Online Service from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of FL (795 words)
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida gears up for online service and sales (795 words)
By Rob Panepinto
FACED WITH THE CHALLENGES of selling a complex product online and protecting its well-established brand, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) recognized that knowledgeable, efficient customer service is critical. The company wanted to empower customers to interact via the channel of their choice but also realized consumers expect outstanding service regardless of how they contact a company—and that their expectations may be even higher for the Web.
Among BCBSF's objectives for the spring 2001 launch of Internet Pilot, its first-ever initiative to sell health insurance online, are:
•lower costs by driving sales through a more efficient channel;
•improve existing relationships with customers and brokers;
•increase sales through new leads and expanded ancillary products; and
•provide competitive advantage by meeting customer demand for online services.
To accomplish these goals, BCBSF needed state-of-the-art customer-
service applications, and just as importantly, sophisticated IT integration to support them.
While its outsourcing search initially focused on finding multiple partners to provide various solutions, BCBSF ultimately decided to use a turnkey source for Web development and implementation services. A large part of that decision was based on the desire for access to real-time information across all channels to better serve customers, as well as the preference for using one central database to manage sensitive customer information.
Developing the Web Site
The health insurance provider selected Connextions.net to develop the site on top of the Siebel CRM platform and to seamlessly integrate it with BCBSF's upcoming internal Siebel implementation. In addition, the goal was to provide consistent customer service by equipping Connextions.net CSRs with the same advanced tools as BCBSF's field agents and internal customer care staff. At Connextions.net's customer care center, the company integrated Siebel's Call Center System with Connextions' Aspect Customer Access Portal.