Assessing Your Health Plans Customer Experience Efforts


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DoctorHealth Plans have traditionally scored poorly on measures of the customer experience. Recent Forrester research asking consumers to rank their health insurance plan put the average plan in the “very poor” to “poor” category on a customer experience index. The industry ranked behind cable TV service providers and airlines. In fact, the best plans simply receive scores in the “OK” range.

With healthcare reform creating the opportunity for a larger number of consumers to become directly involved in the selection of their health plan, many plans have launched efforts to improve their customer experience. Unfortunately, we see many of these efforts failing to produce a truly differentiating customer experience. The following checklist can be used to help identify the strength of your customer experience efforts, both customer-facing and internally – and determine the likelihood that it will produce meaningful results.

Customer Experience Initiatives

  1. Have you identified your target customer segments – considering both demographic and behavioral attributes for both the group and individual markets?
  2. Do you have a robust “voice of the customer” program that delivers both functional and emotional insights for all target customers?
  3. Can you clearly articulate the need you solve (for both group and individual markets)? Does the need you solve for each group differentiate you and is it aligned with the market position you want for your plan?
  4. Have you completed a current journey map (both what happens and how target customers feel at each step)?
  5. Have you defined your target, or ideal, customer experience journey for each target customer segment?
  6. Have you identified the key tipping point moments in the journey?
  7. Do you have a methodology to identify the most significant gaps and opportunities and are you able to link these to performance improvement?
  8. Have you identified the commonalities across target customer segments and defined where alignment is necessary (what is consistently you)?

Company-Wide Initiatives

  1. Have you completed an assessment of your organization’s change readiness ?
  2. How well do all employees understand your target customer experience and do they understand the role they play in helping to make that a reality?
  3. Have you incorporated customer experience measurement in both your Executive dashboard and key operating statistics?
  4. To what degree do you use your target customer experience to shape and prioritize company initiatives underway?
  5. Do you have a methodology to identify the most important new initiatives to move closer to your target customer experience and an ability to assess the expected ROI?

Most health plans have a long ways to go towards delivering a differentiated and satisfying customer experience. Only those plans with the most robust customer experience initiatives are likely to be successful.

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photo credit: Alex E. Proimos cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Duane White
Duane White is an expert in driving change at the intersection of technology, healthcare and financial services. As a co-owner and partner at Aveus, a global strategy and operational change firm, he loves cracking the thorniest of strategic issues. He partners with client leaders in designing and executing customer experience and innovation performance strategies.


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