Some of the largest payers in the healthcare industry were represented at November’s AHIP Consumer Experience Forum, with keynote speakers and panelists from WellPoint, HCSC, Aetna, and Florida Blue, among others. Rather than recap each session, we are sharing some of the key themes highlighted throughout the conference.
Industry-wide Gap in Knowing your Customer
It only makes sense that ‘know your customer’ was reiterated over and over – after all, how you define this is key to success. Knowing your customer doesn’t only mean creating market segments, personas and journey maps – that is just a start. Marcus Osborne from Wal-Mart described a 3-month ordeal just to complete a biometric screening. From waiting 2 months for the first available appointment, to learning at that visit that he needed to fast for at least 8 hours, to getting the results a week later, and in the end, not learning anything new from his normal results. To provide a thoughtful and cost effective consumer experience, insurers need to understand all the interactions that can occur at each step along the way.
One highlight of the conference was hearing Alexandra Drane from Eliza humorously share an anecdote about an unengaging experience with her insurer. Receiving reminder after generic reminder to complete a medical service, she proposed that her insurer, “Send me a letter followed by a phone call. Let me know you are listening….” Knowing your customer is one thing, but this needs to be augmented by awareness of the nuanced situations and feelings the customer may have around each interaction. The consumer wants to know that you are listening and that you understand their circumstances. Empathy is essential to an amazing consumer engagement strategy.
Test and Retest
This is easier said than done, but the basic message is that we should continually work towards improving the user experience. Multiple speakers brought up Amazon, and how they constantly tweak their website. A/B testing is a big factor in Amazon’s success. Pilot testing should be done more often. Test, apply learnings, and repeat…multiple times. And remember that employer groups and brokers are consumers too.
Certainly one of the buzzwords of the conference, one speaker defined consumerism as ‘changing operations to meet and exceed customer expectations’. This includes having an effectively functioning website. One example: Ingrid Lindberg from Prime Therapeutics shared that it takes 3 clicks for their customers to navigate to the appropriate plan, versus HealthCare.gov, which takes up to 41 clicks.
Big Data Replaced by Good Data
It was nice to hear quite a few speakers prioritize ‘Good Data’ over ‘Big Data’. Taking a close look at the data you get today, do you trust the source of that data? How are you addressing your back end systems to validate that data? Before even considering a Big Data strategy, fix your current data sources and determine the best uses for that data – only then should you think about investing in Big Data.