Improving customer experience strategies is a top priority to keep pace in the modern market.
Needless to say, most of the health insurance digital floor experiences are not where they should be. Indeed, health insurers’ traditional approach to customer experience lags far behind other industries that have prioritized digital channels in recent years. From retail and entertainment to financial services and hospitality, these companies recognize rising digital literacy rates and expectations among customers and continue to develop digital experiences that engage their consumers across all channels.
Combine this market-wide push for omnichannel experiences with the healthcare industry’s recent introduction of more clinics, home care and digital health offerings, and insurers suddenly have a swath of savvy, digital customers demanding more. . Simply put, today’s consumers expect personalized, seamless omnichannel services, and insurers are largely unprepared to meet these demands.
While insurance providers may be eager to catch up with other digitally enabled industries, they should not respond with a wide-ranging attempt to introduce digital solutions across all value chains, communication channels, and member touchpoints. Frankly, it could be very expensive and not reach the desired target quickly enough. To improve customer experience strategies, insurers will need to throw away their old playbooks and thoughtfully introduce tactics and capabilities that will improve their customers’ omnichannel experience.
Follow this five-step approach to kickstart these efforts:
1. Research customers, stakeholders, systems and processes to ensure the proper context for business and consumer issues. Research can reduce the risk of mismatches on the problem at hand. At this time, it is important to expand your existing knowledge and evaluate customer personalities to help resolve any existing issues or problems. For example, members of narrow network plans have different needs than patients in large access networks. Likewise, members with different health states have very different needs. Collectively, this information will be used to inform your digital and physical CX strategies.
2. Define customer behaviors that will drive business results. Customer journey maps can help insurers better understand how consumers interact with their brand across touchpoints and identify any moments of frustration in customer journeys. For example, a path-mapping exercise for a consumer with limited access to childcare would identify this pain point as an obstacle to attending doctor’s appointments.
3. IDevise creative solutions that address key moments in customer journey maps. With so many patients having a variety of needs and expectations, health plans will have to constantly rethink how they understand their consumers’ differences and offer a range of solutions based on those needs. Wireframes, prototypes and other tools and techniques should be built to clarify potential opportunities and consider all channels, from home or clinic experiences to digital apps and chatbots; in addition to traditional call and portal experiences.
4. Run user tests on customer experience tools for aligning business and customer results. While each consumer group has different priorities and capabilities for using the information presented, these tests will allow insurers to see which solutions really work for each audience. During the user testing phase, it is essential to optimize metrics and ROI based on the unique circumstances of consumers to assess future impact and investment.
5. Refine implementable solutions by balancing business feasibility, customer desirability and technical feasibility. Integrating user experience into agile delivery teams ensures that the customer experience aligns with previously generated design artifacts. In this case, it is important to commit to an agile delivery model where new features and routes are supported on a monthly basis. Then, they are repeated to improve, enhance and adapt each unique person. Use user experience best practices to manage journey discovery and evolution, and make sure you have the right technology stack and application architecture to support ongoing evolution for your plan members.
To build a strong relationship with the modern customer, insurers will need to rethink their CX strategies and prioritize the omnichannel experience journey. Of course, that’s easier said than done. By conducting in-depth research on stakeholders, evaluating the current state of the customer journey, defining stepwise versions of the solution, and reviewing these findings, insurers can frame and ultimately improve their approach to holistic customer experiences.
Kevin Benner is the national leader of healthcare solutions at Sogeti, a Capgemini company.