13
Mar

How to Develop an Ongoing Dialogue with Customers That Drives ROI

By: Richard Clarke, VP, Head of Insight Communities

 

Insight Communities: A Proven Solution to Customer Insight with Serious ROI

This is the era of give your customers what they want or risk losing their attention or favor. Customer research is increasingly important to provide your company with the information it needs to maintain and attract happy customers. One challenge companies often face is the cost of implementing a reliable way to engage with their customers to drive insight that also provides a return on investment (ROI). Insight Communities are a highly effective and reliable way to engage with your customers and have been proven to drive positive ROI.

Insight Communities are an online research solution that is used to consistently engage with and provide insight on the desires and needs of your customers, stakeholders and shareholders. These communities are built to help companies answer the business issues at hand with engaged members who, ultimately, drive advocacy for their brand. Insight Communities are organizational assets that both inform business decisions and create brand advocacy among members.

Breaking Down the ROI of Insight Communities

There are many ways that the ROI can be measured—consider the cost savings of:

  • QUICKER reaction time to customer feedback and demand—what is the short- and long-term savings of rapidly reacting to the situation or knowing your customers’ buyer journey and pain points?
  • Launching the RIGHT product to market at a FASTER pace—how much does speeding up the development cycle and ensuring the RIGHT solution save?
  • Making more informed/ACCURATE BUSINESS DECISIONS—what is the cost savings of NOT doing the wrong thing or validating the decision (risk aversion)?

Forrester Consulting completed a Total Economic Impact™ study on the ROI of Insight Communities to clients. In addition to the cost efficiencies and speed value propositions of Insight Communities, Forrester quantified the financial value of continually engaging with members in a community. The highlights include:

  • $1.7M business value from increased customer insight
  • 590% ROI
  • $546K incremental profit and $4.7M increased sales from community members
  • 39% increase in average order value and 70% lower churn rate from community members
  • 75% reduction in cost compared to traditional market research methodologies
  • 4–6 times faster speed to results

This reaffirms that Insight Communities not only provide fast and efficient consumer insight but also drive business action that results in incremental sales and profit for organizations.

These are just some of the reasons that organizations are implementing communities. The client stories about the impact of an ongoing Insight Community are powerful and continue to prove the short- and long-term ROI. Shifting the focus to consumer engagement is resulting in hundreds of organizations realizing significant returns and outcomes.

A Proven Solution for Customer Engagement

Five years ago, Insight Communities were more of a niche solution or emerging technology, but according to the latest GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (GRIT Q3/Q4 2018), 80% of respondents stated that Insight Communities are either in use (59%) or under consideration (21%). This has led GreenBook to believe that Insight Communities are now a mainstream solution:

“Online Communities and Mobile First Surveys continue to lead the pack as formerly emerging methods that are now in mainstream use.” (GRIT Q3/Q4 2018)

Ultimately, these two pieces of evidence indicate that Insight Communities are not only a solution that spreads efficient business insight across an organization but also an asset that drives revenue and profitability—thereby attaching real-world ROI to the value of the asset.

Contact me to learn more about how Insight Communities can become your most powerful asset.

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7
Mar

How Telematics and Research Exposed a Driving Lie

How Telematics and Research Exposed a Driving Lie

By: Dania Rich-Spencer, Vice President of Automotive Growth & Innovation

 

Human nature and free will are the worst enemies of research. I found this to be particularly true recently during a groundbreaking study which, unintentionally, discovered the following: Drivers, when questioned about their driving habits, will invariably lie about their adherence to the law.

To be fair – we don’t necessarily think the study participants intended to lie about their driving habits; instead, much the same way that an angler recalls their catch to be bigger than it actually was, these drivers tended to recall a better self-image of their doppelgangers behind the wheel.

But first, some context: This past winter, researchers from Market Strategies InternationalMorpace had the chance to partner with three very bright Michigan State University (MSU) students who were working towards their M.S. in Business Analytics. As part of their Capstone project, these students were required to work on a real-world, big data project prior to graduation.

We saw a dual benefit to the students’ partnership – we were working on a project that required the analysis of a large amount of vehicle telematics data from both passenger and commercial vehicles, and we needed the help! But for these students – who will soon be on the job market – it was a valuable way to help them understand a mega-trend in employment.

According to the latest GreenBook Research Industry Trend (GRIT) report, companies are on the hunt for new skill sets to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace. Further, the report found that data analysts and data scientists are in high demand. The MSU program is dedicated to preparing young talent for the future of connected devices, and for the future of mobility by partnering with companies who are also preparing for a new generation of consumer engagement and business models.

With our team assembled, we set out to understand the relationship between self-reported driving behavior collected via an online survey, and observed driving behavior collected via an onboard telematics device.

As researchers, we know there are limitations associated with every research project, and there is an array of reasons why participants don’t, or can’t, provide accurate responses.  Of course, we design research projects to minimize limitations, but it is impossible to account for all factors that may influence research findings. As such, telematics offers a rare opportunity, through technology, to better understand the relationship between self-reported and directly measured behavioral data.

Through the comparison of telematics data collected from 130 passenger vehicles against self-reported data collected from an online survey, the researchers and MSU students learned something surprising –the actual driving patterns of more than half (55 percent) of participants did not match their self-reported tendencies.

While we expected a degree of mismatch between the telematics and self-reported data, we, honestly, didn’t expected half the sample to be wrong. We also observed that men were more likely to misreport – both in stating they had an aggressive driving style but actually were passive, or self-reporting they were passive when they actually were aggressive.

We don’t believe our participants intentionally lied. Instead, we believe that a case of “social desirability” bias – the tendency for people to over-report “good” behavior and under-report “bad” behavior – was at work here. Another explanation may be something called “compromise effect.” This is a result of the tendency to choose the middle option, rather than options on the extremes, when presented with choices. This also can happen when options are not clearly stated, or are vague. Though we believed we had provided three clearly-written descriptions of driving styles to choose from, and while we put considerable effort into crafting these descriptions, we perhaps didn’t entirely hit the mark.

So what does this mean for survey research? While using data from a connected device – in our case, a vehicle – may not be possible for every research project, as an industry, we need to take advantage of enabling technologies that will allow us to better understand the extent of the gap between intended and actual behavior, where feasible or appropriate. I do not believe we will be able to forgo engaging with consumers to solely rely on passive data. But, we certainly can complement self-reported feedback with observed behavior for more confident business decisions.

If we at Market Strategies International-Morpace can be of assistance to you in conducting this type of analysis, please reach out to me: Dania Rich-Spencer, Vice President of Automotive Growth & Innovation

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7
Feb

Rise of the Smart Car: The Shape-Shifting Motoring Future is Already Here

By: Duncan Lawrence and Stephan Schroeder, Automotive Research Professionals

 

For fans of the Terminator series of movies, it was compelling to think about a world that would foster “The Rise of the Machines.”

For consumers today – living in a switched-on world where the once-impossible is now a foregone conclusion – a profound, shape-shifting change is underway – one that we will call, “The Rise of the Smart Car.”

For those who have experienced the “tip of the iceberg” innovations in today’s currently-available models, it’s easy to see how the continued evolution of automated features, connectedness and yet-to-be-scoped technology will portend a future that is not that far off.

As we walked the floor of the recent Consumer Electronics Show, we gasped at the surreal experience before us. No longer did we see cars, as we, for generations, have come to experience them. Replacing the four wheels and a box were a dizzying array of form factors – designed more to contain, and define, a future driving experience where the exterior is not nearly as relevant as what lives inside. Changeable seats, in-car virtual reality, and holographic systems are among the newest innovations, jockeying to advance the traveling transformation underway.

Another reality that quickly unfolded as we walked the CES: There’s not one universal standard for the smart cars of the future. And, likewise, there’s no universal agreement on what the future “device” should look like. Beyond agreeing that electrification, connectivity, shared mobility and autonomy are the foundation, there’s no unifying approach that would dictate things like how many screens are enough (or too much), what the interior should look like, or how pervasive these connected car systems should be during the driving experience.

This makes it even more imperative that manufacturers, designers and others who earn their salt from the automotive industry, gain a keen understanding of where the motoring future is headed – and to embrace an ideal in which the car will be at the center of how we travel or experience seamless mobility.

 

“The Car, As We Know It, Is Dead.”

This change from what we have accepted as a “car,” is a movie that we’ve seen before (and, by this, we do not mean a Hollywood production). For the longest time, the phone was a clearly defined object – a box with 12 buttons, a handset and a cord. For generations, there was little debate as to what the phone should look like. Then, at some point, the cord was cut – and the world went crazy. No longer could we envision what the future of the phone would look like. Experimenters tried approaches that eliminated some – or all – of the telephone’s sacred cows – buttons, dials, handsets and cords.

Today, the device we hold – the smartphone – is the result of a tumultuous sea of change in the phone segment. And the “phone” itself – the enablement of point-to-point voice communication – is relegated to a single button on a screen with endless communication choices.

So can we expect that, in similar fashion, the core function of the car – to deliver people and parcels from Point A to Point B – will simply be an item on a long list of what the “smartcar” of the future can do?

Let’s explore in more detail by looking at some themes that were emerging as we absorbed the CES.

 

Mega Trends Are Alive and Well

  • Personalization – Though we can program our favorite waypoints and radio stations in today’s vehicles, consumers – accustomed to downloading whatever apps they desire to their smartphones – will be demanding much greater personalization in the vehicle of the future. Customization of physical and sensory aspects (such as interior lighting and sound), connected services (both remote and in-vehicle), and virtual personal assistants that connect us to the car and to other devices, lead the list.
  • Experience – Acquiring possessions is losing ground to the appreciation of an experience. In vehicles, this is manifesting itself by making driving less of the focus, while offering new functions with benefits, such as enhanced comfort, entertainment and productivity – many of which will be available “on demand” to the consumer, through subscription services.
  • Sharing – Consumers share more than ever before, both actively (e.g., Facebook) and passively (e.g., location-based apps). Vehicles are joining the fray as sharing becomes not only a common trend, but also a way of accelerating future product developments (i.e. open platforms).

 

The Automobile Reinvention is Under Way

In order to lead this reinvention, manufacturers, suppliers and technology companies are focusing on four specific areas:

  • Electrification – Fossil fuels are giving way to cleaner, more sustainable electricity in vehicles at an accelerating pace. In the bold future, fuel economy and range become secondary considerations outweighed by the benefits of electrification (remember, we didn’t stop using carriages because we ran out of horses). Vehicles will become electrified vessels, which are propelled, connected and personalized with circuitry and current rather than gasoline. It’s not just vehicles that are becoming electrified – from scooters and bikes to buses and semi-trucks, all are offering increasing flexibility, with limited compromise. Moreover, infrastructure improvements – not just added charging points, but apps helping consumers leverage the cheapest and fastest sources of charging – will smooth the wrinkles of some of the current barriers. New charging solutions may emerge, and battery capacity will undoubtedly continue to expand.
  • Connectedness – Today, we pair our phone with the car and we consider ourselves “connected.” But the future of connected services includes a variety of variables – human to vehicle, vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure, and beyond – that represent a key stepping stone to full autonomy. To that end, the coming of 5G is a game-changer that will bring with it new levels of cellular reliability and speed which can rival our current home/office experience. One of the interesting questions is how we will communicate this new mobility experience. How do we help consumers make the transition from experiencing the physical features of car (“butts in seats”) to the digital experience (“thumbs on buttons”)?
  • Shared Mobility – As the relationship with our car transforms into this symbiotic and connected experience, the ideal of vehicle “ownership” or household fleet will change as well. Technologies which will increase utilization efficiency exponentially will also foster greater interest in shared mobility as consumers may find saving money or reducing carbon footprint more important than individual autonomy. One can envision that more of our transportation needs will no longer be tied to a particular vehicle, but will be portable to the most convenient form of transit on a given day. Integration with other forms of shared mobility – including aviation and rail, or individual mobility, such as scooters – will provide access to everyone, regardless of age, health, income or legal constraints. This likely represents the final step that will facilitate full autonomy.
  • Autonomous Driving One could expect that, at first, we will see the rise of “dedicated” autonomous lanes or zones to provide the clearest path for driverless vehicles. But, along with the physical advances of features and infrastructure must come a way to reassure consumers of their ability to trust the features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Safety, security and privacy considerations – hallmarks of today’s insecure computing infrastructure – become even more integral when lives are at stake.

So with all that said, it was exciting to witness the beginning of a new era. The opportunities at the intersection of the trends and areas of reinvention are plentiful. Technology will help us to overcome some of the limitations of the manufacturing-based business model, and solutions will come through competition between both established and new players, as the race for the future of mobility has begun.

Are you ready for the rise of the “smartcar?”

Contact Duncan Lawrence and Stephan Schroeder to learn more.

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24
Jan

Disconnected: Why OEM Apps Aren’t Riding Shotgun on the Connected Vehicle Journey

By: Automotive professionals Corey Reiter & Stephan Schroeder

Connected vehicle technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous, both here in the United States and across the globe. This year, according to Statista, it is expected that more than 64 million cars worldwide will be shipped with some form of connected tech.

For those proclaiming the arrival of a bold future – one in which cars will pilot their way down the road with little to no input from a human driver – connected services are seen as a major building block of this transformation, and manufacturers clearly are eager to put upgraded tech into the hands of consumers. Ultimately, many OEMs would love it if consumers viewed them as much as mobility providers as manufacturers of transportation products.

As OEMs gain greater ownership stakes in innovative mobility entities, connected services are also seen as a new, recurring revenue stream of the future for the automotive industry. Manufacturers are counting on these services as future drivers of engagement and consumer loyalty, helping to offset declining revenue in other areas.

However, in a proprietary survey* we recently conducted, it appears that consumers are still struggling to develop a connected relationship with their daily rides. We found that 84 percent of 1,000 drivers surveyed aren’t using mobile apps that OEMs have developed to control aspects of the ownership and driving experience.

It’s a startling statistic, given that mobile application use is a very common consumer practice across most service sectors, from buying tickets online and monitoring news feeds to business practices such as remote industrial control and fleet management. So why the reluctance to adopt connected car applications? And how do OEMs close this gap? Let’s take a closer look.

 

Marketing OEM Apps and Connected Services

We learned from our sample group that a majority – 56 percent – weren’t even aware of the existence of an OEM app. This stifling lack of awareness would seem to be an easy hurdle to cure – far easier, it would seem, than convincing the next largest group – 27 percent – who were aware of the existence of the OEM app but weren’t impressed enough to use it.

As we delved deeper, we learned that marketing of OEM apps was limited – mostly left to salespeople who may not have the technical background to spotlight key features; or to a link on a website with little fanfare.

Clearly, more proactive marketing of the apps will help, but it also will be valuable to position these apps as a critical ingredient in “personalizing” the driver experience. Salespeople at the dealership have an opportunity now to use these apps to build trusted relationships with buyers by focusing on features of connected services particular to that individual. If the sales mantra in the past was to get “butts in the seats,” the future will be about getting “thumbs on the buttons.” Focusing on the connected services that heighten the level of interaction between the consumer and the vehicle, and getting consumers to experience the digital relationship with the vehicle can, over time, become a new way to create brand and dealer loyalty.

 

Creating a More Engaging Experience

The most popular features of connected services all endeavor to heighten the direct level of interaction between the driver and the vehicle. That said, it’s the table stakes of the driving experience – things like roadside assistance and navigation – that are seen as most valuable in an OEM app. Though in-vehicle messaging and music streaming are innovative, they rank near the bottom of the survey because they’re not as essential to bringing the driver closer to the automobile as things like maintenance alerts, remote lock/unlock or remote engine start. So it’s not surprising that features that offer the convenience of interacting with the car from a remote location or help to improve the experience with the car, rank near the top.

When asked to be futurists, survey respondents said they hoped that future enhancements to OEM apps would include things like notifications, remote climate control, personalized cabin preparation or remote access to onboard cameras.

 

App School 101

Those same salespeople who first introduced the app to the consumer were also called upon to train consumers on their use. Though we cannot draw a conclusion about the effectiveness of salesperson-led training, it’s noteworthy that nearly the same amount of those surveyed opted to educate themselves about the app outside of the dealership. This underscores the importance of making training materials easily available online, so consumers can bone up at their leisure.

 

Reinventing the Customer Relationship

By using the app training experience as another touchpoint toward personalization of the vehicle to the owner’s individual tastes, dealers can build a better relationship between the buyer and the dealership itself. Hence, the new offerings of connected services provide the dealerships with a unique window of opportunity to reinvent the relationship with their customers by focusing on the engagement with the vehicle rather than focusing on just the vehicle itself.

If dealerships can move away from the transaction mindset and, instead, help create a personal relationship between the customer and the vehicle, then dealerships themselves have the opportunity to create a personalized retail experience. They can then better retain their customers outside of warranty lifespan and the relatively long period of time in-between the next car purchase.

 

Delivering Satisfaction

OEM apps tend to receive the best ratings from drivers who have integrated the apps into their routine. A strong majority of drivers surveyed responded that they are very satisfied with the usage of OEM apps, while a very small minority reported not being satisfied at all with the app usage. As OEM app usage is adopted at a greater level, and the insight provided by current users is ascertained and acted on for future feature development, OEM apps can heighten the level of satisfaction and, as a result, increase the loyalty to the brand.

So, how will the market ultimately embrace OEM apps? As our survey indicates, having a deep and detailed understanding of the digital experience – and the role OEM apps can play in helping to personalize this experience – represents the best pathway to success. Although the adoption of connected services may become more prevalent over time, OEMs and dealers will experience faster and more profitable growth if they understand how to bring the consumer into a level of personalization with the apps. This, in turn, will bring consumers closer to the automobile, and create a more satisfied mobility experience inside and outside of the car.

If we can help you to better understand consumer habits around connected vehicle technology, please give us a call.

Corey Reiter & Stephan Schroeder, Morpace Automotive

 

*The data collected by the Morpace Automotive Consumer Pulse Study are weighted to ensure relevant demographic characteristics of the sample matched those of the U.S. general population.  All respondents are weighted to U.S. Census Bureau demographic profiles for the U.S. population 18+ on gender, age, income and ethnicity.

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21
Dec

Making Data Meaningful: Of Clocks and Calendars

By: Steven Homestead, Story Architect

At New Years, millions of us around the globe spend a few minutes focusing on a clock to mark an exact time. We also turn our attention to calendars, pinning up new versions with pictures of puppies or scrolling further ahead in our smartphone apps. Of course, times and dates are still important to us throughout the year, whether we’re scheduling coffee hangouts, updating project deadlines, or penciling in video game release dates. But now, as we focus on the changing year, it gives us an opportunity to look at time, and how visualizing it helps us to make it meaningful, in a world filled with all sorts of data and busyness.

Part of human nature is developing meaning through experience—as we touch, taste, smell, hear, and see the world around us—then comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing these experiences to make decisions going forward. As a Story Architect, I help make data meaningful through some powerful tools often found in such creations as books, magazines, movies, symphonies, or paintings, including those tools of visual hierarchy, narration, chronology, and symbolism. In explaining these tools, time is a prime example I use to reveal how visual hierarchy and symbolism make data meaningful. Considering the quantum or philosophical views of time can take us down the rabbit hole into abstract and esoteric thought, but looking at time in our day-to-day lives, we find that across the globe people use circles, squares, and numbers to create visual systems of collectable, trackable, and meaningful data.

We are so familiar with seeing and using clocks and calendars that they might have lost their novelty and ability to amaze us. These visual technologies developed over time (pun intended), helping us function and plan to very precise degrees. Organizing sequences, applying a rhythm to them, and forming them into a circle or grid are examples of how visual elements (size, pattern, shape, etc.) can create something that has greater meaning and usefulness. These data visualizations help us conceptualize segments of our own lives. They help us make decisions.

These simple visuals, for instance, mean that we can plan for where we will be and when—a powerful ability! A few centuries ago, you might have been waiting by the trading post for the next delivery of medicine from St. Louis, not knowing exactly when the wagon carrying it would arrive. Thanks to timepieces and train schedules, the global concept of time, clocks, and travel were aligned in such a way so that you could know when a shipment would come in, even to the minute. This is a pretty remarkable and un-sung development from the 1800s that we will continue to benefit from, even as carrying timepieces increased our ability to be and feel “late.”

So as we count down to the New Year, let’s remember to look around and take stock of how meaning is applied to all sorts of data. The opportunities we have with data collection go beyond simply knowing numbers or statistics, to understanding the meaning within data to help us make decisions and take action. Time might be a construct that we’ve given a face to, but by doing so, we’ve opened up a way to form it, collect it, and make actionable meaning of it in a global, visual way. It’s meaningful data visualization, on display in the form of clocks and calendars. Have a happy, healthy, meaningful, and visual New Year!

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12
Dec

Autonomy, Delayed: Four Reasons Why Millennials May Not Be Ready For Self-Driving Cars

An Autonomous Future Series: For automobile manufacturers, suppliers, and technology companies, a bold new future has arrived. Technology that adds autonomous features to the driving experience are now available on vehicles by all major manufacturers – inching us ever closer to the day where the driver is a passive, rather than active, participant in the driving experience. To take a closer look at what’s to come, automotive research experts from Market Strategies-Morpace will share their insights in an occasional blog series titled “An Autonomous Future.” In this blog, Dania Rich-Spencer and Stephan Schroeder, Automotive Vice Presidents at Market Strategies-Morpace, share insights about why a consumer panel of millennials do not trust self-driving vehicles and, therefore, would not step foot inside one.

By: Dania Rich-Spencer & Stephan Schroeder – Vice Presidents, Automotive Growth & Innovation

 

To say that autonomous vehicle technology is top of mind for auto manufacturers is a slight understatement.

Across the globe, carmakers are doubling and tripling down on features that will take the power of the driving experience out of the often-unpredictable hands of the car owner, and into the relative algorithmic safety of computer-driven vehicular tech. According to a Brookings Institute study, manufacturers spent more than $80 billion on engineering AV technologies for their cars in 2017. In fact, a majority of this year’s models have incorporated one or more autonomous features — things like lane departure warnings, automated braking, and radar-enabled cruise control.

Framed against this reality, it would be easy to expect that a hands-off future is all but assured. In fact, at the recent ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle USA Conference, engineers spent two days talking about continued refinements that will assure the public’s safety. During one session, in fact, engineers discussed with pride spending considerable resources to understand how many times a pedestrian looks before entering a crosswalk.

So it was surprising — indeed, shocking — to observe these same engineers shift in their seats during a consumer panel discussion facilitated by Suzanne Miller of Morpace on Day 2. During the discussion, five millennials — without hesitating — answered “No” to the most fundamental of questions: “Would you step foot inside an autonomous vehicle?

Though the response was for some a harsh reminder of the consumer challenges that still have to be solved, the question of trust is not a new one — in fact, a poll released earlier this year by the American Automobile Association found that 73 percent of those surveyed are “too afraid” to enter a self-driving car. This is up 10 percentage points from the year prior, and underscores the biggest hurdle facing AV and ADAS tech — one that cannot simply be funded or engineered away.

As we listened to the panelists — varying in background, gender, nationality, and age — we were able to pinpoint:

The four most pervasive reasons why
there is skepticism and fear of self-driving vehicles

Trust and Safety

Topping the list is the overall belief that humans remain best suited to command the driving experience. They readily cite the isolated instances of accidents involving self-driving cars among the top reasons. In other transportation experiences where much of the process is automated – flying aboard a modern commercial jetliner, for instance – there always is a human who will reassuredly step in, they say, if something goes wrong.

The amount of engineering that underlies the self-driving experience, in itself, should be reassuring to the public. In fact, one audience member, in a fit of frustration, asked rhetorically why these people would “rather trust an Uber driver than a well-engineered AV?” Interestingly, panelists cited the number of high ratings and successfully completed journeys on an Uber driver’s profile as affirmation that they know what they’re doing. Something that is not readily available for autonomous vehicles today but may be required to convince consumers of its safety in the future.

It was compelling to hear this from a group that has developed a “learned trust” – a sort of symbiotic relationship – with existing driving tech. This is a public that would not commute beyond their neighborhood without some form of a moving map (trusting its computer-intoned directions implicitly as they are uttered from the dash or smartphone).  But it’s a group that has also learned how flawed technology can be – how imperfect it is at times. They have coped with taking their new $1,000 iPhone out of the box, only to find it doesn’t work. They deal with daily, inexplicable disruptions of their WiFi service. Because of these experiences, they have learned what the limits are to technology. As a result, they have developed a skepticism – and in some cases even fear – that only seems to grow with every new announcement about self-driving vehicles. This underscores the growing need to build consumer trust with the new technology as autonomous vehicles are continually developed.

 

Privacy

Millennials have had a love-hate relationship with the technology that guides their lives. On the one hand, dramatic improvements in tech have given this group more powerful tools and connectedness than ever; on the other, the personal information input into these devices and sites has been under assault. The specter that AV technology will further abridge someone’s privacy appears to be a deal breaker for those who would rather cruise in relative anonymity.

 

Hackers and Bad Actors

All the engineering in the world, said these panelists, cannot correct for the mental deficiencies of those who wish to illegally subvert the technology, or use it for harm. Fears include hacking of cars to disable features, or to use them for nefarious purposes; or some unstable driver inside an AV who uses it to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting public.

 

Liability

Panelists expressed grave concerns about who would ultimately be held responsible for accidents involving AV tech. If I was not steering the car when it hit that pedestrian, why should I be held responsible for the damage inflicted? Sorting out the chain of liability – whether the mobility provider should offer some sort of supplemental insurance for its self-driving technology, or whether the public, through the act of purchasing or renting the car, should remain the liable party – was a clear precondition of their risk/reward decision about this new technology.

 

Given what we learned from a group of smart, articulate millennials, AV manufacturers will need to deliberately guide consumers down the path to a world of autonomous vehicles – on consumers’ terms. Challenges associated with this include: 1) understanding exactly what these terms are, and 2) responding in an empathic manner to meet consumers’ expectations. Conquering these challenges may well represent the Holy Grail between reticence and broad adoption.

At Market StrategiesMorpace, we are working with vehicle manufacturers and technology companies to better understand the human factors that will ultimately lead to a future of new, safe, and widely accepted modes of transportation. If we can be of service, please contact us.

Dania Rich-Spencer & Stephan Schroeder – Vice Presidents, Automotive Growth & Innovation

 

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15
Nov

Shared Decision-Making about Treatment Improves Member Experience

By: Linda Sookman, Behavioral Health Quality and Accreditation Consultant at Morpace

Today’s healthcare environment has given rise to different clinical approaches to care, and how healthcare is delivered. No longer is the patient merely a recipient of medical care – today, they are a vocal partner and participant in the initiatives that will help them lead healthier lives. This has made it critically important that healthcare organizations transform their approach to their members, or risk losing ground to more progressive plans.

Within the last half-generation, we’ve seen this patient-centric philosophy result in the creation of initiatives such as patient-centered medical homes, integrated medical and behavioral health treatment, and the incorporation of community resources. All of these evolutions are the result of a mindset that social determinants critical in ensuring that comprehensive treatment plans are developed with the individual’s needs in mind.

This effort has closed the gap between patient and professional. Between February and March 2018, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions reported in a survey of adults that an awareness and use of national quality rating tools, and innovations such as wearable tracking devices, have indeed helped to improve the public’s perception about their engagement in treatment.

At the focal point of all of this new activity that supports the necessity of an individual’s engagement in their healthcare treatment, is shared decision-making – a trend I, and my colleagues here at Morpace, have been tracking for some time.

An article published by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, “How Much Shared Decision Making Occurs in Usual Primary Care of Depression?,” defines shared decision-making as “a collaborative process that allows patients and their providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient’s values and preferences.”

Researchers found that the impact of shared decision-making between healthcare providers and their patients leads to an improvement in members’ experiences, as well as their overall satisfaction with the treatment received. It was found that individuals who participated and engaged in their treatment gained a higher level of satisfaction than such variables as gender, education level, and/or the total visits they received.

The National Quality Forum (NQF), in conjunction with its National Quality Partners Shared Decision Making Action Team, issued a national call to action to support and incorporate shared decision-making as a standard of clinical practice. The National Quality Partners Team recommended applying the following strategies.

  1. Promote leadership and culture. The success or failure of incorporating shared decision-making into a standard of clinical practice is wholly dependent on the leadership of the organization. Strong leadership impacts the integration of shared decision-making into the culture of the organization.
  2. Enhance patient education and engagement. Practice leaders must take an active role in informing members and their families about the importance of shared decision-making to promote their engagement in treatment. This helps keep the health literacy of patient populations at the forefront.
  3. Provide your healthcare team with knowledge and training. Teams and providers should be coached on the specifics of improving communication with members and their families. This will result in a greater focus on members’ preferences, beliefs, and objectives for treatment. A better understanding of members’ treatment needs, and a discussion of treatment options, can nurture mutual respect and trust.
  4. Take concrete actions. Integrating decision-making tools into healthcare team processes leads to improved efficiency when communicating with members. AHRQ published a variety of clinical decision-making resources at particular points during the members’ treatment. The organization recommends the deployment of clinical decision-making tools based on particular illnesses, specific member populations, preventive health reminders, or notifications that may impact member safety.
  5. Track, monitor, and report. Providers should offer an update on shared decision-making outcomes and member self-reported experiences with organizational leaders, clinical teams, members, and providers.
  6. Establish accountability. Such activity should now become a permanent fixture in the practice’s annual Quality Improvement Program and Work Plan. This should include shared decision-making goals, objectives, and processes, and assignments of team accountability.

The integration of shared decision-making into clinical practice is no longer an option. It is has taken a prominent focus in healthcare policy-making, healthcare quality payment models, healthcare delivery, and with healthcare consumers. I personally believe that adopting such a stance proactively can be measured in much more than the bottom line (though revenue growth, too, is a tidy benefit of being proactive).

My colleagues here at Morpace have the expertise and innovation to assess shared decision-making practices and to recommend strategies that will improve members’ experiences. Morpace can partner with relevant stakeholders to design research projects that assess members’ experience and outcomes, and execute a closed-loop protocol to assure integration of results.

If you would like to discuss this further, or have any questions, please contact me at 248-756-0532 or lsookman@morpace.com.

Linda Sookman, RN, BSN, CPHQ, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, is the Behavioral Health Quality and Accreditation Consultant at Morpace.

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7
Nov

An Autonomous Future – Electric Vehicle Driver Opinion on Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous connected electric vehicles


For automobile manufacturers, a bold new future has arrived. Technology that adds autonomous features to the driving experience are now available on vehicles by all major manufacturers – inching us ever closer to the day where the driver is a passive, rather than active, participant in the driving experience. To take a closer look at what’s to come, automotive research experts from Market Strategies-Morpace will share their insights in an occasional blog series titled “An Autonomous Future.” In this blog, Stephan Schroeder, Vice President of Automotive Business Development at Market Strategies-Morpace, shares insights about how electric and hybrid vehicle drivers view the advantages and disadvantages of autonomous vehicles.

By: Stephan Schroeder, Vice President of Business Development, Automotive

The prospect of autonomous driving and connected mobility has energized the automotive industry and spurred billions of dollars of investments in autonomy, connectivity, and electrification. While startups and blue-chip corporations alike are convinced about the potential of autonomous vehicles (AV), consumers are more incredulous.

As previously reported in our An Autonomous Future series (Consumer Awareness & Opinion and The Role of the Consumer), media coverage has and will play a critical role in creating driver and rider awareness for AVs, but it is also becoming clear that the transition to this new form of mobility will require a multifaceted approach and unprecedented levels of investment in order to earn their trust.

One group that appears to be further along in their favorable opinion towards autonomous driving are drivers of electric vehicles. In a recent Morpace MyDrivingPower* online survey conducted among over 100 electric vehicle drivers, 3 out of 4 respondents expressed a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” opinion about AVs, more than twice the rate reported by drivers of vehicles with traditional powertrains. Given that difference in favorable opinions and their unique vantage point as early adopters, we took a closer look at the pros and cons of autonomous driving from their perspective.

 

Electric Vehicle Drivers’ Worry Revolves Around AV Tech-Related Challenges

Maybe not surprisingly, the biggest concern has to do with the technology itself. Concerns range from the quality of programming and the risk of being hacked to the inability of drivers to “program” the cars correctly.

And herein lies maybe the biggest challenge for AVs. We all have, over decades, become used to the limits of technology and the fact that it is not fail safe. However, we have accepted this risk because either our lives don’t depend on it (i.e. cell phones, computers, etc.) or because we have experts standing by to jump in if necessary (i.e. pilots, doctors, etc.). When a simple system reboot does not suffice or experts are not physically available, we dial help lines and call upon customer support to aid in our problems.

However, when it comes to AVs: what would happen in the event of an emergency or failure? The thought of being stranded with your family by the roadside and having to navigate through a helpdesk menu or wait hours for a call back is not something that would be acceptable in an autonomous world. Overcoming the doubts about the reliability of the technology and providing a highly responsive, end-user support system will be the two biggest hurdles that mobility providers will have to overcome to gain broad acceptance among consumers.

The next largest challenge has to do with concerns regarding vehicle performance due to bad weather conditions. Additional performance-related comments had to do with poor road conditions or construction. Of course, there is also the question of performance in more demanding environments, such as off-roading, which interestingly enough leads to a related disadvantage mentioned in another category: the thought of having to give up driving and losing the joy of driving a car. Many drivers are not happy about the thought of losing their freedom to drive or the ability to drive themselves.

While less frequent, concerns about liability and data privacy are also weighing heavy on the minds of consumers. Both of these issues tie back to our experience with technology. Who will be responsible in the event of an accident? What damages will be covered and not covered? Who will be responsible for the condition of the vehicle, especially if it is being shared amongst multiple parties? Ironically, some respondents felt that there would actually be more accidents because they did not trust their fellow drivers to behave responsibly or manage the technology properly.

The fear of lack of data privacy points to another significant concern with AVs. Considering the amount of time we spend in our cars and the amount of interaction that will take place through text, voice, video, sensing, etc., AVs will take the question of data privacy to a whole new level. Morpace is planning to explore this and other issues related to the question of trust and autonomous mobility further in one of its upcoming studies.

 

Electric Vehicle Drivers’ Opinion of AV Advantages

When asked about the expected advantages of AVs, electric vehicle drivers have a wide range of expectations, from safety to cost and environmental issues.

Most notably, electric vehicle drivers expect fewer accidents due to a reduction in distractions or unsafe driving. Furthermore, they expect lower cost of insurance, which could be a function of less accidents but also a lower rate of car ownership.

While many also expect less traffic and lower emissions, the verdict for a majority of people is still out, which shows the uncertainty around certain benefits:

  • Will AV lead to less or more cars on the road?
  • Which powertrain technology will prevail?
  • What will be the mix of autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles?

While many people believe that there will be efficiencies due to the use of autonomous vehicles (i.e. faster commutes), it could be offset by higher traffic volumes or the expectation that “the slowest car will dictate speed on the road.”

Finally, electric vehicle drivers pointed out two more major advantages. First, they noted that AVs will provide options for people who either can’t drive due to age, health, income or legal reasons – or who simply don’t want to drive. Secondly, many consumers mentioned that they expect a reduction in stress and greater happiness, which will contribute to a better quality of life and increased productiveness. The luxury of permanently “being taxied by your own car,” as one responded put it, seems to be a very appealing benefit for many drivers.

As a result, when asked how likely they would consider riding in an AV, 72% of electric vehicle drivers said that they would be “very likely “or “somewhat likely” to do so.

 

Time Spent While Driving in AV

For those with the most positive opinion of AVs, what else do they think and feel? When asked what they would do during the drive, the majority of drivers said they would use it to socialize with others, inside or outside of the vehicle, or simply make good use of the time otherwise. That said, many of the comments also revealed the anxiety that electric vehicle drivers feel when it comes to technology. Their comments ranged from “nervously watch the traffic/road,” to “carefully monitor the technology” and “pay full attention to driving and be completely ready to take over controls.”  In other words, while many drivers dream of a more enjoyable and fun ride, they simply can’t imagine a vehicle performing 100% of their activities 100% of the time with 0% failure yet.

 

AV Price Points for Electric Vehicle Driver

So, given all of the pros and cons, how much more would electric vehicle drivers be willing to spend for a vehicle that has autonomous technology?

On average, electric vehicle drivers indicated that they would be willing to pay an additional $6,000, with answers ranging from $1000 at the low end to $10,000 at the upper end.

The bottom-line is that the automotive industry has the attention of electric vehicle drivers and they are willing to pay for the added value. That said, the expectations are high and there is a healthy level of skepticism about the ability of making the technology work. The promise of a better quality of life is a huge opportunity for everyone involved but it will most likely come in baby steps as we learn to feel our way around the new world of unlimited mobility for everyone.

For more information about our AV research or if you have questions, please contact me and visit morpace.com.

 

*MyDrivingPower is an Insight Community comprised of over 500 electric and hybrid vehicle owners across the U.S., which is managed by the automotive market research professionals at Morpace. Results are based on responses from BEV and PHEV vehicles owners only.

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9
Oct

Improve Member Satisfaction of Behavioral Health Treatment among the Severely Mentally Ill Population

By: Linda Sookman, Behavioral Health Quality and Accreditation Consultant at Morpace

Member experience outcomes are subjective based on an individual’s perceived reality. It is important to consider that members who are severely mentally ill (SMI) may already have a distorted perception of reality due to their illness. So how do you improve members’ experience of behavioral health treatment within this specific population?

In our work at Morpace, we know how challenging it can be to achieve satisfaction among SMI members. Factors such as the severity of an individual’s mental illness, medical complications, and comorbid substance use play a distinct role. The degree of family and community support, treatment compliance, and socioeconomic status are also critical to their overall perception of care.

With these considerations in mind, we can utilize a combination of healthcare analyses and actionable processes to increase comprehensive satisfaction and improve outcomes.

How to Improve Your SMI Members’ Satisfaction, Based on Data

In 2011, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published the National Quality Strategy (NQS) to define a framework for national healthcare policy on healthcare quality improvement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted the same approach in defining the value of quality healthcare. If you are one of the many MHBOs working to improve your SMI population’s member experience, I recommend leveraging these ideas that occur within the three aims of the NQS framework:

Aim #1 – Provide Better Care

Strive to improve the overall quality of care by making the healthcare you provide more person-centered, reliable, accessible, and safe. This includes:

Education: In order to promote positive outcomes, your members, caregivers, network, and clinical staff should understand the importance of shared decision-making to improve expectations of treatment, treatment planning, and goal setting.

  • Assessment: Work to understand and quantify the members’ caregiver(s)’ experience in both treatment and planning, while utilizing the appropriate member consent process.
  • Encouragement: Leverage member and family-centered interactive behavioral health self-management tools to improve both member and caregiver’s management of their illness, adherence to treatment recommendations, and positive experiences to stimulate better outcomes.
  • Integration: Explore the level of integration of behavioral and medical services within your network and community. This process includes identifying gaps and developing innovative interventions to address them. It’s also essential to coordinate local community resources into the members’ treatment plan, such as self-help groups, along with publicly funded sources for housing, financial, transportation, nutritional, legal, and vocational training services.
  • Evaluation: Conduct quarterly access and availability evaluations in coordination with member compliance and grievance data to ensure members have easy and timely contact with credentialed behavioral health prescribers and non-prescribers. This should be based on clinical urgency while simultaneously meeting the needs and preferences of the member population.
  • Nurturing: Create and implement a quality-focused culture among your internal leadership, staff, and external stakeholders. These people and parties include network practitioners, providers, acute care facilities, PCPs, medical specialists, pharmacies, and local community organizations. Seek internal and external stakeholders’ feedback on a regular basis. Brainstorm opportunities for improvement in developing innovative clinical and service programs.

Aim #2 – Engage in Smarter Spending

Work to reduce the cost of quality healthcare for individuals, families, employers, government, and communities. You can do this by:

  • Focusing on the voice of your member: This approach generates a 360-degree view of experience from multiple data sources. Conduct member experience surveys, and review member complaints and grievances. Additional insights can also be gained through member and caregiver focus groups, as well as social media within the constraints of the HIPAA Privacy Rules and 42 CFR, Part 2.
  • Considering new service delivery models: Determine which avenues could reduce your organization’s healthcare costs, such as value-based payment models, monthly case rates, integrated payment models, or capitated networks.
  • Refocusing reimbursement of treatment to value based quality care: Collaborate with network providers on outcomes that demonstrate quality and value.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of current programs: How well are they working against the cost to implement them? Evaluate the expenditures and staffing resources needed to efficiently promote population health management, and carry out innovative programs such shared-decision making and transitions of care rather than having licensed case management staff designated for data entry.

Aim #3: Promote Healthier People and Communities

Improve the health of Americans by supporting proven interventions to address behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of health while delivering higher-quality care. Achieve this by:

  • Conducting useful patient analyses: Administer SMI patient stratification analyses and develop behavioral health screening programs for high-risk SMI members as part of secondary and tertiary prevention.
  • Promoting wellness: Incentivize your members to access their community health and wellness improvement programs.
  • Encouraging peer support: Identify Peer Support Specialists within the local community to encourage positive treatment experiences to improve the quality of life for this high-risk, high-cost member population.
  • Sponsoring Integrated Medical and Behavioral (IMBH) activities: Sponsor community health and wellness fairs, educational seminars, or preventive health/wellness focused events.
  • Improving patient communication strategies: Assess the methods and frequency of your organization’s patient communications. Aim to reach a larger circle of patients through text messaging, e-appointment reminders, or other digital communications which are preferred modes by younger members.
  • Considering new health and wellness strategies: Promote wellness programs based on the special needs of the population in collaboration with national or local sponsors, such as NAMI or local community services.

Keep in mind, the more positive your SMI members’ experiences are, the greater reduction in costly behavioral health and medical expenditures you will have, the healthier the member population will be. Morpace has the tools and expertise that can lead to improved member experiences and provider satisfaction. If you would like to discuss this further, or have any questions, please contact me, Linda Sookman, RN, BSN, CPHQ, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Behavioral Health Quality and Accreditation Consultant, at 248.756.0532 or lsookman@morpace.com.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538837/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780300/
  3. https://pmj.bmj.com/content/79/932/337
  4. https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.201700359
  5. https://www.ncqa.org/programs/health-plans/population-health-management-resource-guide/
  6. https://nrchealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Real-time-for-Millennials-Research-Brief.pdf

 

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29
Aug

NIMH Info on Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


By Linda Sookman, RN BSN, CPHQ, Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt
Healthcare Quality and Accreditation Consultant

In 2016, NIMH reported that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the US, and it has increasingly become a more prevalent topic in everyday conversation.

As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September, Morpace wanted to share the activities and strategies that NIMH is sponsoring. The endorsement of health and safety programs among your at-risk member populations saves lives, and can support positive member experiences. It is important to evaluate your current access and availability processes for members in crisis, coordinate services early in the members’ treatment and avoid more restrictive and costly services.

As you strive to meet your members’ needs, and in the promotion of safe practices, please let us know if there are annual or interim surveys, access and availability projects, or case management program evaluations that Morpace can assist with.

You can contact me at lsookman@morpace.com or 248.756.0532.

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