Embracing New Mindsets and Behaviors for Customer Success

 In Customer Success

Four years ago, NASCO began implementing NCompassSM, our customer servicing product, at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) to replace the plan’s existing CRM system. The initial phase of the implementation focused on providing service to BCBSMA’s members, and, its completion, while eventually successful, left several opportunities for improvement. Learning from their experiences in Phase 1, the combined NASCO and BCBSMA implementation team went into Phase 2 — the provider leg of the project — with a transformed mindset and a much more collaborative approach.

“What is different for Phase 2 of the CRM implementation is really the idea of one team,” said Angie Evans, Senior Director, Implementation Lead for BCBSMA. “Even though we’re two different companies with a lot of moving parts, we really have come together as one team with a sense of mutual accountability and transparency.”

Collaboration, transparency and empowerment were key themes as the team joined together and really leaned into understanding the business objectives and the importance of taking a different approach in meeting those objectives. The team, led by executives who modeled the behaviors they wanted to see, refused to let process or administrative tasks stifle their progress. They looked for ways to be administratively light and focused on delivery. The team made sure that they had a clear understanding of the scope and kicked off Phase 2 with a solution-planning session, which helped the team to understand BCBSMA’s vision and provided an opportunity for team members to gain a greater understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

“We gave the team the tools they needed to feel empowered so they could make decisions at the right level,” said Jefferie O’Leary, Executive Director of Implementation Delivery for NASCO. “When people feel empowered to make decisions on their own, they don’t need to escalate decisions. This simple change in behavior allowed us to accelerate our delivery and complete the project many weeks prior to schedule.”

The team successfully launched eight releases, each of which was delivered ahead of schedule and with very minimal defects, which were all remediated quickly.

“Through collaboration and teamwork, everyone knew their role and the value we were trying to deliver to BCBSMA, and, with that focus, we took spin out of the equation,” said Doug Wilson, Sr. Director of Corporate Systems Delivery for BCBSMA. “Without that spin, we gained 15 to 20 percent back in cycle time, which enabled everyone to do the work that they signed up to do. And the quality improved because they had the time, and we built momentum — that momentum and teamwork was phenomenal. And the quality — both from testing and delivery — was at a level that I’ve never seen before because of the focus and collaboration of the team!”