Dynamic shifts in a highly competitive sector
nib provides value for money and affordable health cover to more than one million people across Australia and New Zealand. With more than 60 years’ experience, the Newcastle-based health insurer has witnessed dynamic shifts and changes in what has become a highly competitive sector. nib has an enduring philosophy: that the needs of the community will be better served if private health insurance is easy to understand, has simple to process claims and most of all, clearly represents good value. While this vision has underpinned its growth momentum in the marketplace, in early 2014 nib wanted to take the positive experiences of its existing and prospective customers to a new dimension.
Senior management were major sponsors in the move to upgrade the capability of the existing Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform. The directive was clear: the primary objective was motivated by the desire to enhance the customer experience and ensure the platform selected enabled nib to support business growth through capability, scale and distribution. The existing platform was not adequately supporting the growth and diversification of the company. The key limitations included: insufficient throughput to support high burst volumes in bulk mailouts, lack of support for document personalization leading to inefficient template management, the ability to support multiple delivery and device channels, lack of consistent records management archiving capability and the ability to efficiently support nib’s business segments and partner brands.
These factors built a barrier to the realization of business proposals and creative marketing ideas.
A CCM platform was a key building block in providing the opportunity for nib and its partners to grow and capture new markets. Two significant agreements involved strategic partners—one a national specialist insurance provider and the other a rewards programme with Australia’s national airline. Both initiatives involved nib underwriting and servicing health insurance customers under the partners’ brand. A key ingredient to support these ‘white labelling’ opportunities is a correspondence platform that is able to scale and create the brand, tone, style and voice of the partner brands.
nib needed a platform that could make it easy and cost effective to create high quality personalized customer correspondence for multiple business segments and partner brands. The company performed its own research and analysis of the marketplace over a three-month period before issuing a request for proposal. Solutions from a total of seven vendors were considered.
“Meetings were held with each prospective vendor to help them understand our business problem and vision. This allowed nib to share a more detailed explanation of what we wanted to achieve,” explained Glenn Moore, head of Core Applications Delivery at nib, who was involved in the search for a new solution.
Building and executing the detailed road map
“Exstream simply stood out in terms of product features and how it met the criteria we were demanding,” said Glenn Moore. “The role played by Professional Services was critical in helping us build and execute a detailed roadmap for the implementation of the new platform.
“There was a two-month period of building our own competency. The Professional Services team was involved in conducting workshops as part of the mentoring and training process. Within three months, we delivered the first piece of correspondence to market, our customer reminder letter which covers payments, overdue prompts and cancellations. This was a legacy standalone communication, the ideal candidate to use as a proof of concept to demonstrate the Exstream capability.”
Encouraged by this success, nib turned to the major task of creating a new ‘Welcome Pack’ for customers. This is the first piece of correspondence a customer receives when joining and hence it is critical in being able to convey what the customer has purchased and how they can start to realize value from their health cover.
“The limitations of the previous platform did not allow nib to highlight important aspects of the health cover that the customer had purchased. It was operationally impossible to create the personalization the business desired. This had flow-on effects, with some customers indicating that they could not clearly differentiate and understand what they had purchased,” said Moore.
“In late 2014 the Exstream solution went live and the whole dynamic changed. The redesigned ‘Welcome Pack’ eliminated unnecessary content and was able to highlight key product information.” nib can now deliver content explaining the benefits of health insurance more relevant to a particular customer’s circumstances and how he or she can start to get value from their health cover.
“The product has been very flexible in terms of its design capability, as of yet there have been no marketing design limitations surface,” said Moore.