Data Controls and Customer Loyalty: How Big Companies Keep Clients

July 16, 2014
222 Views

Data controls may go hand-in-hand with maintaining accurate financial information and compliance reports, but IT leaders from some of the nation’s biggest enterprises say they also use controls for something else: Customer retention.

Data controls may go hand-in-hand with maintaining accurate financial information and compliance reports, but IT leaders from some of the nation’s biggest enterprises say they also use controls for something else: Customer retention.

Progressive’s IT Group Manager, Joe Olexa, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Manager of Applied Systems Knowledge, Randy Mirador, agree that part of keeping clients loyal to their insurance providers is maintaining accurate customer data. And according to Olexa, minor slip-ups can to contribute to a client deciding to search for services elsewhere.

“Think about when you get erroneous emails or incorrect mailings, or even worse, you get information that was intended for somebody else – that’s not a real good recipe for retention,” Olexa said during an Infogix-hosted Q&A with leading data experts. “Errors like that really affect the loyalty aspect. I think there’s a real opportunity for the application of a number of controls to really extend that customer loyalty.”

For Mirador’s team at BCBSNC, concerns around retaining customers were much more serious than faulty emails. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there were significant changes to the insurer’s product line, which meant quick changes to its business line to meet compliance standards.

Altering insurance offerings led to increased concerns from clients who were worried they might lose their existing policies. As a result, BCBSNC had to look at the policies most affected and took the necessary steps to meet customer needs.

“There’s a fine line between handling complaints and maintaining loyalty by keeping customers happy,” Mirador explained. “As you can imagine, there was a lot of confusion and concern, and we had to build or maintain that loyalty with customers. We created brick-and-mortar locations to meet face-to-face and answer their questions. We had traveling RVs and kiosks at other locations to get the right information to customers. Access to the right information goes hand-in-hand with compliance and customer loyalty.”

Overall, Olexa says a solid infrastructure of data controls can help an enterprise fix errors, address problems and keep customers happy.

“Controls can allow you to detect a problem earlier in the transaction lifecycle,” he said. “For example, if we send you a wrong bill, you might either cancel your policy or call us. That’s a bad customer experience that’s created right out of the gate. If we can detect that problem before the customer even realizes it and correct it, we may have just bought a customer for a longer period of time. Controls allow you to manage errors better.”

“I like to use the analogy that controls are the safety net underneath the trapeze artist,” Olexa continued. “You hope you never have to use it, but when you do, you’re sure as heck happy to have it.”

Both Progressive and BCBSNC have been Infogix customers for more than 20 years.

By: