The healthcare consumer’s expectations, our expectations, are rapidly changing, and health insurers are adopting consumer engagement initiatives to better manage these needs. Today’s consumer is used to a seamless customer experience in their daily life, when purchasing a pair of jeans or a car, and they expect the same experience when looking to educate themselves and shop for health plans.
Customer engagement is a familiar term to other industries, like retail, but the health insurance industry is just stepping into the realm of in-depth customer insight and the omni-channel experience. This is a monumental shift, driven by the changing face of the health insurance consumer. Historically, health insurers’ main focus was on employer groups and there was little interaction with the individual member. Now, with the introduction of health information exchanges, there is a resurgence of demand for individual plans.
Because of this, health insurers must focus on meeting the needs and expectations of those individuals or risk significant loss in market share. Potential policy holders looking to purchase individual plans are expecting that all-familiar retail experience: quick identification of potential vendors, easily accessible product information, insight-driven product suggestions, and simplified transactional processes. In an industry where customer satisfaction typically declines as customer interaction increases, managing these interactions and the content associated with them will be vital to successfully attracting, retaining, and satisfying the new individual member market.
Not only do health insurers have to focus on this new consumer group, but they must continue to meet the needs of their additional customers – employer groups, brokers, and partners – each with their own priorities and pain points. It is a huge undertaking to remain relevant and provide a personalized experience to each of these customers across all channels. With an omni-channel platform, health insurers can provide a personalized, simplified user experience while easily managing customer content and interactions, no matter which channel they engage. Personalizing the engagement down to the individual will uniquely differentiate health insurers from their competition and enable quick adaptation to their consumers’ ever-changing needs.
The benefits of a single, omni-commerce platform include:
- Seamless member experience at all points of interaction
- Insight-driven product suggestions to balance the inherent risk involved in allowing individuals to select their health insurance plans
- Management of product content to ensure potential policy holders and members are properly educated about product offerings
- In-depth insight to better understand member needs
- Ability to target and attract new member base
- Decreased operational costs associated with member interaction
- Streamlined internal processes to manage the multiple engagement channels
- Increased retention and member satisfaction rates
Stop by the Consumerization of Healthcare Made Simple Microforum for a discussion on the impact of the customer engagement initiative on the health insurance industry. Register here!
 A.T. Kearney, “Health Insurers: The Customer Engagement Imperative”, 2011