The best decisions are made with customers, not for them. But this isn’t always easy. During Alida Activate—Fall ‘21, however, we got to hear from two pioneers in this area who showed us that type of transformation is entirely possible.
Namely, we spoke with Jordan Gray, Senior Consumer Insights Researcher at Regence Health, and Kylie Moskevich of the Research and Insights team at Westfield Insurance. They walked us through the steps their organizations have taken to address multiple audiences, and shared tips for how to amplify your own customer experience efforts. Here were just a few of the top takeaways from the session:
1. Spend time listening to all of your audiences
In a B2B2C space like health insurance, it’s essential to carve out time and space for gathering insights from each distinct audience. As Kylie puts it, “I think it’s really important when we think about insights that we think about that holistic agent, employee and customer perspective.”
At Westfield Insurance, Kylie explains they gather these diverse insights from four primary sources. This includes two online insight communities—one for agents and one for consumers—plus an employee listening program managed by their HR team. They also manage an online voice of consumer (VOC) program.
When gathering feedback about certain initiatives like digital feature updates, Jordan says it’s easy to spend time focusing on just the end user—but Regence has other audiences to serve. So, his team established both the Regence insiders member community, made up of some 2,000 customers, as well as an employer and producer advisor’s committee, a group dedicated to employers and insurance brokers. This provides access to valuable perspectives from across the insurance ecosystem.
2. Dive deeper with qualitative insights
With research, it’s not just about the numbers. As Jordan explains, “Regence has had a long record of tracking studies, experience studies, and decades of trend data, but inevitably we’d come to the read-out and share an NPS score or something along those lines and [the response would be], ‘What did you do to the data?’”
In reality, though, his team needed to know what was happening across the organization and its audience to influence shifts in certain scores. “We really need to explore deeper than just the tracking numbers and experience numbers,” he says.
This realization led Regence to establish its insight community in 2016, followed by its advisory board in 2018. The goal was to be able to access deeper, qualitative insights—and Jordan says it’s paid off. When a specific question comes up, his team can go directly to these groups without having to pivot a tracking study. “It made us a lot more nimble and flexible as an organization,” he says.
3. Engage your audiences in the entire product lifecycle
Customer obsession has become embedded in the way both Regence and Westfield bring products to market.
“With our newly founded customer insights community in 2020, we—for the first time—had customers at our fingertips who were there and ready to provide us feedback. They actually helped us throughout the product development lifecycle,” Kylie notes.
That way, it’s possible to iterate rather than launch a finished product and learn about your audiences’ opinions far too late to implement them.
“Once we launch later this year, we’ll be able to use the community to monitor and refine along the way, too,” she adds.
At Westfield, these continuous insights not only support product development but also help marketers and agents communicate about and sell the product later on.
4. Get buy-in from across your organization
Kylie says sharing audience insights with a range of teams, including product development, marketing, creative, and UX, has been “super successful internally. We created some really strong advocates for our community throughout the organization [and] it’s created some demand for this type of insight and for our community itself.”
5. Earn your audiences’ trust
“Trusting in the audience [...] you’re talking to gives you a lot of credibility when you’re presenting those results back to the organization,” Jordan explains, adding, ”If you’ve worked in the research industry at all, [you know] recruiting for qualitative—especially in the B2B space—is a pain.”
That level of trust can seem hard to come by.
But when engaging Regence’s employer and broker insight communities, “We started up with a survey and asked them if they’d like to provide follow-up feedback. It actually gave us a source of high-quality, known partners that we could do research with,” Jordan says.
Over time, they’ve built up those relationships and see 20%-40% response rates.
He adds that closing the feedback loop is an essential part of earning that trust: “Our partners, our employers, our brokers are willing to provide that feedback—they give us high quality, huge, open-ended comments we get to crawl through and get really great information from. But they need something out of it. They want to know what we’re using that information for. They want to see their changes actually be implemented.”
Instead of asking community members the same old questions without sharing evidence of how you used their responses, follow up with participants and demonstrate how you’re putting their previous insights into action.
Hear more from Alida Activate
For more insights, catch the on-demand recording of “B2B + B2C: Delivering Better Experiences for Every Audience” with Jordan and Kylie—and don’t miss the other inspiring sessions from Alida Activate—Fall ‘21. You’ll hear from changemakers, TXM experts and Alida clients who are sharing a glimpse into how they’re making a difference in their own organizations and creating extraordinary customer experiences.