Excellus BCBS Honored for Promotional Excellence

The staff of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Document Services.

By increasing production capabilities and maintaining a customer-centric marketing approach, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Document Services was able to improve its reputation in the company.

Its efforts have earned the Rochester, N.Y., in-plant the In-house Promotional Excellence Award from the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. The award was presented during last month’s IPMA Awards banquet in Milwaukee.

For more than 20 years, BCBS Document Services has provided print and mail services for Excellus Health Plan, Inc., and all of its subsidiaries. In 2013, Corporate Director Catherine Ciardi led a 50-member team through the production of 280 million impressions and the mailing of 30 million pieces, while increasing the amount of work produced in-house. Though this was made possible through expanded production capabilities, Ciardi and her team also owe their success to a multifaceted, customer-centric marketing approach, which drastically altered the type of work they could produce and improved the department’s reputation within the company.

The path to success began early in the year with a survey to address baseline customer satisfaction. Approximately 100 customers were surveyed and nearly 80 percent responded by ranking their overall experience, customer service, ease of conducting business, how well service requirements were met, cost, quality and timeliness on a five point scale, with five being the best. The in-plant averaged a score of 4.58.

Though the survey indicated the department was operating on a high level, Ciardi felt there was still room to improve.

“The overall positive feedback and strong level of customer satisfaction revealed through the survey was great,” she said. “It identified customer service and teamwork as real strengths, but we wanted to do better.”

To lead this change, the team created an internal branding campaign called “Together We Can,” focusing on working together and maximizing all of the team members’ strengths and skills. In addition to this fresh focus, the department redesigned its website, upgraded its online ordering system, highlighted each team member on the website, worked with the marketing department to help reduce costs and developed ways handle more precise levels of personalization.

The website redesign, completed in early 2013, allowed Document Services to provide better information to its customers and provide a face for the department. Visitors to the site can now find a frequently asked questions page and a glossary of common printing terms. The department also produced a promotional video featuring a behind the scenes look at all of its areas.

With the installation of a new Ricoh InfoPrint 5000 production inkjet press, Document Services was able to partner with the company’s marketing department, which previously relied on external agencies to print the majority of its marketing material. The new press allowed the in-plant to reduce the marketing department’s printing costs. The shop now produces nearly all marketing collateral.

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