WHATSAPP BUSINESS PLATFORM

ATGen

Effective, direct patient services with topnotch laboratory diagnostics for COVID-19 tests through WhatsApp Business Platform

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AtGen

Brand

tyntec

WhatsApp Business Solution Provider

SUCCESS STORY

ATGen is a biotechnology company in Uruguay that expanded its services to include COVID-19 testing to the general public. With WhatsApp Business Platform, they can provide direct information about appointments and tests.

94%

of interactions don’t require live agent support

$2.5

million in estimated savings for customer service with WhatsApp

90%

improvement in customer satisfaction since implementing WhatsApp

20x

fewer call center personnel needed to handle inquiries by adopting WhatsApp

THEIR STORY

Cutting-edge COVID-19 testing

ATGen is a biotechnology company specializing in in-vitro diagnostics using molecular and immunological techniques. Over the last 10 years the company shifted to providing more clinical laboratory services for national and regional public and private health institutions. As a recipient of many awards, ATGen is respected for its commitment to innovation and cutting-edge research.

THEIR GOAL

COVID-19 testing services at scale

ATGen is a biotechnology company specializing in in-vitro diagnostics using molecular and immunological techniques. Over the last 10 years the company shifted to providing more clinical laboratory services for national and regional public and private health institutions. As a recipient of many awards, ATGen is respected for its commitment to innovation and cutting-edge research.

THEIR SOLUTION

Becoming a consumer-oriented business

Incubated in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of the Republic, ATGen is a spin-off biotechnology company that was mostly unknown to the Uruguayan public until the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020. The organization previously served health-care service providers who purchased ATGen clinical services, diagnostic reagents, and recombinant proteins.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the company anticipated the global need for COVID-19 testing. In response, they started developing proprietary techniques and producing their own RNA extraction kits as well as RT-PCR and antibody testing kits. During the first weeks after the outbreak of the pandemic in Uruguay, ATGen was the only private clinical laboratory in the country able to test symptomatic people, so the initial demand grew exponentially.

As the pandemic progressed, ATGen found itself in a unique position to help address the surge in demand for COVID-19 testing as healthcare institutions were overwhelmed. Many other clinical labs that started buying commercial kits faced shortages in plastics, extraction kits, and materials like swabs and viral transport media.

Ongoing media coverage of the pandemic quickly made once unfamiliar terms like PCR and antigen testing more easily understood by the public. Hospitals and healthcare institutions that turned to ATGen’s laboratory services were unable to keep up with demands from patients and started sending people directly to ATGen’s website and office for COVID-19 tests.

The impact on ATGen was immediate, as the testing requests from institutions and individuals skyrocketed. “Our phone lines were overwhelmed. People who couldn’t get through also tried to obtain information through our personal numbers and email. We were flooded with hundreds of thousands of communications,” says Fabricio Sarlos, associate director at ATGen. “With information about COVID-19 changing daily, we knew the interactions were going to grow into the millions.”

Expanding beyond the previous business-centric model and opening services for COVID-19 testing to the general public required the company to rethink traditional approaches to customer service. ATGen turned to business solution partner tyntec and implementation partner Simpletech to automate a digital channel to manage all inquiries for patient services on the WhatsApp Business Platform. By streamlining workflows for the high volume of service requests, the company centralized communicating everything about scheduling and results using a smart service bot.

Virtual assistant flow provides instructions to get COVID-19 test results

Bot notifies latest COVID-19 testing requirements and offers discount on diagnostic services

“WhatsApp is an incredible platform that enabled us to redirect millions of minutes in support that otherwise would have gone to live agents,” says Sarlos. “We not only save time by not having to address repetitive inquiries, but we can also identify those individuals who feel very anxious about results.” For instance, if ATGen suspects that anxious individuals are sending repeated messages to the platform to get their results, the company can connect those people with a live agent to help alleviate their concerns. But for most patients, WhatsApp has been an easy tool for scheduling COVID-19 testing appointments and receiving updates about their results.

The easy-to-use platform enables the customer service team to quickly adapt how it responds to customers as the pandemic evolves. “Our team can easily make changes directly to the platform to deliver updated information about test pricing and other details,” says Sarlos. “With WhatsApp we could identify increases in specific types of inquiries and easily make changes to respond to customer needs.”

ATGen has created additional services to help tourists and travelers meet government testing requirements to enter Uruguay. In these cases, knowing where tests were done is critical. If a test was done in the airport or in the port on arrival, ATGen can send travelers a message that notifies that they will need to do a second follow-up test seven days after. To better support healthcare providers and labs, ATGen installed the first drive thru facility in the country as well as mobile clinical laboratories in different locations including port terminals and border crossing points. By offering testing at strategic entry points, people at the airport could get tested on arrival or while aboard the ferry connecting Montevideo and Buenos Aires, making travelling to Uruguay easier.

What started as a 12-person company grew to an organization of 180 people within a few months. Even with the rapid growth, ATGen’s customer support team only grew to seven full-time agents, since almost all inquiries can be supported through WhatsApp. “The speed at which our company grew while having to learn a completely new type of business model made automation an essential priority,” explains Sarlos. “We could not hire enough people to handle such a tremendous volume. Fortunately, the bot virtual assistance makes it easy for people to connect.”

ATGen saw a 90 percent improvement in customer satisfaction since implementing WhatsApp, with the automated workflows handling 94 percent of interactions without live agent support. “Without automation, we would be spending about $2.5 million annually just in customer service, and still not be able to achieve the same high-quality interactions that WhatsApp offers,” says Sarlos.

The estimated savings are based on the number of live agents needed to handle the steep growth in service demand. “We estimate that with WhatsApp we can comfortably meet all our current customer service demands using 20 times fewer employees than if we had to fully staff a traditional customer service center.”

In the future ATGen will add new use cases for WhatsApp to include offering support for clients needing to finetune production techniques and protein quality control. By offering more services from other ATGen divisions focused on developing and manufacturing innovative products, the company will further strengthen its position as a global biotech leader, known for delivering high-quality, accessible solutions that benefit people, animals, and the environment

THEIR SUCCESS

Innovative laboratory diagnostics

Through WhatsApp Business Platform, ATGen automates workflows to deliver COVID-19 diagnostic services. The company has reduced complexity in logistics for customer testing needs, while greatly decreasing inquiries requiring live agent support.

  • 94% of interactions don’t require live agent support
  • $2.5 million in estimated savings for customer service with WhatsApp
  • 90% improvement in customer satisfaction since implementing WhatsApp
  • 20x fewer call center personnel needed to handle inquiries by adopting WhatsApp
  • 1400% company growth with minimal increase in customer service agents with WhatsApp
*Results are unique and are provided by the featured business. Success story results will vary, as they depend on a variety of factors.

“Our team can easily make changes directly to the platform to deliver updated information about test pricing and other details. With WhatsApp we could identify increases in specific types of inquiries and easily make changes to respond to customer needs. Without automation, we would be spending about $2.5 million annually just in customer service, and still not be able to achieve the same high-quality interactions that WhatsApp offers.”

Fabricio Sarlos
Associate Director

PRODUCTS USED

WhatsApp Business Platform

Connect with customers easily by using tools to automate and quickly respond to messages.