Colorado Springs Gazette highlights CodeBaby’s recent strategic announcements

June 20, 2013

CodeBaby signs CareFirst as largest customer

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by WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com – • Published: June 3, 2013

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Colorado Springs-based CodeBaby Corp. has signed its largest customer in its 12-year history: CareFirst, the Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan for 3.4 million customers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia.

CodeBaby developed a digital character, “Chloe,” who will serve as a virtual online assistant to guide current and potential customers buying health insurance directly from CareFirst’s website.

Starting in August, Chloe will help CareFirst’s online customers select the appropriate health care plan for their needs. Eventually, the character is expected to be used in other parts of CareFirst’s website, and will help existing and potential customers enroll through the insurer’s small and large employer business units, CodeBaby CEO Dennis McGuire said.

“We look forward to growing the relationship with CareFirst to help them deliver easy-to-use, effective online engagement tools,” McGuire said in a press release issued by CareFirst and CodeBaby.

“This is part of our strategic focus on complex products and services such as financial services, insurance and health care. For the next year, our top priority is health care and insurance, including hospitals and other health care providers.”

CareFirst CEO Chet Burrell said the company is using Chloe to “create a more user-friendly online environment for individuals looking to renew or purchase a health care plan from CareFirst. We believe CodeBaby’s technology can play a role in helping us meet the needs of our growing number of online customers.”

CodeBaby was started in 2001 in Canada by Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, who previously founded the Canadian video gaming company Bio-Ware, to develop digital characters for sales, employee training and customer service.

Last year, CodeBaby created an online, interactive avatar called “Amy Helper” for insurance giant MetLife for use with its M-Powered Enrollment program for its benefits and medical plans offered to employers with 50 or more employees.

CodeBaby also provides characters for police departments in Reno, Nev., and Winston-Salem, N.C., to help users fill out reports of nonviolent crimes, and for Pueblo Community College to help students with financial-aid questions.

The company also is rolling out a new product called Insyte to help businesses’ online users land on the most relevant information, rather than making them hunt for the information.

Options include offering the user live chat help, an automatic call back from a call center agent, an email-contact form and integration with any database of information within or outside the site.

CodeBaby also plans to announce a partnership this month with an online provider of employee benefits enrollment and management.

CodeBaby moved its headquarters to downtown Colorado Springs in 2007 and now employs about 30. Two years ago, it refocused its strategy on large businesses and government agencies, particularly those in insurance, health care and financial services, to help them boost enrollment rates while lowering operating costs by using virtual assistants instead of call center agents to answer customer questions.

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