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Premera Blue Cross

Putting customers first in communications

Problem: How can Premera Blue Cross build brand loyalty by improving the customer experience of getting an email or letter about their health insurance? 


Why do this research? Quantitative research about customer satisfaction data told us that clear, action-oriented letters and emails are a key customer satisfaction driver. Letters and emails had never been tested for comprehension but when customers were unsure, they called to ask - costly to us and aggravating for them. 


What does success look like?

  • Reduced calls to customer service 

  • Improving on key measures inCustomer Satisfaction Survey

  • Teams who create new letters/emails use customer-centered writing guidelines they helped identify and build

  • Voice of Customer team has capability to do user interview

Research strategy:​ 


Remote, unmoderated testing

Leverage online tools to identify how our original vs. rewritten letters fall in terms of brand and comprehension. Recruit 1,000+ users via mTurk who parallel our customer base to participate in 5-15 minute remote unmoderated tests. 


Invite new hires at Premera to  learn more about the research process by participating in a 30 minute session where they help us identify mis-steps in our messages - questions are loosely grouped around comprehension and tone. Iterate in between tests as the team (writer, researcher, project manager) feels comfortable. Because there are 350+ letters to rewrite, we grouped documents into buckets based on the message for customers, then tested some from each bucket. 

  • 60 iterative letter tests (in person)

  •  1,000 online participant

Outcome: develop guidelines for improving comprehension, usability and brand alignment of letters and emails. The end result was shared with writers working at Blue Cross organizations across the country. 

Principles of Customer-centered Correspondence (pdf)

Example Principle

Quote from participant

Quote from Maggi 

Reported to and supported by /

Voice of Customer Director  and Design Research Manager, CX team

Skills / 

Online recruiting

Online test design

Quant data analysis

Internal recruiting

Rapid Iterative Testing

Teaching research skills

Content strategy 

Cross-functional collaboration

Team /

Project management: Project Coordinator, VoC

Prototyping: Senior Marketing Writers  (3)

Tools / 

Amazon mTurk 



Collaborated with/ 


Customer Service 

Voice of Customer

Design Research

Medical Review

Dental Correspondence

Strategic Initiatives

Human Resources

Design Strategy

Visibility / 

VP of Customer Experience

Premera CEO

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