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Bone Deep CX: Leveraging Customer Experience Technologies across Healthcare Organizations

November 4, 2016
by Will Hinde and Chris Althoff, West Monroe Partners
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Improved customer experience drives down care delivery costs, reduces administrative expenses, improves patient and member retention and fosters better patient decision making. The key is a bone deep CX vision that leverages customer experience technologies across healthcare organizations.

By bone deep we mean a commitment to delivering a superior customer experience that goes way beyond the sales and marketing groups and includes clinicians, technicians, billing departments, IT and…everyone.  Including the executive suite. Front, middle and back offices are all integral members of the CX team—just as it is at premier consumer organizations like Amazon. Accordingly, successful CX organizations broaden the definition of CX technology to include all technologies that help create, or can be drawn on to produce, a more satisfied, knowledgeable customer who is actively engaged in his or her health.

Committed use of these leveraged technologies deliver what we regard as the four capabilities that define effective, multi-channeled customer experiences:

  • Customer Experience (CX) Strategy & Design—Developing a vision and blueprint consistent with the brand promise. 

  • CX Information Management—Integration of data, including big/unstructured, to develop a single customer view. 

  • CX Insights—Leveraging information-based customer intelligence, analytics, modeling, segmentation, and research.
  • CX Delivery—Using data, insights, and technology to make an optimal customer experience operational.

Front Office

Customer data is the critical foundation for building relationships. Taking an outside-in approach by using consumer research and in-depth customer is key to understanding needs and behavior motivators.  Maintaining a customer and product history and robust customer analytics provides insights on how different segments interact with a payer. Understanding and honoring customer preferences enhances engagements and builds trust.

Personalized experience strategies enhance engagements and cultivate relationships. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to building relationships with customers; different segments have different needs and behaviors. Relationship strategies should be aligned to the brand identity and reinforce segment value propositions.

Omni-channel customer experiences creates a consistent dialogue and enables customers to engage the organization through their channel of choice. It provides a consistent dialogue with customers regardless of channel. Channel escalations should be clearly articulated to customers in order to not create confusion/disappointment. A good omni-channel experience provides a fuller picture of how customers engage and improves measurement activities.

A supporting infrastructure is necessary to orchestrate relationship development. An engagement architecture comprised of profile, preference, campaign automation, channel, content and interaction management capabilities is necessary for executing designed experiences and measuring success. Robust analytics ensure continuous improvement; Sophistication needs to evolve from retrospective analysis to predictive modeling. Enhanced data management and integration is key to deliver timely/appropriate information and address privacy concerns.

Product strategy must evolve with the world. Products are no longer just major medical; major medical needs to be thought of as a component of a larger product design. Ancillary/cross-sell and up-sell products are a continual focus to supplement core offerings. Tools that were traditionally thought of as self-service (i.e. transparency, member portals) need to be a part of the product design.

Flexible product design is table stakes in every other industry. Consumers are used to the ability to configure their own products in most industries, healthcare shouldn’t be different. Consumer-friendly interfaces must be developed to access the catalogue during order capture. Tools should direct sales teams to preferred options.

Product starts a multi-functional workflow that needs to be right. Product is the top of a multi-functional workflow, if you don’t get it right you don’t get the rest of the business right. Business processes need to be well defined to ensure effective hand-offs between business functions throughout the product lifecycle. Process automation ensures process consistency while reducing admin costs. Business rules to govern the product customization capabilities and the overall process must be established.

Each year should build on the last. Data from previous year configurations should inform future product designs and portfolio management efforts. Customer product configurations should be stored and serve as a starting point for resale efforts. Product data should inform cross-sell/up-sell opportunity identification. Considerations for product retirement and transitions.

Middle Office

Care management is about behavior change. Customers are often “passive,” overwhelmed, and unaware of how they should be taken care of themselves. Members and patients play a large role in determining both the need for, and the outcomes of care; however, they are ineffective managers of their own health and health care due to lack of tools, knowledge, and motivation.


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