- Customer: VPay
- Industry: Financial
- Challenge: Disjointed customer experience due to CRM limitations
- Solution: Envisioning Workshop and Envisioning-Informed Development Overhaul
- Outcomes: New CRM, simplified customer experience, streamlined customer service rep experience and training, increased compliance
VPay, a revolutionary claim payment service, needed an overhaul to their CRM to improve the experience for both customers and employees. Apex imagined and directed a transformation journey employing Apex Envisioning and development processes. As a result, VPay’s new CRM led to improved customer service and compliance.
VPay provides seamless claim payment services. Their total payment solution makes billions of dollars in payments. Over 900,000 medical providers, auto body repair shops, policyholders, claimants, and members work with VPay. VPay acts on behalf of health plans, dental plans, third-party administrators, workers’ compensation and auto insurers.
VPay bypasses the antiquated check claim method and grants quick and safe electronic payments. VPay's fast and efficient process lowers processing costs and simplifies settlement.
Customers have options when it comes to payments. Payers can specify which payment options are available for their plans, and payees can choose how they prefer to receive funds.
Prior to the Apex project, mainframe database screens maintained VPay’s customer preferences. Only experienced users could make preference changes to avoid misconfigurations. This meant that requests for changes to a customer's preferences had to be added to a queue.
The project's goal was to develop a powerful, easy to use interface. The ideal interface would allow customer service reps to update customer profiles while live on the phone with them.
The Apex Action
Apex recognized the value VPay would receive from a true redesign of their customer preferencing process. To drive maximum results, a process redesign, rather than a “lift and shift” of the mainframe application was necessary.
Lift and shift is a common term for taking an application and its data and moving it to a new environment (lift) with very few changes, retooling only what is needed for the new hosting environment (shift). A lift and shift migration makes very few changes to actual usage of the application and is usually only a superficial update for users and processes.
Apex wanted to take a deeper approach. We dove into an Envisioning project with the VPay team to explore the art of the possible and define the scope of the project.
What is Envisioning?
Envisioning blends discovery and planning processes. Our Envisioneers embed themselves in a business, its processes, its gaps, and its needs. Envisioneers employ design thinking exercises and business insight to facilitate solution design. Envisioning does the deep thinking of what your business needs to map your journey to a more innovative future with outcomes you can be proud of.
Our project plan followed the following stages:
- Envisioning Workshops
- Prototype Testing
Our Envisioneers kicked off by concept mapping the solution space, including payers, payees, payments and rules. Concept maps visually show relationships between concepts. Envisioneers use concept maps to coordinate and architect information.
This conceptualization informed prototypes to allow visualization and testing of how the new system would handle preference changes. These prototypes employed Low Code programming to simplify and ease the prototype process. Low Code prototyping gives businesses a low-stakes environment to try new ideas and reject them if they don't perform as well as hoped or expected.
The prototypes unlocked the ability to allow users to see why something happened, or what would happen next. The testing process generated new ideas, and fairly major shifts in the design were incorporated.
For example, the testing process proposed a change from an "opt-in" model for card payments to an "opt-out" model.
In this project, five rounds of complete prototype rebuild were completed, and the end result was vastly different from the starting point.
The prototyping phase drove drastic changes to the VPay mainframe preferencing application. A new data model evolved. Updates showcased critical features of the user experience. These successful prototype features were integral to planning the development phase.
Deliverables developed by Apex for VPay included:
- New Customer Preferencing Application (Developed with Apex Designer)
- Migration of Customer Data from Legacy to New Application
- Data Continuity Tool to Synchronize Data Between Legacy and New Application
- Cleaned and normalized address data on millions of records
Apex worked with VPay developers to build the new application using Apex Designer. At the same time, Apex developed a migration plan for moving customer data from the mainframe to the new database.
As a part of the migration plan, Apex developed a tool to keep data continuously synchronized between the legacy environment and the new application - over 10m records. This tool ensured a seamless transition between the legacy environment and new application.
Envisioning also identified poor quality address data on customer records. We leveraged a third party API called Smarty Streets to clean and normalize addresses as a part of the migration process. This eliminated incorrect and poorly formatted addresses.
Customers now receive a simplified experience in the complex world of claim payments. With the new application, customer service representatives can update customer preferences live while on the phone.
At the end of the project, VPay developers took over maintenance of the application. Eventually, a larger company purchased VPay, in part because of their Agile development practices.
Apex’s solution achieved the following benefits for VPay:
- A more seamless customer experience
- Process improvements
- Regulated identity verification process
- Improved compliance
- Elimination of incorrect and poorly formatted addresses
- Cost savings
- Less training for customer service reps necessary
- Customer preferences updated in real-time, causing business to continue rather than stall
Apex Envisioned a brighter, simpler, profitable future for a client in a complex industry.
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