The Hospitals Contribution Fund (HCF) of Australia was formed in 1932. HCF is a leading health insurer. Each year it sends its 680,000 policyholders notification of their new premiums. This is a difficult communication that often results in complaints and even attrition.
Traditionally, they had taken a ‘one size fits all’ approach, with little in the way of tailored messaging.
Importantly, policyholders got a much clearer understanding of the price changes that affected them, accompanied by highly tailored and relevant messaging about the value of their membership and cover.
Most private health fund customers expect an annual review to their premiums, but don’t look forward to it. This communication has the potential to create higher costs for the call centre due to increased complaint calls, as well as lost revenue from people who lose their belief in the value of membership.
HCF needed to notify its 680,000 policyholders about their new premiums, which would take effect on 1 April 2017. As usual, this had potential negative consequences for customer satisfaction and the business.
In the past, there had been a ‘one size fits all’ approach with only minimal tailoring of the communication. Until 2016, the communication had included both a partially personalised letter and a separate brochure with generic messaging. This was a costly, impersonal and ineffective way to deliver the message.
The Communications Challenge
The communications challenge was to help members clearly understand the changes to their premium, which were predominantly increases. To counter this largely negative news, HCF also wanted to demonstrate the value of membership by communicating the benefits in a highly targeted way.
For this to be effective, we needed to deliver a personalised experience to each one of those 680,000 policyholders, and to do that meant embracing digital technology systems.
HCF saw the premium review as one of its key annual communications, and looked for a new way to deliver this as part of their digital transformation. HCF chose to partner with AIRDOCS in 2016 because it gave them the flexibility to manage the project in-house with the ability to make changes to the communication template and logic, without the need for external providers. This was important, because with such a time-critical project (the 1 April date of the increase is immovable), AIRDOCS made it possible to make changes quickly, right up to the “11th hour”.
The process of passing data to the Microsoft AZURE platform and back to HCF was streamlined via a high speed SFTP process, providing security and reducing the time and associated costs of moving large amounts of data.
In terms of execution, we moved from one-size-fits-all approach to a highly targeted document using details about:
The resulting communications matrix included well over 100 unique variations across the 680,000 customer base.
All the personalised content was formatted into a single A4 document, delivered either by mail or email according to the customer’s subscription preference. The AIRDOCS platform uses the state-of-the-art CSF composition tool by FIS Global which also enables a print-ready PDF to be sent to a print and mail stream (in the case of a hard email bounce) creating time and reporting efficiencies.
The double-sided document was personalised in nine different areas – ranging from the letter and panels on the front (which provided details of the changes), to the panels on the back that supported the value benefits of being a member of HCF and the types of cover they owned. (See examples provided.)
The communication was designed and written in a more targeted way to explain the changes clearly, and reinforce the value that HCF members consistently enjoy.
After the communication was generated within AIRDOCS, these were supplied back to HCF via SFTP for loading into their Member Portal.
Benefits and Impact
Transformation and Differentiation
The founders of AIRDOCS had a long history in the Customer Communications Management industry, designing, implementing and supporting customers using on-premise and ASP style solutions. Frustration with the complexity, time to market and cost of these ASP solutions led to the formation of AIRDOCS as a company and a product. From the outset AIRDOCS was designed as a cloud first solution based on a Microsoft stack. Some of the key benefits / drivers are:
The solution we developed for HCF is relevant to any mid-market company anywhere in the world. Every mid-market company with more than around 10,000 customers will be challenged to access sophisticated technology like AIRDOCS. This is because traditional on-premise CCM solutions are costly, complex and time-consuming to implement and use.
AIRDOCS brings world-class CCM functionality to mid-market companies as a service. Our customers can launch campaigns in a matter of days and pay for the usage they consume. So, mid-market companies, like HCF, now have access to the technology to implement a full digital customer experience.
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