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Voice of the Customer

3 Ways Voice of the Customer Can Help Health Insurance Providers Manage the Customer Experience

by Kathleen Browne, on Sep 20, 2018

In the age of the Customer Experience (CX), consumer expectations are reaching an all-time high across all industries. The Healthcare industry, including health insurance providers, is no exception.

Research by NTT DATA Services revealed that 59 percent of U.S. consumers expect their Healthcare digital customer experience to be similar to that of retail. Considering that over 90 percent of the U.S. population has some sort of health insurance, CX professionals in this industry are facing massive amounts of expectations to meet.

To improve the customer experience, Healthcare CX professionals need to know where they currently stand with their consumers. This means knowing exactly who their consumers are, what they thought of their experience, and what can be done to improve it. The only way to obtain this information is from the consumers directly, and in an industry as security- and privacy-centric as Healthcare, Voice of the Customer (VoC) can play a unique and essential role.

In this post, I will take you through three examples of how VoC can help health insurance providers obtain the insights they need to manage their customer experience and ensure that their consumers have the means to get the information they needed to more easily move along their customer journey and, potentially, also deter calls to Customer Service.

Get to know your target audiences to better meet their needs

In order to better meet the needs of your website or in-app visitors, you need to know more about them. No two of your members or prospects are the same, and neither are their experiences with your brand.

However, with the right insights at your disposal, you can begin your analysis by focusing on how you can improve the experience for your different target audiences. This means collecting insights that help you better understand:

Who they are

  • Are they a current member or a prospect?
  • If they are a member, is it through an Employer or Marketplace plan?
  • Are they visiting as a consumer or as a Healthcare professional?

The context of their visit

  • What was their intent for their most recent interaction with your brand?
  • What were they hoping to accomplish by the end of their session?

The impact of their experience

  • Would they consider their visit a successful one?
  • How much effort did it take to accomplish their goal?
  • Will they contact your call center following their site visit?
  • How likely are they to recommend you to someone they know?

Segmenting your visitors into key and relevant groups like the ones listed above can be next to impossible to do accurately without asking your visitors directly. Voice of the Customer allows you to confirm the key characteristics of your members and prospects that are relevant to your analysis and alleviates some of the guesswork that can come from leveraging secondary data sources.

Naturally, based on the task(s) that visitors are looking to accomplish, different visitors may focus on different areas of your website or mobile app. Prospects may be using interactive tools more frequently to help them move along their customer journey, while members will likely be accessing their accounts on the portal.

Let’s explore how VoC can help Healthcare CX professionals in each of these cases.

Gauge the effectiveness of your interactive tools, from the customers’ view

Interactive tools can play an integral part in the overall customer experience and in many cases, your conversion rates. They empower visitors to perform tasks that would have otherwise required a lot of effort, searching, and potentially a call to a support representative.

In the case of health insurance providers, interactive tools like “Find a Plan” are present on many websites, guiding prospects towards a plan that provides the coverage they need. “Find a plan” tools can require a lot of steps or information from the users to complete, which could potentially impact their overall perception of the experience, lead them to contact your call center, or even push them towards a competitor’s website.

“Ask questions about plan coverage” was the #1 reason U.S. patients contacted their health insurance company in 2017 (21 percent), while “Phone” was by far the most common available method for patients to contact their health insurance provider.

There many different types of data sources that can show you how your visitors are leveraging your interactive tools (web analytics and session replay, for example). However, to make sure these tools are as useful as possible, CX professionals must go beyond what users are doing and understand what is going on inside users’ minds as they are using these tools.

Going back to our “Find a Plan” example, launching a VoC survey targeted specifically to those users who leveraged this tool during their session allows you to collect first-party insights directly, such as:

Example insights for your interactive tools

  • Did they accomplish everything they wanted to do with the tool?
  • Are there any specific aspects of the tool that are causing confusion or that required a lot of effort?
  • Are there any elements you could add to the tool to improve the experience?
  • Did their use of the tool alleviate the need to contact your call center?

These types of insights can be invaluable for a Healthcare CX professional looking to understand why their visitors are using interactive tools the way they are, and better inform internal decisions in their organization regarding how to ensure that these tools are performing as effectively as possible on the website or mobile app.

VoC provides CX professionals (and website designers alike) the first-party insights they need to ensure the effectiveness of interactive tools in delivering a positive customer experience and, in turn, leading visitors further down their customer journey.


Improve the online account management experience

The customer experience does not stop once your visitors convert – it continues at every stage of the customer journey. Providing a continuous, positive experience for your members can be integral in retaining them long-term. An essential factor in the members’ customer experience is the ability to access and manage their accounts on your portal successfully.

From finding a doctor or Healthcare professional, to viewing claims history or refilling prescriptions, it is safe to say that members now have access to many vital features through their health insurance provider’s portal. Therefore, the importance of offering an easy and comfortable portal experience cannot be understated.

VoC can help Healthcare CX professionals identify the strengths and weaknesses in the portal experience through the eyes of their members, as well as identify opportunities to improve the experience long-term as their members’ expectations inevitably grow over time.

Similar to our “Find a Plan” example above, you can launch a targeted VoC survey for your portal users and ask them to confirm their intent for accessing your portal today, if they were successful, and even their likelihood to contact your call center as a result of their session.

iperceptions_Health Insurance Provider Voice of the Customer Example_Account Management


You can go even deeper and utilize additional close-ended questions and Text Analytics to better understand what prevented users from accomplishing what they wanted to do in your portal. These first-hand insights are critical for ensuring your portal can effectively enable members to take advantage of your services and satisfy their expectations for customer experience.


When it comes to CEM, Voice of the Customer has Healthcare CX professionals covered

Health insurance providers offer their members and prospects the ability to communicate with them by phone far more often than online methods like email or live chat. This means that an online experience in which users could not accomplish what they wanted to do could translate to reduced revenue and/or higher costs in the form of calls to Customer Service.

Therefore, measuring CX across the entire customer journey is especially crucial in ensuring a great customer experience both short- and long-term, from the time a consumer starts researching offerings using interactive tools to when they leverage the company’s services and access them via a portal.

Voice of the Customer helps to set a strong foundation on which to build a CX analysis of the customer journey and make informed decisions regarding CX improvement. And in the case of an industry as information-sensitive and security-centric as Healthcare (particularly in a post-GDPR world), VoC methodologies allow customers to choose the extent of the information that they want to share with the company.


The examples discussed in this post are just a few of the ways that health insurance providers can leverage Voice of the Customer to manage the Healthcare customer experience. To learn how iperceptions can help meet your specific needs, download our Health Insurance Solution Guide, or book a demo with one of our experts today.  


Banner image source: Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Kathleen Browne
Kathleen Browne

Kathleen is a consumer research expert with industry and academic experience in the areas of consumer psychology, brand management, and behavioral economics. As CX Analytics Manager, Kathleen leads a team of research analysts and directs the evolution of clients' CX research and analytics strategies.

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