In the midst of healthcare reform, it goes without saying insurers must find unique ways to differentiate their plans in order to attract consumers migrating to the individual market or government sponsored plans. But, now more than ever, insurers must acknowledge that member retention is an even greater priority. The following is a strategic perspective on the marketing dynamics required to successfully engage and retain members.
1) Effective onboarding and education for new members
The initial stage in the member’s journey with their health plan is perhaps the most critical for marketers. It’s a time to reinforce the brand’s value proposition and affirm the member’s decision to choose their plan.
New members are a captive audience for communications regarding their health plan, which creates tremendous opportunity to introduce them to tools and resources that help them get the most from their plan. Insurers should be strategic with their welcome and onboarding materials and emphasize content that educates, empowers and guides new members towards deeper engagement with their overall wellness. Early adoption of member tools also equips marketers with powerful data points to support more targeted, personalized relationship building tactics.
2) Consistent and relevant member engagement
Effective member engagement starts with understanding the customer. Insurers should put in place methodologies to capture data about their member’s core needs and leverage that data to develop more sophisticated segmentation and communication strategies. This means having a 360 degree view of members by observing usage of online tools, understanding their personal health goals and objectives, and surveying members to monitor overall satisfaction levels. Gaining insights about members beyond claims data and health plan usage will help insures provide added value and drive retention.
Data is also necessary to ensure relevancy of message. Members expect personalized communications, not a one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, a smart content strategy is necessary to keep members engaged with their health plan. That means keeping their well-being top of mind through helpful tools and resources, following their progress towards personal health goals and helping them manage chronic illnesses. This can be a sensitive area for insurers, which is why it’s necessary to create a two-way conversation with members, so data can be used to provide value without being perceived as an invasion of privacy.
The health insurance market is quickly changing and insurers must evolve the way they engage with members in order to retain them for the long-term. As legislation influences health plans offered through the individual market and government exchanges, it’s the customer experience and added value members receive from their health plan that will ultimately differentiate one brand from the next.