Huh? Did I Read This Right? CIGNA HealthCare Wins Customer Service Delivery Award Through Focus on Helpful and Easy Interactions


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Gartner Group recently announced the awarding of its Outstanding Customer Service Delivery award for 2010 to CIGNA HealthCare. This follows its 2009 award to CIGNA for Outstanding Customer Service Strategy.

Huh? Outstanding Customer Service Award to a HealthCare Company? Isn’t this the same industry that for years has been viewed as the poster child of customer abuse and mistrust? Isn’t this the same company that had a nickname amongst doctors and patients as “CIG-NO.”

In previous posts, I have often said that if one healthcare company can break from the pack based on a service strategy, it would help transform the industry.

It appears that something significant has indeed been launched at CIGNA and, according to Gartner, has begun to take root. I took a look at CIGNA’s website and found just how simple and aspirational its new mission is:

The Mission:

To help individuals enrolled in CIGNA plans achieve their health goals with helpful information, trusted support and excellent service.

To do that we must: communicate simply, consistently, and in ways they find personally relevant, compelling and easy to understand.

Every interaction must be helpful
Every interaction must be easy

The Plan:

If we:
•Make interactions with us positive, productive, and seamless
•Provide helpful information that’s understandable and easy to obtain
•Do this repeatedly and reliably

People will:
•Trust us
•Come to us so we can help them
•Fully use their benefits
•Take better care of their health

And if this happens, the cost of health care will be lower for all.

I like it.

I like big goals, and there is none larger than the goal of lowering the cost of health care for all.

I like simple plans that are easy to understand, and this one points out that “if we do this, then people will do that….”

I like fact-based approaches that outline what the company has to do in order to accomplish the mission. CIGNA’s website points out that, among other things, it has:

  • eliminated what frustrates–if you want a human, you get one, 24/7
  • redesigned explanation of benefits brochure
  • redesigned new and simple enrollment guides

My View

CIGNA’s efforts are to be applauded, For now, it appears that it is truly focusing on many of the features that matter to customers. Should it continue along this path, we believe what may emerge is a company that is approaches its business differently than others in the benefits industry.

As a former CIGNA employee, I find this a refreshing focus in that the company for years has found itself mired in an expensive technology and re-engineering debacle that cost the company dearly in customer goodwill, client focus, and employee morale.

The caution I put out there is questioning how deep this commitment to Customer Experience may be. As Bill Hogg recently wrote in his blog “Customer Service That Astonishes,” companies need to become a premier customer service company in its strategy and culture, rather than having Customer Service as a tactic that sits alongside all other tactics in the corporate tool box.

I look forward to seeing more progress from CIGNA, and other HealthCare companies that must follow suit. This is how we will see leadership in transforming a troubled industry.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Myers
Benefits Services Consulting
For more than 2 years, Chris Myers has designed and managed industry leading Employee Benefits service organizations. His passionate and innovative approach to service is widely recognized in the benefits field. His "Perfect Service" approach was created in 21 and within two years improved his company's satisfaction ratings to the top of the industry.


  1. Why are you promoting these guys? Did they pay you?

    CIGNA is universally hated by it’s supposed customers, patients. They routinely deny coverage, lose paperwork on purpose and let cancer patients die. Their plans under Obamacare have huge deductibles that most wouldn’t be able to pay. Now the benefits coordinators of corporations love them for their low costs. We need to make patients the customers again, its getting ridiculous.

    Just do a google search on CIGNA reviews and you’ll see what I mean.


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