Vienna Insurance Group: Salesforce CRM helps us stand out


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Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group is one of the leading companies in the life and health insurance market with more than 20 years of successful experience in providing life-insurance solutions both for individual and corporate clients. In 2013, the company launched Health Care insurance in respond of the rising need for more reliable health care, quality health service and more options to reach a wide range of medical services. In 2016 the company reports 9,51 million Euro premium income generated by health insurance and 22% market share in this segment. As per the latest data, approx. 40 000 customers receive a high quality health service 24/7 under the Health Care insurance protection provided by Vienna Insurance Group. What makes this insurance group unique is the quality of service on one side, and on the other side – the innovations implemented for more convenience of the customers. In 2015, Bulstrad Life implemented the Cloud CRM system What’s distinctive about the projects is that the platform, known as a powerful sales tool is adopted to customer relationships management.


The challenge

Customer service is how customers perceive the insurance companies, beyond the product that you are selling. And it is critical, because “healthcare insurance is something that one should be seriously committed to in the long run.” says Ralitsa Staneva, Director of Operations in Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Goup and Salesforce implementation Project Manager. What’s specific about customer service in health insurance is that in a moment when people seek medical assistance, they could be worried and anxious. The insurers reaction must express competency and establish trust. “Our health insurance customers use our services 7 times a year on average! This is the moment that could really makes us special and enable us to rise above the competition.” says Nestorova. She admits that for years the CRM project used to scare them a little, as it is well-known that such technological innovations take huge financial and time resources. However, in reality the project turned out to be seamless and pleasant, and the results were beyond expectations.


In our business, it's hard to compete on product. What really makes you stand out is customer service. 

You can’t handle these dynamic changes on your own and it’s not enough to want to change. You need a partner, who can help you swim in the sea of changes. For us – the obvious choice was Salesforce CRM.

The choice of our partners was clear. Next Consult is a company that is not only a Salesforce GOLD partner but also a company with extensive experience in the field of management consulting. They understand IT and business.

Svetla Nestorova, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO


The choice

In today's world of technologies, choosing the appropriate solution for a company that isn't familiar with IT specifications could be an issue. With constant software updates, new operating systems, new devices in new forms, keeping up with technology systems seems like a race with time. “You can’t handle these dynamic changes on your own. It’ not enough to want it. You need a partner, who can help you swim in the sea of changes. For us – the choice was Salesforce – the global leader in Cloud CRM technologies” says Svetla Nestorova.' Due to the fact that Salesforce is the first company to pioneer CRM in the cloud, and do this with great success for decades, really convinced us to trust its products.'


Unusual setting

Salesforce is often used to increase sales and streamline the sales process in companies. However, Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group didn't turn to Salesforce for sales automation but for improving the customer relationships process. “We faced the challenging fact that the platform is traditionally used for sales rather than customer service. It was crucial that it was adjusted and customized to our specific needs. We had to reformulate the way it is used.” explains Ralitsa. She shared that this created a certain degree of suspiciousness in the team. On the other hand, the unusual approach requires for a complex interdisciplinary work from people with different competencies. We formed a team of experts from our Medical Coordination Center of Bulstrad Life, Sales, Claims, IT and Marketing Departments. Alongside the consultants from Next Consult, BLVI was able to set the system up to do exactly that - improve their customer service.

The result

“As a result of implementing Salesforce, now BLVI knows personally every one of our customers. Salesforce is integrated with our PBX, so when receiving a call, our medical coordinators can see customer’s data right on their screens. Every customer is identified when they call us, which immediately makes them feel a bit more at ease. This means that whenever a customer calls, seeking assistance, the coordinator on duty will know not only their name, but also what services they’ve been using and their level of satisfaction is. “- explained Ralitsa “People turn to us in a delicate moment, so we need to respond in an adequate way. It could be said that we “sell trust”. For us, it's vital to be competent and to react quickly. We want to know everything about everyone of our customers, so we are ready to respond professionally when they call.'


Six major results from the implementation of Salesforce CRM

Customer service is much quicker because we don’t waste time in clearing up historical details, as they are already registered. “Prior to the project, our medical coordinators used to write in notebooks and fill data in spreadsheets”. Ralitsa notes. “Now the profiles are electronic and you are able to work with them in a flash.“

A sense of personal attention: Every client we get in touch with, immediately feels the personal attention for them and their issue. “Before Salesforce, the verification of customer’s profile used to take a long time. Thus, the sense of care somehow gets lost.” Ralitsa explains.

Information integrity: “Now we have all the information on customer interaction? Our PBX is integrated with Salesforce and the in pops up immediately. The actual calls are also attached to customer profiles.“

Prioritization: with the implementation of Salesforce, incoming calls such as booking an appointment could be prioritized.

Traceability: the new information ensures “visibility” of trends in the demand for health insurance services. “It’s true that we didn’t have a very clear idea on the exact amount of work done by medical coordinators.” says Ralitsa. “We gained such understanding just now. We accumulate data to perform analysis and make management decisions. Based on this we create internal standards for customer service speed and quality. We can retrieve data with different reports and analyse it. We can create new services packages. This could help us in developing new products as well as improving existing ones.”

A two-way communication: For us, it is very important that communication with our clients is bilateral, The CRM system does exactly this.” says the project manager.

Leadership + Innovation

Based on the CRM system, a new unique personal smartphone app called B-Assist was developed. This digital “personal assistant” could be installed by every health insurance customer of Bulstrad Life. Through the application the customer can directly send requests, e.g. book a doctor appointment. The requests are processed quickly and within minutes the customer receives a notification with the exact date and hour confirmation with the chosen specialist. The confirmed hours are synchronized with the calendar on their smartphone in order to receive reminders. Last but not least, this approach ensures discretion and privacy, as the customer doesn’t have to vocally explain their health issues, if at a public place. The request information from B-Assist is filled directly in Salesforce. Thus, the manual customer data input is omitted and the probability of inaccuracy or human error is reduced. “Every case, received through our mobile application, saves us at least two phone calls. This enables our medical coordinators to service other customers and reduces cost” Ralitsa points out.


A perfect partnership

“The choice of our partners was clear“, said Svetla. “Next Consult is not only a GOLD Salesforce partner but also a company with extensive experience in the field of management and IT consulting. They understood our needs, both technical and business, and did their best to set up the system so it satisfies them all. The Bulstrad Life project busts the notion that CRM implementation is long, difficult, expensive and exhaustive for the project team. In the case of Salesforce, we made it for only three months with a reasonable investment.“


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