Best CX Companies List profiles: Bupa's Voice of the Customer project

Healthcare provider recognised with Best CX Leading Initiatives award for its Voice of the Customer project

From left: Fifth Quadrant's Kristi Mansfield, Bupa's Jessica Reefe and CMO's Nadia Cameron
From left: Fifth Quadrant's Kristi Mansfield, Bupa's Jessica Reefe and CMO's Nadia Cameron

Healthcare provider, Bupa, has been awarded the Best CX Leading Initiatives award in recognition of its efforts to transform into a customer-centric organisation with projects such as Voice of the Customer, which collects customer feedback in real time.

The award was presented as part of the inaugural Best Customer Experience Companies List in Sydney today. The list was developed and presented by customer engagement strategy consultancy, Fifth Quadrant, and supported by CMO and event sponsor, Oracle.

Bupa Australia senior customer experience consultant ,Jessica Leefe, told CMO it started working on the Voice of the Customer project with Fifth Quadrant 18 months ago.

“After each [phone] call or service interaction, we survey our customer to understand what their feedback and experience was. We can learn from that, identify key areas for improvement and put initiatives in place to work on those areas and improve them,” she said.

For example, the price rises on health insurance premiums every year. Bupa is obligated to communicate that insurance premium rise to its membership base.

“That [rise] could have a significantly positive or negative impact depending on the level of cover the customer has,” said Leefe. “We really wanted to understand if we are communicating in the right way, are those changes clear and understood by the customer? What kind of impact that is having on the customer?”

When that insurance premium price rise happens, Bupa can use specific details about a customer to help support them and offer advice.

“We can’t really understand that unless we are talking to our customers,” Leefe said.

Read more: CGU personalises SME services

Executives from Bupa’s partner company in the United Kingdom recently visited Australia to look at Voice of the Customer. They were so impressed with the project that there are plans to eventually roll out the program globally, starting with the UK.

Another way Bupa is trying to improve the customer experience is working with customers on design solutions to improve the experience of going to the optometrist. Leefe explained the organisation runs optical stores where customers can get eye tests and pick out new glasses.

“We’ve had customers coming into the optical stores with us afterhours and working through new prototypes and solutions on how they could have a better experience in store,” she said. “The reason we do it after hours is so that customers have access to the stores without disrupting the flow. It’s also sometimes easier for the customer to come in during the evening as they’re busy at work.”

However, the customer experience journey has not being without its challenges for Bupa. When the organisation began the Voice of the Customer program 18 months ago, Leefe looked at Bupa’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) and was dismayed to see a very negative score.

“In the last 12 months, we have improved our Net Promoter Score by 20 points. If you line that up against other competitors in the health insurance industry, that helps us to line up as even. We’re not miles behind everyone else,” Leefe said.

However, she said it is less about the score and more about the richness of the feedback being received.

Read more: CMO50 #26-50: John Moore, Bupa

“If we’re going to be a brand that customers love, what are the experiences that can support that?” Leefe asked.

Commenting on the Best CX Leading Initiatives award, Leefe said it demonstrates Bupa is on the right path.

“If we can continue on that pathway than we can get there and say we are a truly customer lead organisation.”

“From our global CEO, Stuart Fletcher, all the way down, we have an ambition to be customer led. We have an internal stand which is about being loved by customers and we have a vision to help people lead healthier and longer lives," she said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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