Health Insurance Companies Improve Technology to Enhance Customer Service
According to a recent study, it was found that over 60 % of consumers who express dissatisfaction with their health insurance carriers’ call center consider switching to another provider of health insurance. A Michigan based group that monitors call center satisfaction conducted the study.
Health insurance companies are taking notice. Several well-known providers of private health insurance and group medical coverage are upgrading their call centers to improve customer service.
With more and more consumers of private health insurance using the internet to shop for, apply for and purchase affordable medical coverage, the call center is increasingly becoming one of the few touch points a health insurance company has with its clients. Forward thinking health insurance companies see this as the opportunity it is to improve customer service and client retention. They have chosen to leverage new technologies that not only will give customers calling into the call center a better experience; it gives the health insurance company a leg up on the competition.
Industry experts say that for too long too many health insurance companies looked at the call center as an expense. For many health insurance companies their call center is looked upon merely as a cost center that needed to be run as cheaply as possible. But that is often at the “expense” of customer service, and a great way to lose customers according to the authors of the study. On the other hand a customer who has a good experience when calling in to a health insurance company is far more likely to renew, up grade, shop that same company for additional health insurance products, and to recommend that healthcare insurance company to others.
In the study by the Michigan group the health insurance industry scored 6th in terms of customer satisfaction when calling a call center. Only the personal computer industry scored lower. With the advent of more consumer driven healthcare insurance plans, many health insurance companies have re-thought their position on call center technology and customer satisfaction. And while the health insurance industry still lags woefully behind many others in terms of call center satisfaction, they are making major improvements.
Health insurance customers are becoming more educated consumers. They realize that in some consumer directed health insurance plans between deductibles and co-pays upwards of 30 % of healthcare costs are being paid directly by consumers. They demand better customer service for that 30%.