Customer Satisfaction in the Health Insurance Industry


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The health insur­ance indus­try is get­ting a lot of atten­tion as call vol­ume picks up. Baby boomers are retir­ing and search­ing for sup­ple­men­tal Medicare cov­er­age, health care reform is in the air, and more mem­bers are need­ing assis­tance and sup­port. Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is a key met­ric for health insur­ance com­pa­nies to mon­i­tor in order to gauge which areas of their cus­tomer ser­vice are strong and which areas need improve­ment in order to main­tain or increase their mem­ber­ship base.

Accord­ing to sta­tis­tics, busi­nesses will increase prof­its by 25 to 125% by retain­ing an addi­tional 5% of cus­tomers. It’s also proven that it costs ten times as much to attract new cus­tomers as it does to retain cur­rent customers.

Achieve Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion and Gain Loyal Customers

Com­pa­nies that have achieved sat­is­fied cus­tomers will achieve loyal cus­tomers as well. For exam­ple, imag­ine a mem­ber calls your cen­ter with a ques­tion about insur­ance cov­er­age and an agent pro­vides out­stand­ing service—service that far sur­passes the member’s expec­ta­tion. That cus­tomer will be much more inclined to renew cov­er­age with your com­pany than move to a dif­fer­ent insur­ance com­pany not know­ing whether they would receive the same level of service.

Pro­vide Con­sis­tent Lev­els of Service

Cus­tomers tend to stay with com­pa­nies that pro­vide a con­sis­tent level of cus­tomer ser­vice even if they are not the least expen­sive, the most con­ve­nient, or have the most fea­tures in their products.

  • Train your agents to have excel­lent prod­uct knowl­edge and test them occa­sion­ally to be sure that knowl­edge is retained.
  • Pro­vide cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing so agents offer cus­tomer ser­vice in a con­sis­tent man­ner. Calls should be opened and closed the same way. Agents should learn to speak in a pos­i­tive man­ner, telling callers what they can do, rather than what they can’t. Pro­vide easy-to-understand instruc­tions for agents to use in dis­cussing enroll­ment and claims filing.

Resolve Issues on the First Call

Train agents to achieve first call res­o­lu­tion. Because of the tech­ni­cal nature of health insur­ance, this will include steps like con­firm­ing that the cus­tomer under­stands the ben­e­fits that the agent described and telling mem­bers what to expect in order to avoid call backs. Accord­ing to an arti­cle by Rosanne D’Ausilio, when an issue is resolved on the first call, only 3% of cus­tomers are likely to go to a competitor.

New Cus­tomers Need TLC

Health insur­ance com­pa­nies often give prospec­tive mem­bers the most atten­tion. Once prospects become cus­tomers, what does your com­pany do to retain them? The sad truth is that many times com­pa­nies put their best resources into the acqui­si­tion of new mem­bers, some­times at the expense of what is needed to retain them.

Remem­ber, loyal mem­bers are the best form of adver­tis­ing. They talk to each other at work and at retire­ment meet­ings. They com­pare notes dur­ing open enroll­ment. So come up with ways to show mem­bers you appre­ci­ate their busi­ness and want them to become mem­bers for life. Read this blog post to learn more about the impor­tance of retain­ing members.

Teach health insur­ance agents how to build rap­port with mem­bers and how to show empa­thy. Mem­bers need to believe the agent under­stands their sit­u­a­tion and is actively work­ing to answer their ques­tion or rem­edy their problem.

Pro­vide Chan­nels for Cus­tomers to Reach You

If sat­is­fied cus­tomers are the goal, cre­ate chan­nels for mem­bers to com­mu­ni­cate with you. Com­plaints are an essen­tial part of cus­tomer feed­back. If a cus­tomer is unhappy, you want to be aware of it so you have an oppor­tu­nity to improve. It’s been shown that mem­bers who have had prob­lems resolved quickly and pro­fes­sion­ally are more loyal to their insur­ance com­pany than mem­bers who have never had a problem.

The eas­ier you make it for cus­tomers to com­plain, the more likely they will be to give you a chance to save them as cus­tomers. Accord­ing to the arti­cle by Rosanne D’Ausilio, 68% of cus­tomers with unre­solved issues are at risk for defect­ing to another company.

Lis­ten to Feed­back and Act

Once you’ve given mem­bers an oppor­tu­nity to voice their con­cerns, do some­thing with the feed­back! Cus­tomers feel val­i­dated when the com­pa­nies they do busi­ness with take their sug­ges­tions seri­ously enough to incor­po­rate them into their prod­ucts and ser­vices. If you can’t make prod­uct changes, at least acknowl­edge that you received the feed­back and let your staff know what you intend to do with it.

If you want more sat­is­fied cus­tomers, lis­ten to them and act on what they tell you when­ever possible!

Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is a goal that ben­e­fits both you and your mem­bers. Whether the mem­bers are new or have been loyal for years, make an effort to com­mu­ni­cate with them and let them know they’re val­ued and that their feed­back is impor­tant to you. Happy mem­bers mean more busi­ness for you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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