DETROIT— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was recognized this week by Forrester Research’s January 2014 report, “The Customer Experience Index, 2014,” as earning the biggest improvement across multiple industries in overall “customer experience.” This ranking advances the company to a second place ranking overall among the health insurance providers evaluated. The Forrester report surveys consumers about their “customer experience” at 175 large U.S. brands across 14 industries, including insurance firms.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan scored a 75, following what Forrester refers to as a “jaw-dropping increase” of 22 points. BCBSM now ranks second place among surveyed health insurance providers nationally.
The Forrester Customer Experience Index (CXi) surveys more than 7,500 U.S. consumers about the brands they do business with. Participants are asked how enjoyable and easy the brand was to do business with, as well as if the company was effective at meeting their needs. The survey was fielded in October 2013. Based on responses, Forrester calculates a brand’s CXi score.
“As the industry changes, the way health insurance companies interact with their customers must change,” says Daniel J. Loepp, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We strive to make our members’ experience with us more enjoyable, our communication easier to understand and more useful than before. We’re honored to have this recognition, but this is just the beginning. We have a unique opportunity to partner with our members in ways that lead to better care and ultimately better health. The Blues will do that by continuing to focus on our members, listening to their needs, and innovating in ways that make their lives easier.”
In 2011, Blue Cross initiated a focused effort to make the customer experience more easy, useful and enjoyable, BCBSM has a dedicated customer experience team that works to educate, equip, and empower employees with the tools and information they need to deliver a great member experience. The effort includes many elements, such as:
Customer Experience Room: In 2012, BCBSM launched its award-winning, 300-square-foot mobile, interactive Customer Experience Room, which helped nearly 7,000 employees understand and empathize with customer pain points about health insurance. Designed to meet a variety of learning styles, the room allowed employees to “walk in the shoes” of three customer personas, crafted after extensive research by the company.
Listening to Members: The health insurer has also worked to co-create with members, really listening to what was desired as the ideal experience. As Forrester points out, “Instead of redesigning its explanation of benefits (EOB) in a vacuum, the firm asked health plan members what their ideal EOB would look like. In a 2-hour workshop, customers cut up and then reassembled sections of content from several different EOB formats, showing the insurer exactly what information they wanted to see and the order in which they wanted to see it.”
Building on Proven Success: Blue Cross continues to improve the customer experience by making investments in contact center training and technology to improve customer service and satisfaction. The Blues have also redesigned their retail website, bcbsm.com, making it easy for consumers to shop, while making member benefits easy to understand. Members can search for a physician, and review provider cost and quality information.