PFL Helps Health Insurers Stay HIPAA Compliant & Customer-Focused

Filed in Big Sky: Big Ideas, Marketing Automation on October 23, 2018 by

We talk a lot about how Tactile Marketing Automation (TMA) builds personalization into your marketing and sales strategy. But that can mean more than just happier customer relations. TMA can also help solve problems that threaten your business’s chances for success.

Consider the experience of Angela Dunbar, Marketing Manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS-MI), who knows something about pain points in the health insurance marketplace.

Not only is the process of enrolling new individual members labor-intensive for the insurer, but baffled consumers often find themselves navigating a labyrinth of coverage options and premiums, which can lead to uncertainty. Things get even more problematic if the enrollment process is delayed.

“Basically, we’re a retail business that lives inside a wholesale organization,” says Dunbar. “We live in an industry that’s very complex, and it values decision-making that’s based on data.”

For Dunbar, the data was troubling. Federal, State, and local regulations require insurers to send enrollment materials to prospective members within a strict time frame, often just seven days. Failing to comply with the regulations meant that an enrollment might fall through.

BCBS-MI had long relied on an outdated, siloed process for getting information packets and benefit summaries to consumers. When responding to requests for information, a representative would typically work with two other departments within the company, as well as an external print vendor, in order to have the packets printed and fulfilled.

“Onboarding new members was a pain point,” Dunbar says. “It took an inordinate amount of time (roughly two weeks). We set out to change that.”

A Multi-channel Approach

Dunbar took initial steps to get the new strategy in place. Salesforce Marketing Cloud was used to automate BCBS-MI’s existing direct mail messaging across customer journeys. One of the primary benefits was having an alternative method of communicating with members who might not receive emails, but the integration of Salesforce also had the added effect of automatically recording member channel preferences.

Then Dunbar worked with PFL to bring TMA into the mix. Thanks to TMA’s seamless integration with Salesforce, BCBS-MI now had a fast, easy, and accurate way to send information packets and other communications, as well as solid data that supported their industry compliance. Instead of the slow, siloed process used before, print orders could be dispatched automatically, with timestamps noting the mailing date and when the packet was actually received by the consumer.

“Salesforce and PFL facilitated a sea change in the way we do business,” Dunbar says, noting that BCBS-MI saw a remarkable 73% reduction in time to welcome new members. TMA not only triggered the production and sending of direct mail, but it allowed for specific targeting and personalization of materials when needed.

The integration of TMA and Salesforce not only solved problems surrounding compliance, but it reduced production costs by 56%, thanks to the elimination of manual file creation, data transfer, and inventory control.

From Problem Solver to Featured Speaker

Dunbar’s success in launching the new strategy earned her accolades not only within her industry, but in the overall marketing community. She was a featured speaker at this year’s Big Sky: Big Ideas conference in Bozeman, MT, where she talked about BCBS-MI’s journey into automation.

“Automation isn’t for the faint of heart,” Dunbar admits. It takes a considerable team effort, she says, and resistance within an organization can be a factor. But marketing executives should also be ambassadors for change, especially if it means solving problems that can hobble an organization’s future.

A few tips that she says can help get the automation process off to the right start:

  • Think of how your teams are aligned. “Organize your teams to be more journey-centric, more customer-centric.”
  • Plan for both the expected and the unexpected. “Develop your timelines, but you’ll probably want to double them – especially runway.”
  • Establish a framework for vetting and analyzing any new apps and capabilities you may want to add. “Scale accordingly, deploy, and measure results.”

To hear more details from Angela Dunbar’s talk at Big Sky: Big Ideas 2018, watch here:

Curious to find out how TMA can be customized to create your own business solutions? Call us at PFL at 800-930-7098 and we’ll be happy to talk.

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