Scaling digital customer experience across a large organisation

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Learn why enabling a seamless and scalable customer experience is vital for large business groups – and how Elsewhen helped healthcare leader Bupa transform CX for its newly acquired dental business.

Customer experience (CX) is now recognised as a key competitive differentiator for your business. If you provide a sub-optimal and disconnected experience, your customers will soon become dissatisfied – and turn to your competitors that better meet their needs with a more seamless and frictionless CX.

But if your organisation is widely distributed geographically – regionally, nationally or internationally – then ensuring a seamless and scalable CX becomes particularly challenging.

While modern digital-native businesses have been able to centralise and integrate CX from the start, bringing this consistent CX approach to a business group with many branches, stores or other physical locations is complex. This is particularly true when an organisation grows organically through mergers and acquisitions. Customers may historically have had very different experiences in Dartmouth, Doncaster or Dundee. So how can a modern large organisation bring coherence to its CX?

Transforming the experience for customers anywhere and anytime

Digital transformation enables your organisation to drive CX improvement and stay competitive in a fast-changing and geographically distributed market. This can involve enabling changes to your operations, data and technology infrastructure and customer touchpoints.

To provide exceptional customer experiences, your organisation needs a shared technology stack built around microservices and APIs. This enables you to provide seamless customer and scalable experiences – which integrate your digital and physical services with an omnichannel contact platform for automated voice, chat, and email management.

Digital technology and improved data access can give you a clear understanding of your customers across their full life cycle – wherever they are. Monitoring and understanding each step in the customer journey gives you a better view of any problems – and the insights to make continuous improvements to your CX.

Putting CX transformation into action for Bupa

At Elsewhen, we recently helped healthcare leader Bupa overcome the challenges of providing a seamless and scalable customer experience for its newly acquired nationwide dental group – delivering a roadmap for the digital transformation of the business. 

Bupa had recently acquired Oasis Dental Care – the UK's leading private dental provider – as part of its plan to become the market leader in UK dental care. Bupa was acquiring a business with over 2 million dental patients across more than 470 clinics nationwide. They needed to modernise and improve the service, both for dentists and patients, as part of their strategy to offer customers high-quality dental services across the UK.

Delivering customer-centricity at scale

Bupa wanted to drive the kind of digital innovation that larger enterprises sometimes struggle to deliver, while maintaining its position as a trusted and well-known brand in the UK. They brought in Elsewhen to define and validate new opportunities made possible by the acquisition.

The goals of the project were to enable new revenue streams and cost savings through the introduction of customer-centric digital technology. Bupa wanted to make the most of the UK-wide network to share knowledge and training, with the hope of raising standards across dentistry.

This meant gaining a deep understanding of the business, and the wider dental landscape. It also required rethinking both the front- and back-end technology stack, and centralising data – to enable superior CX and future business growth.

Addressing customer expectations and perceptions

In terms of customer expectations, dental patients want more and better information on the dental health and treatment options available to them – but consumer trust in dentistry in the UK is low.

Elsewhen needed to tackle these customer challenges head on – both pain points with existing dental offerings, and perceptions regarding private healthcare and dental treatment in general. We could then develop new hypotheses on how they could be resolved with new solutions.

Understanding the challenge and formulating solutions

We split the work into two phases – discovery and prototype development. 

As part of the initial discovery phase, we organised workshops for product ideation and brand development. We also mapped out the assumptions to be challenged – developing a backlog to investigate. This helped us to explore the business landscape and gather the building blocks required for developing innovative solutions.

In the second phase we distilled this work down into viable and testable propositions. From here we developed a definition, strategy and plan for a prototype solution, with an accompanying process and backlog for delivery.

Creating a prototype solution and wider business case

With insights garnered from real customers, it became clear that there were multiple unrealised opportunities Bupa could harness in their new dental service.

We made strategic recommendations to Bupa in the form of multiple proofs of concept, including a working digital prototype, all of which were backed by real research data. These were designed to solve existing problems for customers – and point the way for Bupa to unlock new business value.

With elegant digital solutions and customer-centric methodology, Bupa now had the options to better serve customers in a scalable way across all practices.

The right tools to reduce customer pain

By combining technology with a deep understanding of the best of the traditional “bricks and mortar” aspects of the business, we validated the move from the legacy Practice Management Systems – to a delightful CX that would also help to drive the desired business improvements.

Elsewhen listened to the frustrations of patients and dentists – and designed digital solutions to address their pain points. We designed a mobile app enabling patients to find and book appointments, interact with their treatment plans, and message their dentist directly. We also designed a tablet app enabling dentists to access patient records, upload assessments and treatment plans in a digestible format, and communicate directly with their patients.

A route to lower costs, better margins, streamlined processes

Building from the initial concept, Elsewhen presented to the Bupa management team with a solid business case for the way forward – incorporating a validated prototype that brought the vision to life. The finished prototype was created by Elsewhen on-site at Bupa – and was adopted internally for use by the business.

Bupa was pleased with our ability to completely absorb the business challenge in all its complexity, before translating this into something robust and testable – rapidly developing and challenging assumptions through iteration. They were also impressed with the pace and attention to detail which we brought to the process from beginning to end.

Data and processes were centralised to make growth and learning possible, and delivered both patients and dentists a new, easy to use CX based on their needs. This combination is giving Bupa the potential to radically change how patients receive dental care.

Critical to the outcome was how well the final product reflected Bupa’s original vision following the acquisition – digitally joining up the often disconnected parts of a large, complex business.

Explore our case study to learn more

Find out more about how Elsewhen helped Bupa transform customer experience across its newly acquired dental business.


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