Health Insurers’ CX Leaves Room For Improvement, For Customers And Revenue

Today, only two things predict whether someone will buy your insurance or your competitor’s: 1) is my doctor covered? and 2) price. (See endnote 1) So why should US health insurers care about how they measure on customer experience? Because customer experience leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference, and can charge more for their products. (see endnote 2). As healthcare customers have increasing choices, in the absence of differentiated CX, they will chase the least expensive option that meets their needs.

Health insurers are eager to engage their customers and build loyalty. To do so, they must build differentiated CX. Being the best of the worst will not be enough to improve retention rates. And it certainly will not be enough to shift the industry from volume to value. Our research shows that health insurers must:

  • Prioritize customer service improvements. Customers reported customer service as a top need, but today only 57% report experiencing good customer service. Meanwhile, customers report feeling annoyed, disappointed, and frustrated often. Health insurers have over invested in care management as a mechanism to reel in cost of care, and under invested in the basic business competencies customers expect them to deliver. To build trust to help customers manage their health, you must first make their benefits easy to understand and reduce the friction associated with surprise/hidden costs. 
  • Learn from the best of the best, not the best of the worst. It is normal to look to your industry competitors to drive investment and innovation, but health insurers continue to be laggards in adoption of great CX programs and digital transformation. Look outside your traditional competitors and industry for inspiration. Mobile banking via CX leader USAA provides great examples for health insurers looking to deliver better CX and differentiated digital experiences (see endnote 3).