Early in my career and long before I joined Inovalon, I learned a valuable lesson about what client success really means. One of my largest clients was in the middle of evaluating whether to stay with me, their incumbent solution vendor, or move in another direction with a competitor. During the negotiations, the executive overseeing the decision stated he wasn’t pleased with our solution. I was baffled. We delivered everything promised. The solution met all requirements. We agreed that the promised ROI was not only met but had been exceeded. Their project appeared to be a complete success by every measure. Or so I thought…
The client explained their disappointment like this: “Working with your team is like watching a baseball team take the field and win game after game, but it is always a nail-biter and filled with drama. It’s like watching players constantly making diving catches or somersaulting across the field to catch a fly-ball in their hat. It’s almost impressive to watch. I honestly don’t know how you do it. But, for baseball those kinds of stunts make the crowd cheer, but I don’t like being on the edge of my seat. I am not interested in heroics or impressive saves. I want you to be so predictable and dependable that I am not constantly having to watch and wonder if this is the time you’ll drop the ball.”
We delivered on everything we promised, and we were quite pleased at our ability to react quickly to problems and solve them. We were an all-star team at reacting to issues and delivering on the promised outcome, but we failed to provide an optimal experience. While we were proud of the results, our client was stressed out and anxious. The lesson clicked. A successful outcome isn’t enough to call a project a success. Experience matters and it is a crucial variable in the formula for success.
Client Success = Right Outcomes + Desired Experience.
Focusing on the Total Client Experience
Today is CX Day, a day when we celebrate the individuals that are focused on exceptional customer experience. Last year for CX Day I wrote about the need to design data, process, structure and initiatives around the client experience. Since then, Inovalon has been hard at work on several key Total Client Experience initiatives.
Here are a few that I am particularly excited to share:
Voice of the Customer
By combining all workstreams designed to solicit, collect, analyze and take action on client feedback, we now have a robust centrally coordinated end-to-end process that allows us to collect, organize and respond to feedback consistently across the organization. This has changed how we interact as internal teams and set priorities related to enhancements, new product offerings and service improvement. For our clients, that translates to transparency and speed in response to their feedback. The Voice of the Customer program has sent a strong signal to our clients that we are actively listening and taking appropriate action in a timely manner. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in feedback.
Our Client Advisory Board and Product Councils have been an invaluable source of meaningful feedback that continues to drive our long-term strategies. Interested in participating? Send us a note.
Next-Gen Support Experience
To further enhance the client experience we deliver, we restructured our support functions into a single team to provide expanded coverage, extended support hours, and more rapid issue resolution. Since making these changes, our Client Satisfaction related to support has remained above 96% throughout 2020.
In the coming weeks, we will roll out an online support experience, which will allow clients to open and track support tickets or help themselves with access to an extensive knowledge base of information. We will also introduce chat functionality later this year across platform offerings to enable individuals to interact with our support agents in real time.
Learning & Enablement
This year has certainly forced us to think differently about how we conduct business, and our approach to the client experience is certainly no exception. Adjusting quickly to social distancing constraints, we began the implementation of eLearning modules for product training. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to creating additional eLearning opportunities in the near future.
In the coming months, you will see in-app assistance to provide contextual help, tips and guidance directly within Inovalon applications. Efforts are also underway to introduce self-paced certification paths centered around solution proficiency and online user communities where like-minded individuals can share insights and discuss challenges and ideas with their peers.
These are just a few of the many initiatives we have underway that are focused on the client experience — spanning the journey from sales and contracting to implementation to solution adoption and support. We are aligned and collaborating as “One Inovalon” to continue providing the outcomes our clients need while ensuring the Total Client Experience is considered from end to end and is front and center. We have invested heavily in the infrastructure needed to help those we serve anticipate challenges and enable them with the tools and support they need to reach their goals.
I am extremely grateful for the lesson I learned from the client that taught me about the importance of experience and outcomes. Even with technology and solutions that deliver exactly what they promise, the experience of the people depending on that solution is often overlooked.
Ultimately, our commitment to one another as human beings has the greatest impact on building an exceptional experience. When I look back on my first year at Inovalon, I am so grateful to be a part of this organization. This is a team that genuinely cares about its clients and has been working tirelessly to continuously improve upon every aspect of the client experience. The team genuinely cares about and supports each other. We strive to deliver value in all we do, experimenting and learning rapidly from each other. We hold one another accountable. As the saying goes “happy employees make for happy customers”.
I want to thank our clients for their partnership and inspiring us to raise the bar in all we do. We strive to consistently and dependably achieve the outcomes your business needs while providing exceptional experiences throughout. I am excited about the many things we are doing and thank you for the collaboration that helps us empower data-driven healthcare and deliver measurable impact for you and your members. We are always listening and value your input, encouragement and feedback – and look forward to hearing from you. Happy CX Day everyone!