In a meeting room in the centre of Wolverhampton, one wall is entirely covered in colourful post-it notes, aligned in columns and each containing a key word or phrase. The wall maps out the whole journey a Paycare Policyholder will go on – from enquiring about a Health Cash Plan, to signing up, to their first claim, and far beyond.
Because, as the not-for-profit approaches its 150th anniversary, the team has gone above and beyond their usual review, reflect and refine process to really dig down into every single element of their work, highlighting where any streamlining or adaptations could help improve their already stellar reputation among their customers – but also using the opportunity to ensure good practice is recognised and formalised into their working policies.
The process was prompted by the introduction of The Consumer Duty by the Financial Conduct Authority, which requires regulated organisations such as Paycare to ensure good outcomes for customers.
Put together following a comprehensive review of financial services, The Consumer Duty is designed to ensure people receive communications they can understand; products and services which meet their needs and offer fair value; and customer service when and how they need it.
But alongside ensuring all of their processes and offerings were compliant with the Duty, the Paycare team decided to go above and beyond, explains Operations Director Nicola Mumford.
“Our simple overarching mission is to make the UK healthier and happier, so when it came to ensuring compliance with all of the elements of the FCA’s new rules – the second stage of which came into place at the end of July 2023 – we wanted to incorporate that work into a much wider project.
“Every single team has been involved in the process, mapping out the parts of the customer journey which they’re responsible for, and ensuring that every aspect of that journey is as simple, clear and effective as it can be.
“Our customer satisfaction levels are consistently very high and for every £1 of Policyholder income, on average we pay 75p back in claims and other wellbeing services like MyPocketGP (which customers have unlimited access to), but we never want to become complacent. There are always ways to improve – and it’s with this in mind that we’ve analysed every single step in the customer journey, in addition to ensuring we comply with The Consumer Duty.”
Some of the work may not be immediately noticeable to Policyholders – as it’s simplified processes undertaken at Paycare House or within the online systems used to pay out claims, giving customers cash back on everyday health costs such as their optical or dental appointments, diagnostic tests, or physiotherapy. But other changes will be more imminently noticeable.
Customer Improvements Lead Rebecca Lister explains: “We’ve looked at all of our Policy Documents because we want them to act as a guide so Policyholders can get the most out of their plan, rather than simply being a list of terms and conditions which people may just file away and never look over again.
“With this part of the project, we really wanted to ensure we were showcasing the value of a Health Cash Plan from the outset – it’s about encouraging customers to utilise all of aspects of their plan, as we know being able to do so is part of the reason why we have always had a lengthy retention rate for both individual and company plans.
“Additional role-specific, vulnerable customer and complaints handling training is being rolled out across out teams (including for all customer-facing staff) to ensure we’re always there to help our Policyholders when they need us the most.
“And we’re ensuring information about how to claim is even easier to access than before – including design changes to both the website and our printed documents to promote the claims process.
“We’re already beginning to hear from Policyholders about the impact on their customer journey of the changes implemented as part of The Consumer Duty guidelines and our own mapping project. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll now sit back and relax! We’re 100% committed to continual improvement, not only adapting our offering to suit the UK’s health needs and wants, but also ensuring we’re interacting with our Policyholders in the right ways and at the right times, giving them enough information to make the most out of their plan without overloading them with paperwork, and helping them to live a life of wellness knowing Paycare is on their side.”