Member retention is an increasingly important issue for every insurer to address. The cost to acquire a member is high, and if for some reason this member leaves within the first year, the investment is lost. As a result, implementing strategies that focus on member retention, entanglement and loyalty is a necessary part of every business plan.
Customer service, products, and rates all come into play when it comes to keeping your members satisfied, but it is important to remember that your ongoing, periodic communications with your members also strongly influences their loyalty. Each “touch point” between members and their insurance company has the potential to impact the overall perception of their experience. Member confusion or uncertainty when it comes to things like policy changes, explanation of benefits (EOB), or even simple letters can leave the insured wondering if the company they have chosen is really focused on what’s best for them. If the perception is negative, the risk is losing their loyalty. Effective communications play a key role in ensuring customer satisfaction and retention.
Enhancing customer communications right now
Despite the fact that every insurance company has a great deal of information on its customers, both in quantity and quality, it is certainly a fact that insurance companies have a challenge when it comes to delivering more consistent, personalized communications. The problem is that the relevant member data – effectively your corporate memory about a member – may be in different “silos” throughout the company. This makes developing a unified view of the customer relationship difficult, especially if they hold multiple policies. Eliminating the complexity of an abundance of documents, legacy forms, applications and multiple data streams in an effort to effectively execute communications can seem overwhelming.
To tackle these challenges, there is technology readily available on the market today that can take information from disparate systems and work from a single, coordinated platform to create more customer-centric documents and other output. Seeking software that allows for easy integration with existing systems, data and content sources is a critical step in the strategy to create consumer-focused communications. If you have access to the right data, you have the ability to draw information from what you already know about your members to create communications that speak directly to their needs. Every document sent to members needs to show that you remember them, that you understand their needs, and that you are working hard to serve them.
Unlike generic direct mail, policyholder communications are most likely to be opened, read and considered. This provides the perfect opportunity to insert targeted content that can enrich the member’s experience and deepen the relationship. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be messages that up-sell or cross-sell products. It can also be useful health information that helps members engage in preventative care options. Simply providing the ability for members to understand, read, interpret, and then act on this health care information is a huge step in gaining loyalty.