Lithys 2016: Covered California/Campbell Ewald - Excellence in Customer Satisfaction

Lithys 2016: Covered California/Campbell Ewald - Excellence in Customer Satisfaction

Untitled.pngCompany:  Covered California/Campbell Ewald

Entry submitted by: Amanda McCartney  (Senior Marketing Specialist)


Lithy category:  Excellence in Customer Satisfaction


Covered California is California’s health insurance marketplace, established by the Affordable Care Act. It is the only place to receive financial assistance to make health coverage more affordable. Over two million Californians served.



Our customer satisfaction initiatives in 2015

In the fall of 2014, with the second Open Enrollment period approaching, Covered California was faced with a decision.


During the first year, its social media channels had been frequently visited by ideological opponents, some of whom antagonized Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) supporters and dissuaded potential customers from enrolling. At the same time, there were thousands of incoming posts and messages from distressed customers seeking assistance – many going unaddressed.


Concerns over purpose, functionality, practicality, and public relations were raised. Was it worth it to maintain social channels? Or, could these channels be turned in to functional marketing and customer support platforms? The latter path was chosen, and just in time for the start of Open Enrollment 2, Covered California embraced the Lithium Social Web platform in November 2014 as the solution to its customer service woes on social media. 


With a mandate to offer a robust, responsive customer support channel option, a team was deployed using the LSW platform to handle Covered California’s thousands of incoming posts. By the end of Open Enrollment 2 in February 2015, and with a small team of four agents, Covered California Social Support successfully handled over 17,000 conversations with a 73% TAR (responses within 2 hours). This performance was celebrated as a success – Covered California’s social channels were no longer seen as a liability, but an opportunity.


Months later, and with a new agency, goals for the Social Customer Support Team remained high – seeking even faster response times and improved customer sentiment. For Open Enrollment 3 in Fall 2015, conversation sentiment conversion was tracked, showing a direct reduction of ‘negative’ and ‘neutral’ posts by half, with increased ‘positive’ sentiment (250%+). The team also improved TAR to 82% within 2 hours. Improving sentiment, responding more quickly and thoroughly, and converting upset customers into fans. Goals met.


The most important customer issue we were looking to solve via Lithium implementation


Covered California, being the largest state-based insurance exchange program, is in a unique position. It is a new governmental institution, offering exclusive services and savings to Californians, who are [now] required to purchase health insurance. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have had questions about what to do and where to get coverage/access health insurance.


The requirement, or “individual mandate,” elicits strong reactions in both support and opposition, expressed often on social media.


The solution is Covered California offering responsive, friendly, informative, and patient social support for consumers who are often frustrated or confused with the recent and significant changes in health care policy.


Using Lithium Social Web, the Covered California Customer Support Team is able to easily organize, prioritize, and quickly respond to the thousands of incoming posts. It has also allowed Covered California to build relationships with customers by thoroughly answering their questions, offering assistance, and escalating their issues when necessary.


Through these efforts, numerous customer issues are resolved via social media without the need for the customer to call the Covered California Service Center – which, particularly during Open Enrollment, can be overwhelmed.


The Covered California Customer Support Team is small (growing to six during Open Enrollment 3), but is prepared to address any issue that may arise. The team has successfully transformed Covered California’s social accounts into effective customer support platforms, helping thousands of Californians get the health coverage they need. Below are direct quotes from customers after receiving assistance from the team:




Our metrics


All below stats from Open Enrollment 3 – Nov 1, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016 – Covered California’s busiest time of year:


  • 23,742 posts received à 13,965 Conversations handled and closed à 6,713 replies posted
  • 82% response rate within 2 hour target goal
  • Conversation sentiment conversion: Positive increased 250%, Neutral reduced 51%, Negative reduced 50%




Due to the success of social customer support during Open Enrollment 2, Covered California put more dollars behind promoting content in Open Enrollment 3 to increase reach, engagement, and fan/follower growth. The campaign was successful, resulting in an increase across all channels, especially Spanish-language, highlighting a demand for in-language assistance for California’s Latino community.







New Facebook Fans (English)





New Facebook Fans (Spanish)





New Twitter Followers (English)





New Twitter Followers (Spanish)