This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Brie Tascione, writes about the importance of improving the customer experience in the healthcare industry to improve loyalty and reduce frustration. Any service industry today must keep up with the technological advances when communicating with their customers. – Shep Hyken Digitally native millennials are […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Brie Tascione, writes about the importance of improving the customer experience in the healthcare industry to improve loyalty and reduce frustration. Any service industry today must keep up with the technological advances when communicating with their customers. – Shep Hyken
Digitally native millennials are quickly becoming the largest base of healthcare consumers, yet they are consistently left frustrated and underwhelmed by disjointed communications, paper-based systems, and inefficient processes that can run rampant across critical healthcare journeys. The seamless, digital experiences they have come to know and expect from consumer focused brands are rarely found when signing up for health insurance or paying a medical bill. On the other side, providers and payers alike have struggled mightily with adjusting to the rapidly shifting healthcare landscape and the various options consumers now have thanks to a rise of new players looking to unseat incumbents and and transform the consumer experience. The battle lines in healthcare have been drawn and the eventual victors understand that creating seamless experiences and close relationships with their customers, members, and patients is a difficult but critical choice.
Established healthcare companies including Independence Blue Cross, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts serve as prime examples of incumbent healthcare businesses deciding to innovate and re-think customer experience. Health insurance providers know all too well that engaged, educated members are almost always healthier (and less expensive); consequently, they have sought to bridge this gap between great experience and lasting loyalty through a better means of customer communication, one that is focused on delivering personalized, critical, and secure health related information and resources. Armed with a lasting, digital connection to their healthcare customers, companies can leverage new technologies and solutions to deliver a stream of interactive, timely messages and tools to each connected customer in their own private and HIPAA-compliant space. Instead of trying to manage their health across apps, emails, postmail, and portals, members can have a unified, secured, and personalized space where they could see and take action on a variety of critical healthcare communications.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, companies should think of historically frustrating or expensive customer experiences as opportunities to create lasting, loyal customers. “The healthcare industry – like most service-based industries – is facing an engagement challenge,” said Paul Raden, chief experience officer at Relay Network, a technology firm helping businesses get better connected to their customers. “Even more so for incumbents in the industry, it’s not easy reaching consumers with information today, even when that information is critical. Companies that have been around for a long time are realizing they can and must address the issue of customer experience to stay ahead.” The best approach to this challenge starts by helping companies establish a more meaningful connection with each and every member up front.
Health insurers are discovering a new way to digitally engage with their members around critical communications on topics such as diabetes screenings, treatment adherence, preventative care, and cost estimator tools. In addition to cutting administrative costs and increasing their mobile footprint, these Blue Plans are becoming digitally driven, building great customer experiences and patient outcomes, while rapidly differentiating themselves in an uber competitive healthcare market. Massive shifts in the realm of healthcare customer service and loyalty won’t happen overnight. Nevertheless, the tide is turning as thought leaders in the industry are experimenting with innovations like cognitive computing, telemedicine, or wearable devices to rethink the consumer healthcare experience from beginning to end. Fortunately, it’s more than possible for established, large companies to combine empathy and appropriate technology to change the trajectory of their healthcare business through enhanced customer experience and loyalty.
Brie Tascione is the CMO of Relay Network, an award-winning technology company that connects businesses and customers on their own space for secure messaging. Brie is a seasoned marketing executive with experience in branding and advertising, new business development, market research, corporate communications and investor relations. You can follow Brie via LinkedIn or Twitter
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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