Cover Story: Let Customers Be Your Guide
According to Stein, "That's a synopsis of the way our thinking changed and the way our actions changed." The research process was, "not just academic or strategic. It had those facets. But it was also action-oriented. We knew when the folks wanted us to call, and when we did that call, what the tone of that call needed to be, and that informed our scripts."
HMS' New Course
"There's some low-hanging fruit, and then there are some really tough challenges that come out of VOC research," explains Stein. "One of the tough things that comes out of it is you get really excited and you get great ideas. Then you have to think about the complexity of implementation."
There are some quick wins."
There are some tactics that companies can implement easily, according to Stein, such as reworking the voice in their communications. But in the bigger picture, he says, "We can't do something far different and in a far better way, and still use the same platform."
HMS is now in the middle of a strategic overhaul of its systems to implement the larger strategies that came out of its customer research. "We made an initial investment to create the bridge" systems that allowed HMS to implement some of the strategic suggestions quickly, says Stein, "but we're in the midst now of fully overhauling our systems, and that's across the customer's experience."
This overhaul goes beyond sales and marketing "to the whole claims experience," continues Stein, "which interlocks with the other touchpoints. … Anytime you contact us, whether it's to make a claim or to interact with us, we know who you are. … We're doing all that on a customized, individualized basis based on preferences. And that's a significant investment we're making throughout our entire business, largely informed by the [VOC]."