Overcoming challenges earns Best of Blue award

Many companies face customer service challenges as they change their technology platform, products or procedures. How they respond is key to keeping customers satisfied.

Regence leads the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association member plans in successfully resolving member issues in the first call. But in late 2010, when the company introduced a new common technology platform across four states, and procedural changes, there was a significant drop-off in customer satisfaction.

Leaders in several departments jumped into action to retain the company’s high rating. The company’s quick and coordinated response not only retained the highest first-call resolution rate, but earned  it a “Best of Blue” award from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

“Digging down to the root cause of the problem, we could see that the solution needed to span many different factors,” said Joanne Simmons, vice president of Member Services. “We developed new ways of communicating among our teams to break down the barriers between departments, functions and technology.”

Regence’s multifaceted response produced measurable improvement in this area, and raised employee satisfaction scores. Part of the improvement process required developing a knowledge management tool that significantly changed and improved the way frontline staff receives information. The new tool made it easier to serve members while making the team more efficient.

The winning strategy shifted the culture of communication among different teams to remove silos. The outcome improved not only customer service measures, but employee satisfaction.

Success was measurable:  

• Increased customer satisfaction by 5 percent

• Decreased customer level of effort by 7 percent

• Increased employee satisfaction by 5 percent

• Achieved first contact resolution of 82 percent

Regence was awarded the Best of Blue not only for the quick action of the team to remedy the problem, but also for the excellent documentation that allowed the plan to transfer this lesson learned to other Blue plans to improve their customer service.

About Regence affiliated companies
The Regence affiliated companies serve more than two million members through Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each health plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Regence affiliated companies are committed to improving the health of its members and communities and to transforming the health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or follow us on Twitter