Customer service is priority number one

February 7, 2017

Beneficiary Change Form For the benefits services officers, delivering exceptional service to plan members is priority number one and is expressed in the department’s vision: we take care of the caregivers. So when they see an opportunity to improve the customer experience they find a way to make it happen.

The Beneficiary Change Form presented one such opportunity.

The form consistently came into the employee benefits department with invalid information. The benefits services officers processing the form would highlight the invalid information and send it back to plan members for correction, accompanied by a letter detailing the changes that needed to be made. This process was very ineffective and didn’t really reach out to plan members in a way that was consistent with the department’s vision.

A team comprising representatives from Eden Care Communities, Great-West Life, a plan member, and 3sHealth assembled to review the Beneficiary Change Form. Very quickly the team concluded the number of errors could be due to the form design. For two months prior to the event, the team tracked the number of incorrect forms received. During that time 44 per cent of all Beneficiary Change Forms received in the employee benefits department contained errors and had to be returned to plan members.

“We knew there were defects on the form based on the number of invalid forms coming into the department,” said benefits services officer, Brenda Reid.

The form was re-created with fewer fields and for the next two-month period the team gathered data on the Beneficiary Change Form. This time only three per cent of the forms received in the employee benefits department had errors.

The team observed that the process for correcting the errors on the Beneficiary Change Form could also be improved. Now, instead of sending plan members a letter, the benefits services officers’ phone plan members and validate the forms in real-time, ensuring the form gets completed accurately. Invalid forms are still returned to plan members for signature, but the personal touch demonstrates the employee benefits team’s commitment to delivering the best possible service to plan members.

While Reid admits the sample size was small, fewer than 100 Beneficiary Change Forms for each trial period, the early results are impressive. The new process will continue to be monitored for the next 30 days and the team will continue to look for opportunities for improvement.

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