home Customer Experience, CX Network, Executive Profiles Fulfilling a promise in someone’s time of need. Interview with Lauren Reid from Navy Health

Fulfilling a promise in someone’s time of need. Interview with Lauren Reid from Navy Health

Navy Health is a not-for-profit private health insurance provider for the Australian Defence Force community. Delivering an exceptional experience for members is core to its vision as an organisation and their long-term future. Lauren Reid is the Chief Customer Officer for Navy Health. CXFocus Editor, Mark Atterby, talks to Lauren about her career and her role at Navy Health.

Mark Atterby (MA): Lauren, can you please provide a background to your career and an explanation of your role at Navy Health?

Lauren Reid (LR):  I have spent just over the last ten years in financial services, largely working with operations and member-facing teams. I am very proud to have started my career on the phones in a contact centre after graduating from university. I feel that has given me a very strong connection to the people who work in our frontline teams as well as the members we interact with.

I then progressed through various leadership roles across the financial services industry, including insurance and superannuation, until I ended up in my current position at Navy Health. It’s only been a month, so it’s still very early days as I continue to find my feet. I’m responsible for most of the member-facing teams, specifically claims and operations.. along with the Member Experience Strategy.

(MA): In terms of your member experience strategy, what are your top priorities as well as the key trends you are focused on for 2023?

(LR): The organisation is in the process of confirming and redefining its three-year strategy. So, for me, I will be finalising the member’s services strategy where I’ll be focusing on continuing to improve our member experience from a service and claims perspective. 

We’ve had some significant disruptions over the last couple of years from COVID, to rising inflation and cost of living. The way people engage with funds is different now from what it was previously. I’m wanting to understand what our members’ expectations are both now and within the next 12 – 24 months.

I believe the industry is shifting away from a service culture to more of an experience culture. Historically, we always talked about the degree of service that you provide as an organisation, but I think it’s becoming more imperative that it’s not just the service, the service is the absolute bare minimum, it’s the experience that you have when you engage with the fund that counts.

Something that is also very top of mind is member data and privacy. Ensuring the integrity and privacy of member data, to maintain a high level of trust with our members.

(MA): From your various roles what is the most important thing that you have learnt about customer experience and understanding?

For me, it’s always been about getting on the phone and listening and talking to members or customers directly. Every time I’ve led a contact centre or any kind of frontline customer facing business, I make sure that I spend time on phone calls and listening to the customer. It’s great to review the surveys and the stats, but nothing beats hearing it first-hand. I think that’s really valuable and it’s something that I’ve always made a conscious effort of doing in every role that I’ve had.

Health insurance and financial services can be very emotive topics. As a health insurance provider, we have made a promise to someone that we will help them in their time of need. So, listening to them directly on a phone call enables you to get a very real sense of what that experience means to that member, and what it actually means to deliver on that promise. Whether they’ve been in hospital, they’ve been unwell or they need a procedure, you can really understand their experience and the emotion they felt at the point of contact, you can hear it in their voice. It’s something you don’t often get from a survey.

Lauren is presenting at Customer Contact Week ANZ 23 – 24th May.

Mark Atterby

Mark Atterby has 18 years media, publishing and content marketing experience.