The winners of the VIB’s Most Innovative Healthcare Product 2015, WPA, have constant improvement and customer service at the heart of all that they do, says Rachel Riley

health insurance

At WPA we have a very clear direction about what we want to do and how we want to achieve it: customer service is what drives us, and we want to do it to the very best of our ability. Integral to achieving service excellence is being innovative in terms of product, processes and thoughts.

As a company we have some great advantages – we have one UK office where all of our staff are located which means communication is swift and effective. We also have complete control and ownership of our IT systems – meaning we have the flexibility to deliver what our customers want in the smartest possible way – Corporate Deductible, this year’s VIB

Most Innovative Healthcare Product, is just one example of this.

The key to successful delivery for us means listening to our customers as innovation must be based upon adding value.

Innovation works with a two-way dialogue and a good partnership with our customers, where we will talk to them about what is causing them issues – be they big or small – and from that, ask ourselves how we can help them by developing something that is useful. Our past record on delivering innovative solutions means that they’re not afraid to come to us and challenge us to develop new propositions.

Currently, many corporates have an awful lot of frustration about the nugatory work that often accompanies corporate healthcare benefits. Historically, membership databases were labour intensive and resulted in errors and inaccuracies which inevitably impacted upon customer service.

Having listened to our customers, we have installed a direct, secure link whereby the data that we need can be securely sent from the company’s HR or payroll systems into ours on a daily

basis, automatically updating without touching human hands.

In a similar way, reporting is becoming bespoke and interactive. Management information can now be presented in a format that companies want to see, presented how they want to see it – leveraging technology allows us to be flexible and adaptable.


Our next step is creating an interactive web domain, where management information is online in real time and customers can analyse their data however they like. By giving our customers complete ownership of that data, they are in more control and we can work proactively with them to ensure their scheme remains fit-for-purpose into the future.

This constant process of innovation is what ultimately sets us apart from others in the corporate healthcare market and helps us achieve our primary goal – to exceed our customers’ expectations.

Strategically, we are focusing on three things: Firstly – how our customers communicate with us in a digital age. Key here is that they keep in touch by whatever means they prefer – gone are the days when suppliers prescribe how their customers should communicate. We’re looking into new forms of communication such as online or video, and also making our website even more interactive and useful.

Secondly, it’s about providing insight and knowledge – making an interactive information site, which feeds real time analytics to our large corporates, making sure we’re helping them understand where they’re spending their money and where we are adding value as well as showing how different scheme designs would result in different outcomes.

Finally, we’re running an internal project where we’re embedding system-driven intelligence so we can risk-rate all of our activities and make sure that the decisions WPA’s customer helpdesk are making are consistent, logical, accurate and fair, in the face of ever-more complex medical treatments.

The irony of winning this award is the temptation to stand still, congratulate ourselves and let the competition catch up. Complacency is simply not an option at WPA. Continuous evolution is a way of life. Everything that we do is driven by the need to add value and enhance our offering to our customers.