- Customer service has been a perennial pain point for the health insurance industry, but a renewed focus on personalized experiences, member satisfaction, and consumer engagement appears to be paying off for some of the nation’s largest payers.
In new industry rankings compiled by Newsweek and research firm Statista, Humana tops the list for member satisfaction, according to data collected from more than 20,000 consumers nationwide.
With a composite consumer satisfaction score of 8.45, the wellness company also beat out most entities across other categories of insurance, including life insurance, auto insurance, and disability insurance.
The scores represent a combination of the standard Net Promoter Score – if the individual would recommend the service to friends or family – and five additional evaluation criteria, including quality of communication, range of services, accessibility, technical competence, and customer focus.
“We’re very proud to receive this top honor from Newsweek,” said Vicki Perryman, Humana Senior Vice President of Consumer and Provider Service and Solutions.
“Humana’s customer service team is passionate about helping members achieve their best health, and dedicated to resolving inquiries as quickly as possible. We focus on personalized engagement with members and making a connection with them. They’re at the center of all we do.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna were also ranked highly by consumers, but lagged behind Humana by nearly a full point on the satisfaction scale.
Blue Cross Blue Shield received a score of 7.53, while Aetna was rated 7.39 by participants in the survey. These scores place the companies below the majority of other types of insurance providers, indicating significant room for improvement.
Tailored experiences and a personal touch are in extremely high demand, said Nancy Cooper, Newsweek Global Editor in Chief, especially as automation threatens to fundamentally alter the way consumers interact with large corporate entities.
“As we examined the larger, impersonal forces that are transforming retail, it seemed like a good time to recognize a more personal factor in business success: the ways in which many companies nurture their relationships with consumers,” she said.
“The automated future is already upon us, and the hope is that we—as a nation and as individuals—can shape it to our advantage.”
Healthcare payers are certainly trying to balance the efficiencies of automation with the individualized customer service their beneficiaries expect.
By combining advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence with personalized outreach and tailored communications, payers are creating innovative new opportunities to increase satisfaction and adherence to recommended treatment pathways.
The industry is spending big on consumer engagement and satisfaction tools due to the widespread recognition that robust relationships are becoming a competitive differentiator, a 2017 survey from Change Healthcare confirmed.
In the poll, 80 percent of payers said they are investing in member engagement technologies and new staffing strategies in an effort to improve outcomes, gain market share, and ensure loyalty.
Seventy percent of participants in the poll said that establishing long-term, personalized relationships is a top priority for their organizations.
And while there may still be a long way to go for some companies, especially in the lucrative Medicare Advantage space, a new generation of consumer-focused executive leaders are committed to ensuring that payers can offer the same high-quality experiences as individuals find in other industries.
The ability to create meaningful personal relationships with consumers will likely have a major impact on companies trying to navigate a rapidly changing environment.
As payers face competition from new angles and attempt to balance consumer satisfaction with profitability, they will need to develop innovative strategies that are both efficient and appropriately personalized to meet the needs of choosy consumers.