Medical emergencies are always stressful. When we or our loved ones are sick, injured, or suffering from chronic conditions, it’s important for us to know we have resources. Hundreds of millions of people trust their health insurance providers to ensure that they’re covered and to communicate what resources are available to them. At least, that is how it is supposed to work.
The Challenge For Health Insurance
Unfortunately, consumer trust in the health insurance industry is down. The reasons for this are complex. We know that insurers are under more pressure than ever to deliver better experiences for less money. Worse, customers have more options for providers than ever before. So how then, do you stand out from the rest and create trust? Thankfully the solution is simple, even if it is not always easy. In order to rebuild trust, Health Insurance providers need to invest in better understanding the insurance journey. From there, they can focus on delivering seamless, context-sensitive experiences.
We’ve identified 3 key ways that Health insurance providers can build trust through journeys. First, health insurers can and must keep customers from needing to repeat themselves. Second, insurers need to be proactive in their communications across the insurance journey. Third, they need to involve the human touch alongside technology.
Keep the Customer from Repeating Themselves
There are few things more frustrating that sitting on a long hold with an insurance provider only to leave with an unresolved issue, especially when most customers believe businesses should be able to respond on the first call.
To solve this, insurers need to create a single customer view that still protects PII and Health data. Customers may speak to many people, across many different parts of the insurance business. This means that each part of the business must be able to share relevant information, or risk having the customer repeat themselves to the point of frustration. If someone has a question about their current benefits, but also is considering changing their plan – it could add a great deal of value to be able to share how those plan changes, would impact the particular benefits they were asking about. The insurance journey is complex, so showing customers that you’re listening, can make an often frightening experience that much easier.
Be Proactive In Your Communications Across the Insurance Journey
Customers today expect more than ever from everyone they do business with, including insurers. It is not enough to simply have a well-developed ability to react to customer requests and needs. To deliver great experiences, businesses need to take proactive steps to guide their customers along the insurance journey. It can be extremely useful to inform customers of new products or services when they are relevant, but serve to confuse those same customers if the delivery of those services is timed incorrectly during the buying cycle..
Proactively communicating with your customers can take several different forms, but ultimately they should all foster trust. Customers know that insurers are the experts, but this can create a feeling of an unequal relationship, where the insurer has all of the power. When customers search for specific medical care providers or specialists on the website, it isn’t enough to just remind them of their search. Better would be to guide them to their goal, and understand their specific needs. The more you can show you understand your customer’s context, the more they will trust you when you coordinate payment for their care. This is also true throughout other parts of the insurance journey.
Humanize the Health Insurance Journey
Customer experience professionals know better than anyone, that insurance journeys are complex. Businesses across the industry have spent decades building up communications channels, with powerful ESPs that automatically communicate with customers based on trigger events, to dynamic website content served through CMS providers, and orchestrated campaigns from top campaign management vendors. But none of these alone is enough to build trust through a journey. Often, people feel trapped in searching for information alone or through electronic systems that are arcane or difficult to understand.
This is where the value of human interaction can save the day. For people, especially those who aren’t so tech-savvy, who are struggling, having an agent to speak with directly can make all the difference in the world. The insurance journey has many opportunities for these interventions, from choosing a plan, to searching for a provider, to understanding benefits. In each of these cases, human involvement can be beneficial. Instead of allowing customers to struggle, these human touch points build trust and provide guidance. But it isn’t possible to deliver human touch points without either spending enormous sums on a massive staff (which we don’t recommend) or investing in technology to power the insurance journey. Technology can allow you to put struggling customers in touch with people who can help.
Fostering Trust Through Journeys Leads to Business Results
Customer experience is the next competitive battleground that all industries must fight across. To best deliver great CX, some of the biggest players in the world have turned towards customer journey strategies. The results have been astounding, both financially and in terms of value delivered. One of Kitewheel’s clients in the UK was able to impact the very beginning of the insurance journey, increasing their conversion activities by 300%. By showing their customers that they were listening, Allianz was able to build that first level of trust and ultimately increase their revenue.
So why should you look into customer journeys? In our experience, they work. With over six years of experience delivering great experiences, Kitewheel is ready to help you bring journeys to your business. If you’re interested in learning more, consider reading our Customer Journey Maturity Model, which provides a deep look into the process of bringing customer journeys to life.