As customers, we expect a lot – and are willing to pay for it. A recent study found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Many believe this crowns customer experience as king over price and product as key differentiators. With this macro trend at play, it has never made more sense to invest in improving the customer experience in insurance.
So, how exactly does this factor into the insurance industry? Simply put, some of the standard practices are out of date. Take a physical health insurance card for example. Have you ever worried about being denied care if you didn’t have the physical card on you? Have you ever waited to throw away your old card and then mixed them up? So, why should customers need to rely on a physical health insurance card to receive care? Our needs and our expectations are changing, especially in the area of our lives that’s so critical – our health and access to care.
Here are 4 trends to watch for improving the customer experience in insurance:
1. Data transparency. Consumers want to be exposed to their data, especially when it comes to healthcare. We’ve all heard the phrase “sometimes you have to be your own advocate.” The democratization of data gives consumers the power they need to do this effectively. A new federal mandate requiring cost transparency in healthcare gives this momentum as well.
2. Patient centered design. You may think of only system design here, but this also applies to processes. Companies are bringing in patients to design with them instead of for them. Creating a frictionless customer experience is also a top priority. This means removing anything that might that impede the customer experience journey. For example, memorizing sets of information, like an insurance group number, isn’t something customers want to prioritize. They just want their doctors to know they’re eligible for care.
3. Mobility. It is no longer sufficient to expect consumers to use your website on their mobile device for these types of services. Companies should continue to invest in mobile platforms and offerings. From email to banking to airlines, your customers have designated mobile apps for nearly every company or organization they interact with. They expect the same ease of interaction from their insurance provider.
4. Incremental modernization. Focus on the workflow and not the technology. In insurance and healthcare, there are so many different complexities. Start small to seek value and benefit, and then consider expanding. Companies should avoid large moves in innovation upfront that result in low adoption rates and high costs. For example, instead of rushing to implement technology, it’s important to look at how both your employees and customers will be impacted by the change in workflow. Does this technology eliminate the need for your customers to input the same information each time they visit your clinic? Does implementing this new technology increase the possibility of cross-department visibility? Thinking through these questions, and making consistent and deliberate steps toward modernization, can help your company avoid high-cost, low adoption rate scenarios.
Perhaps the death of the insurance card is a physical symbol of the changing status quo. Just like paper money, physical credit cards, and library cards, these may fall out of use with future generations. Some insurance companies are already providing these types of services that savvy consumers have adopted.
Companies must carefully choose how and where to invest in order to continue improving the customer experience in insurance. Start by establishing your vision. This should be something that employees in all departments and all levels can understand quickly and easily get behind. Work with company leadership to identify strategic objectives and tactical goals, and align initiatives to them. And finally, create a high-level transformation roadmap to illustrate how these initiatives will work together to build momentum. These activities help companies move forward in a more coordinated, thoughtful way and will give them a better chance of improving the customer experience in insurance.
Interested in learning how Sendero can help your insurance company identify opportunities to implement strategic customer experience solutions? Fill out the form below to connect with one of our consultants.