MedicAlert Foundation's CRM Revolution Improves Service

The emergency support network foundation embarked on an ambitious project to have a 360-degree view of customers and better focus on their needs.
Customer Service

Bronze: Customer Service

Business Boost: A CRM initiative is providing a holistic view of customers.

Today's customers demand flexibility and unless organizations deliver on this need, they run the risk of becoming irrelevant. This was a reality that MedicAlert Foundation was facing and knew it needed to address in order to improve its customer service.

The foundation, which was established in 1956, had some challenges when it came to connecting with its customers. Karen Lamoree, the company's COO, explains that separate databases meant the customer service team didn't have a 360-degree view of customers, making it difficult to provide efficient and effective service.

Recognizing the need to change, in 2012 MedicAlert embarked on a two-pronged CRM initiative aimed at obtaining a holistic view of customers and increasing flexibility in its offerings. "Without a 360-degree view, we could not distinguish our customers between varying levels of service," Lamoree notes.

Further, the foundation wanted to collect additional medical data about its members to better help them during an emergency, integrate its telephone system with its CRM, collaborate with new business partners to leverage new programs and services, and quickly train new customer service representatives and cross-train existing ones. "The project was about revitalizing MedicAlert Foundation and making the charity more contemporary," Lamoree explains.

In order to ensure the initiative's success, the project was fully integrated into the culture of the company, and was dubbed PUMA (Phenomenal Undertaking at MedicAlert) by employees, who were involved in the process. Determined to make sure that any changes were in line with customer expectations, MedicAlert Foundation carried out several customer surveys, asking what they liked and what they didn't about their experience with the foundation. Customers, for example, said it was sometimes difficult ordering products and purchasing or renewing a membership. Further, difficulties were experienced updating their medical information, and the overall sentiment was that the foundation was behind the times and needed to be more relevant in the current marketplace.

Following the changes of the CRM initiative, MedicAlert Foundation staff have more detailed information about individual customers, allowing customer service representatives to access a complete customer profile-- including health information, which marketing materials or communications they received, and their previous order history-while talking to that customer. This leads to a more personal and intimate communication as well as improved employee satisfaction. "Customer service interactions have been dramatically improved," Lamoree says. This also positively impacts employee satisfaction. Another success lay with the improvement of data integrity after getting rid of duplicate records. "We made a conscious decision to only move 'clean data' over to the new system," Lamoree explains.

Armed with a more robust customer profile, the foundation has started to segment communication efforts among its customer base, for example according to age, location, or medical condition. Further, customer feedback identified the need to provide a lower price point for some customers, and the new CRM platform has allowed MedicAlert Foundation to launch new membership services with varying levels of customer support, providing customers with a choice.

It is clear that a better CRM system has led to an improved customer experience, with MedicAlert Foundation achieving a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 62 percent in 2013, the first year it started tracking this metric. While Lamoree says this outranks the majority of healthcare entities, the foundation doesn't want to measure itself only against its peers, but reach the levels of best-in-class ecommerce companies, like Amazon, which has an NPS of 76 percent.