Modern technology is enabling virtually every industry to use data in innovative ways.
Online retailers are delivering personalized shopping experiences based on their customers’ searches and transactions. Banks and financial advisors are providing completely digital ways to invest and complete transactions. Even the food service industry is processing orders through apps, allowing customers to have food delivered to them or pick it up in person.
These changes are driven by consumerism. They provide a more convenient, valuable experience for consumers, which makes the companies that embrace them more competitive. Companies that are too slow to adapt, on the other hand, lose customers because they’re not meeting consumer expectations.
Healthcare isn’t immune to consumerism. In fact, there are clear signs that consumerism will drive significant changes in healthcare in the near future. And it’s already changing the way you interact with your members.
If you want to stay competitive as the world of healthcare evolves, you need to meet the demands of consumers and exceed their expectations.
Here are four consumer tech trends payers should embrace.
1. A seamless user experience
Wherever your members interact with you, they expect to not only have the same experience, but to continue their experience from wherever they left off. If they start a conversation with you online, they don’t want to have to start over when they pick up the phone to talk to a representative, or when they access their account from another device to complete an objective or get a question answered.
Payers are meeting this demand today with omnichannel solutions that support a growing range of devices and provide a cohesive experience across channels.
But this expectation for a seamless experience also means that payers need their tools to connect and communicate in relevant ways, instead of being siloed. Your members shouldn’t have to log into multiple systems in order to access their information and complete transactions, or even worst receive different information. But that can happen if you have to work with multiple vendors to deliver the functionality your members need. Your tools need to integrate so that your members don’t even notice when they’ve moved from one channel to another.
2. Personalized content
When people log into their accounts, they don’t want to see generic messaging that applies to anyone—or worse, irrelevant messaging that only applies to a segment of the population they aren’t part of. They want content that’s relevant to their experience. And in this case, that means they want you to serve them articles, notifications, and messaging that relates to their personal health information (PHI), demographic data, claims records, and other data you have about them that will help improve their quality of care.
3. Convenient online access
Consumers don’t want to pick up the phone and commit to a tedious conversation every time they need to complete a basic transaction or request information. They also don’t want an online experience that requires difficult or complex navigation with many clicks. They want to handle simple transactions with you the same way they do with other organizations in other industries: seamlessly online.
Despite the fact that consumers clearly prefer the convenience of online, self-service transactions, many payers still don’t have the functionality to facilitate the actions their members want to take. Again, this is often because their tools come from multiple vendors—tools that don’t integrate. So the data members need isn’t available online. And when it is online, it’s disjointed.
If you use a platform like Healthx or build your own solution, your tools should all connect to the data members need to deliver valuable functionality. They should be able to use their online account to:
- Complete important forms
- Look up claims, eligibility, and authorization data
- Communicate with their care team
- Identify the cost of care or prescriptions
- Enroll or re-enroll in a plan
- Select a primary care physician and search for providers/facilities
- And more
But consumers’ definition of “online access” is rapidly evolving. You need more than just a web-based member portal. You need an omnichannel solution that supports a growing range of mobile devices, and can automate communication with members.
4. Mobile solutions
The vast majority of Americans own smartphones or smartwatches. And a growing number of households now have devices like smart speakers. This rapid increase in mobile devices has come with the expectation that organizations develop mobile solutions to support them, and whatever comes next.
In healthcare, these mobile solutions offer unprecedented convenience for consumers,while giving you new opportunities to engage your members.
Text messaging allows you to proactively reach out to members about gaps in care or other important information they need to know—with links to where they can complete actions online or in your app. But it also opens the door to using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. This allows members to text you with questions about their PHI or care, and then receive an automated response. Your staff doesn’t have to be on the other end, and it scales with your business.
When a member has a simple question, an AI-powered messaging system offers the ideal solution for you and your members. People can text something like, “Am I covered for chiropractic benefits? How many covered visits do I have left?” And your messaging service can automatically answer with the correct response.
Mobile apps give you a way to proactively engage members, too: push notifications. Consumers are used to receiving notifications from apps, and these messages allow you to direct members to take specific actions in your app. Functionality like this helps them manage their care quickly and efficiently. They also don’t have to wonder if they’re missing something because they know you’ll tell them.
Learn how these trends can lower your costs
Consumerism is ultimately driving industries to create products and services that do a better job of meeting consumers’ needs. But that doesn’t mean you’re just using technology in new ways to be more competitive. These new innovations can also save you a lot of money by eliminating tedious administrative processes and automating basic transactions.
In our ebook, Making the Member Journey More Efficient: How Omnichannel Solutions Lower Your Admin Costs, we explore the tools and channels payers are using today to engage their members, provide a seamless experience, and reduce admin-based costs.
Questions? Talk to one of our Experts.