Healthcare Insurance Companies: You Need a CX Makeover

By: Elizabeth Clor

August 16, 2016

customer experience

Over the past several years, healthcare insurance companies have put initiatives in place to create easier, more pleasant experiences for their members. Since the Affordable Health Care Act was rolled out, many healthcare insurance companies are starting to make changes that are driven by member feedback.

In a recent analysis by McKinsey and company, while health insurer revenues grew from $641B to $743B from 2013 to 2014, over 60% of insurers in the US had operating losses in 2014. Retail insurers saw massive spikes in new member enrollment over historical trends. A major Blue Cross provider saw its retail business grow from a small niche service to an organization supporting over 800,000 members practically overnight. Many insurers did not have the call center, process efficiency, or technology infrastructure to handle such a big spike in customers.

Given this massive shift, healthcare insurance providers identified the need to become more customer-centric. They realized that they needed to operate more like a retail bank or a communications provider with the capacity to handle large volumes of incoming support requests. It’s clear that health insurers need a thorough customer experience makeover. But how can they get started? It can depend on the area of most acute need, and may vary from organization to organization. Our quick advice is to:

Listen to members, prospects, and providers
Your members, prospective members, and providers are communicating with you on a growing number of channels. They call, email, chat, complete surveys, and even post about you on social media. Start collecting and organizing this information so that you can use it to identify needs, wants, pains, and opportunities for improvement.

Have empathy
Analyze data with the goal of identifying member pain points like processes, issues, and policies that make it hard to do business with you. Understand your members’ emotions throughout the process to prevent churn.

Perform ROI assessments
Explore changes you might make to address problems and issues, and act to improve the customer experience. Start with the low-cost, high-impact changes that can make the most immediate difference. Focus on committing to systematic, sustained changes to the customer experience to reduce cost, enhance experience, and attract members.

Want to learn more? Our latest white paper, Bring Healthcare Insurance Into the Modern Day, focuses on how you can improve the member experience. In particular, it addresses companies that have seen major changes in their retail/direct-to-consumer businesses as a result of changes in the market since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed.

Elizabeth Clor is the Sr. Director of Content Marketing and Communications at Clarabridge. In this role, she is responsible for solidifying Clarabridge’s position in the marketplace as the leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) technology vendor. Elizabeth has 17 years of experience in high-tech marketing and communications, and is a regular contributor to various marketing publications. She holds a B.A. of English from the University of Virginia.