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CIGNA Works with IBM to Transform Customer Experience


Strategy Drives Improvement in Customers’ Understanding of Their Health Benefits

ARMONK, N.Y. & BLOOMFIELD, Conn. - CIGNA (NYSE:CI) today announced the initial results of its multi-year strategy that places an entirely new focus on improving customers’ experience. The effort has led to an improvement in customer understanding of their benefits in excess of 100 percent, a 50 percent reduction in the number of printed materials customers receive, and the use of simpler language that doesn’t rely on insurance jargon. It also led CIGNA to become the first in its industry to offer 24 hour-a-day, seven day-a-week customer service.

Tapping the expertise of IBM Global Business Services (NYSE:IBM) as an advisor, CIGNA has driven its new customer focus throughout a 27,000-employee organization, retraining employees on how to deliver consistent, quality service to its customers. The company started by creating a Customer Experience Office – a first in the health service industry -- to serve as the voice of the customer and spearhead a cultural change. Working with IBM, CIGNA’s Customer Experience Office identified and prioritized specific areas for improvement, focusing on eliminating pain points for customers and addressing issues that had the most relevance to customers.

“At the heart of our effort is our own acknowledgement that we need to do more to remove complexity and confusion and be easier to understand, whether on the phone, through our enrollment communications or by examining the language we use to explain our products and services,” said Ingrid Lindberg, CIGNA Customer Experience Officer. “This is an ongoing effort, and our company has embraced this vision that puts customers at the center of efforts to improve health, well-being and sense of security. These efforts are having an impact.”

In addition, CIGNA began to tap customer information to make interactions with the company more personalized. For example, when a customer calls in with a question about a dental claim, CIGNA employees can note that they also receive pharmacy benefits and offer to provide help in refilling a prescription while they are on the line. By working more closely with customers, CIGNA representatives are now able to help identify gaps in care and work with their doctors and care managers to help ensure patients are taking the right medication and getting the follow up they need either from a primary care doctor or a specialist.

CIGNA’s new strategy extended to every facet of its interactions with its health care customers. The company started by simplifying the way material is written, reducing the amount customers receive and bringing clarity to how CIGNA employees speak with customers by explaining complicated benefits, policies and legal clauses in simplified terms. It also simplified its explanation of benefits to make the information more clear and understandable and will begin use of the redesigned explanation of benefits this fall.

“CIGNA recognizes and embraces the importance of the individual customer and their experience and this has led to a profound change in how CIGNA has modeled its business,” said Steve LaValle, Partner, IBM Global Business Services. “For example, CIGNA also developed new technology that provides a 360-degree view of the customer allowing CIGNA’s customer experience associates rapid access to the same consistent information to address customer needs.”

The company also worked closely with IBM Global Business Services to transform how data is captured, stored, analyzed and used for the benefit of customers. This includes using IBM FileNet enterprise content management software to capture, store and retrieve CIGNA communications with customers such as forms, letters and e-mails to provide rapid access to same information customers see while addressing customer needs – something most customers might expect but few organizations can actually do.

A new IBM whitepaper: Don’t yield on customer trust: Navigating the customer experience journey on the rough road ahead, describes how CIGNA worked with IBM Global Business Services to develop its comprehensive customer focused strategy, the results of its efforts to date and lessons learned for other organizations also striving to be customer focused.


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