Three Ways Insurers Can Prepare for a Successful Open Enrollment Period

By: Lindsay Thompson

October 15, 2020

Tags:
Voice of the Customer

During the annual period of open enrollment, health insurers face a number of unique business challenges. Members and prospective members will test insurers’ ability to communicate effectively, and inquisitive individuals will inundate contact centers with inquiries about benefits, coverage, and enrollment. 

In today’s consumer-driven world of health insurance, open enrollment represents an opportunity for insurers to offer an optimal member experience, gain competitive insights and vie for new members. To prepare for this annual event, insurers should deploy an analytics solution to identify drivers of member satisfaction, optimize contact center operations and prioritize the member experience.

Identify Drivers of Member Satisfaction

Throughout the year, insurers should collect and integrate member feedback from all available channels including calls, provider calls, emails, chat, complaints, surveys, digital forums, social media, blogs, ratings and reviews. By capturing insights from both structured and unstructured data, they can construct a comprehensive view of the member experience and make decisions based on accurate insights.

Insurers should also measure customer sentiment, effort, and emotion and track which benefits members value the most to discover insights and inform educational materials, marketing messages and engagement opportunities. Initiatives that highlight known drivers of satisfaction will create a more compelling argument for adopting a particular plan in the weeks leading up to open enrollment.

Optimize Contact Center Operations

In addition to helping insurers communicate more effectively, member feedback can inform agent training when insurers track conversation topics and equip their contact center agents with knowledge about frequently asked questions. By providing agents with ample information about benefits, coverage, plan switching and other topics that are especially important during open enrollment, insurers can ensure a positive member experience, foster member loyalty and encourage sales.

As part of an effective analytics program, insurers should also monitor top contact drivers to identify sources of confusion. Using this information, insurers can create more effective educational materials, improve self-service options and optimize the digital experience. Over time, these actions will help to reduce contact volume, keeping contact center costs and member frustration low.

Prioritize the Member Experience

To prepare for a successful open enrollment period, insurers should also focus on reducing friction in the purchase journey. By proactively implementing an analytics solution to continuously identify pain points, causes of frustration and drivers of dissatisfaction, insurers can consistently monitor member interactions and flag concerns as they arise.

Furthermore, the annual open enrollment period presents an opportunity to gain competitive intelligence and drill into the reasons why an individual might choose one plan over another. By setting up category models to filter feedback for competitor mentions and analyzing information about competitors in the broader market, insurers can better understand why members switch to certain plans or are at risk of churning.

Conclusion

An omnichannel analytics solution offers numerous benefits that will help insurers strategically prepare for open enrollment. By understanding what members love about their insurance company, promoting efficiency in the contact center, and prioritizing the member experience, insurers can meet changing member expectations, identify cost savings and drive loyalty and retention.

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Lindsay Thompson is a junior product marketing manager at Clarabridge where she focuses on understanding relevant markets and driving product demand through positioning and messaging. She is originally from Raleigh, N.C. and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Media and Journalism. Her background studying public relations and entrepreneurship informs her current work developing product marketing strategies, campaign designs and sales enablement materials. Outside of work, Lindsay enjoys watching UNC basketball, traveling, baking and practicing graphic design.