For the American Cancer Society, Better Customer Experience Can Save Lives

The American Cancer Society fights cancer around the world through research, patient support, prevention and treatment information, and other services. Since 1991, the organization has contributed to a 26 percent drop in cancer death rates and helped save more than 2.3 million lives.

As the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to ending cancer and helping people with the disease, the American Cancer Society is often the first place visited by people who either need support or want to help via donations or volunteerism. In 2017, the organization responded to 1.34 million calls and chats and its website received 106 million page visits, according to its annual report.

With so many people coming to its website, “We needed to get one single, 360-degree profile of those people that could be shared across the organization,” says Paulette Carter, senior director of Customer Experiences and Integration at the American Cancer Society.

Carter realized that with a refresh of the website design to improve customer experience underway, it was the right time to make it easier for visitors to log on with a single sign-on. She also wanted to make sure that behind the scenes, the organization could easily create profiles for those visitors indicating their interests, which activities they participated in, and how they came to the website. These profiles could then be shared across the American Cancer Society so employees could better determine how to engage with and help them.

According to Carter, “We needed an enterprise solution for customer authentication and identity management that could scale to accommodate our millions of users, and we knew traditional identity and access management was not the answer. We made a conscious business decision to move to SAP Customer Data Cloud because of its ease of use.”

Part of the SAP C/4HANA suite, SAP Customer Data Cloud provides single sign-on functionality for constituents, allowing them to register seamlessly using their preferred social network accounts. The SAP Customer Identity solution, part of SAP Customer Data Cloud, then consolidates information about registrants and creates unified, comprehensive identities that are shared across the programs and domains. The charity uses the solutions on its main website as well as the Relay for Life walkathon website, which supports the organization’s primary fundraising activity.

Since implementing the new system, more than 2.5 million new users have registered with the American Cancer Society. Of those, about 360,000 have logged in using social credentials, enabling the organization to collect data from these third-party accounts, including users’ demographics, relationships, and more. Carter’s team has been able to develop “Constituent 360,” a single source of truth about community members across the organization, which has helped uncover opportunities to increase the number of users.

Looking ahead, Carter says that the American Cancer Society wants to deliver personalized content and information to people, while protecting their personal data. With the customer identity system based on SAP C/4HANA, the organization will be able to provide relevant information to people – whether they are patients, volunteers, or donors.

But for now, the American Cancer Society is focused improving website visitors’ experience.

“With 2.7 million volunteers and donors, we depend on SAP Customer Data Cloud as the critical front-end registration piece to our sites,” says Carter. “Our visitors are fighting cancer: They shouldn’t struggle with site sign-on.”