Nearly six years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare landscape continues to undergo radical changes. Now more than ever, health insurers are mindful of the options available to individual consumers and group insurance customers alike. From private exchanges, to new insurers entering the marketplace, to consumer-driven healthcare, employers have many choices when it comes to offering health insurance to their employees. However, health benefits are only a fraction of what’s on their mind – they are also managing payroll, retirement, dental benefits, and disability claims, to name a few. Forward-thinking insurers, like Health Care Service Corporation, are facing this challenge head on and seizing the opportunity to enhance the customer experience for group insurance customers.
Known for being ahead of the curve, HCSC makes efficient service throughout the customer lifecycle a top priority, which makes them an easy choice for employers shopping for group health plans. HCSC asked Tahoe Partners to help define the group customer experience – from evaluation and selection of carriers and plans, to managing employee enrollment, to how they manage benefits on a daily basis. To learn more about these customers, Tahoe Partners held interviews with plan sponsors from mid to large market employers across several industries, asking them to identify the interactions that impacted them the most.
Nearly all of the employer groups we spoke with shared the same core healthcare concerns: uncertainties around reform, managing costs, forecasting for the future – all while trying to minimize the amount of disruption to their employees. Often, brokers and consultants serve as the liaison between insurers and employers, and play a significant role in helping companies to navigate the shifting healthcare space. Employers also cited competing priorities; while they want to offer top of the line benefits to stay competitive in the job market, they also cited cost as the major factor in their decision-making process, with network coverage options as a close second. They are also looking for excellent service, where benefits administration is a non-issue – straightforward, consistent, and efficient.
To guide HCSC in making it as seamless as possible for group insurance customers to do business with them, we created a journey map highlighting key interactions throughout the employer experience. The map illustrates each step from shopping, implementation, and open enrollment, to member use and the renewal process, flagging areas that have potential to create dissatisfaction if not performed correctly or consistently. With that, we were able to pinpoint opportunity areas where the customer experience team could focus their efforts on improving group buying experience.
Gathering feedback from your buyers is critical to identifying sticking points in your customer experience, and can help ensure you’re making improvements that deliver real change and return on investment. After all, there is no better way to demonstrate to customers that you value their business than by asking them what you can do better.