Enrich customer experience with robust data analysis

AHIP 2012: Use data to tailor messages and outreach campaigns

As the health insurance industry increasingly becomes more consumer-oriented, insurers must ensure they're providing the most enriched customer experience possible. The best way to accomplish that goal is through robust data analysis, Lindsay Resnick, chief marketing officer for KBM Group: Health Services, said Thursday at the AHIP Institute in Salt Lake City.

"Big data flows through every aspect of the customer lifecycle, from looking at basic awareness campaigns to moving them from lead generation to fulfillment," Resnick said.

Harnessing that data helps insurers better understand the whole consumer, including their preferences, attitudes and purchasing patterns, to create targeted messages for different populations, Resnick said. For example, data helps insurers make savvy, effective decisions about products, marketing outreach, customer experience and sales.

Because acquiring new customers is five times the cost of keeping one customer, it's well worth payers' time and resources to enhance their existing customers' experiences, Resnick explained. What's more, customers repeatedly rank their experience with the health insurance industry as one of the worst business segments. "We've just not done a good job of paying attention to customer experience," Resnick said.

To start, insurers should use the "tremendous amount of information" within their organizations, as well as outside sources of "rich demographic data" on their market population. Such data can range from basic information, including income, gender or ethnicity, to more detailed statistics, such as credit scores or home ownership.

Health plans then can use that data to better understand their customers and what's important to them and where they go for their information. Once insurers have the ability to aggregate and cross-reference all the various types of information, "you're really in a position to take this information and apply some predictive modeling," Resnick said, to show which customers are most likely to defect and why.

"That enables you to put strategies in place to either communicate more or communicate differently with them to try to increase the loyalty factor in your organization," he added.

Payers also can use data to tailor messages and outreach campaigns differently, including targeting young, older, healthful, sick, individuals or family members. If a health plan is trying to roll out a wellness program to 10,000 people, for example, it can increase participation by sending out segmented messages to different people, motivating them based on their specific situation and desires.

Essentially, using data to better enrich the customer experience must be a decision that's treated like a business discipline. "It must be something in the organization that's owned, measured and taken seriously with priority," Resnick said. Only then will insurers successfully provide a positive customer experience.

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