Better communication: The key to higher member lifetime value



Highlights

  • Increasing member lifetime value starts with creating a positive onboarding experience.
  • Sending proactive healthcare recommendations and reminders enhances member engagement and lifetime value.
  • A healthcare communications platform that leverages AI supports member engagement and may lead to enhanced member lifetime value.

📄✍🚨With the passage of the No Surprises Act, the regulatory pressures on healthcare payers and providers continue to increase. Read our guide on the 6 actions payers can take to prepare.


Lifetime member value is a critical metric that health payers should track to manage costs and optimize profitability. Doing so allows you to build effective strategies to attract and retain the right people. It typically costs 5 to 10 times more to acquire new members than it does to retain existing members, according to HCL Technologies. This fact points to the importance of retention strategies in achieving success.

 

How to enhance communication with your members and grow their lifetime value

Optimized communication is one of the best approaches to ensuring member satisfaction and retention. The following is a look at steps you can take to enhance communication with your members and grow their lifetime value.

Emphasize the onboarding process

Onboarding is your first chance to make a great impression with a new member. People are apt to pay closer attention to communication from a new insurer just after enrollment than they are as time goes on. It is also when people likely have the most uncertainty and questions about their new coverage. It is vital that you have a good plan in place to share relevant information, invite questions, and gather data.

Policy information sheets and thorough welcome kits are typically given to new insurance members. You also need effective guides to your website and digital tools that allow for an optimized user experience. A scheduled sequence of messages provides the communication framework for extended onboarding. Map out the messages you plan to deliver to a new member during the initial weeks and months after enrollment. Determine what information to share with all new members, and what information to share based on user profiles or preferences.

Adapt to the specific interests and needs of each member. Invite questions through a variety of communication platforms. Use brief surveys to find out which methods of communication a member prefers. Offer support and easy-to-follow guides to help the member build a customized account dashboard with the links and resources they want to access easily.

Adapt to changing workforce structures

COVID forced many healthcare providers to shift to a more remote workforce. Given the cost advantages and the infrastructure now in place, a more remote or hybrid office is here to stay for many healthcare organizations, including payers and health plans.

There are challenges to overcome and opportunities to seize to optimize communication with more remote workers. Distance makes it more difficult for agents to interact one-on-one on a regular basis. However, advancement in digital technology can help mitigate the disruption to face-to-face interaction.

Your organization needs to offer the best support tools possible so your agents can communicate with each other and deliver the best communication to your members. A comprehensive solution for cross-channel communication is central to this endeavor. Agents need to reliably and seamlessly shift to conversations across multiple support channels, while having access to a member’s entire contact history.

Woman sitting at desk at home in front of computer

Send proactive healthcare recommendations and reminders

Insurers and providers need to work together to build a proactive communication strategy for member-patients. With many people deferring healthcare during COVID, it is more important than ever that healthcare payers and providers take a more assertive approach to communication.

Alert members to any preventative care and screenings that are due. Getting members to complete necessary screenings early is beneficial to patients, providers, and payers. Delayed treatment is usually more intrusive for patients and expensive for payers than care provided following early detection of cancers or other health conditions.

Regular newsletters or resources available through portals are useful for alerting members to care they might not realize is covered by their plans. Some people don’t know, for instance, that typical insurers cover periodic wellness visits or physical health check-ups.

Consider what information and resources are useful to members outside the scope of what directly impacts your organization. Sharing information on wellness and fitness programs, health hygiene, and other opportunities shows members that you have a genuine interest in their well-being. It keeps your firm’s name in front of them as well. Holistic member wellness is also good for business.

Simplify member forms and provide directed support 

Gathering information from members through online forms aids your effort to optimize communication. However, people won’t take the time to complete forms that are lengthy, complex, or hard to understand. Leverage cloud contact center tools like agent co-browse to directly walk members through forms and web pages when needed to provide a better member experience. And the more concise you can make forms, the more likely you are to get the most critical details.

Batching forms is one strategy to minimize time and frustration for members. When possible, break large forms up into smaller ones that allow you to gather the information you want incrementally or sequentially (if some of the data is more urgent or important).

Make it easy for people to find necessary forms on your site or in your app. Send messages to alert members to pending forms they need to complete and include direct links when feasible.

Leverage automation and AI

When integrated effectively, automated tools and AI can enhance communication with members. However, it is important to ensure they don’t cause frustration and impede a member’s access to live support.

Interactive voice response technology is useful to put callers through a brief sequence of questions about their inquiry. In some cases, you might be able to resolve the call before a live conversation. Typically, though, the objective is to streamline the call by directing the caller to the right agent.

AI chatbots are a popular option to provide interactive support when live agents aren’t available. AI bots can answer frequently asked questions and guide members to resources.

UP NEXT: What an omnichannel payer organization looks like in practice

 

Communication is the key to better member lifetime value

Due to COVID disruptions, communication has become more important than ever to the member experience. Proactive communication is beneficial to member retention because it demonstrates that you are a partner in member wellness. Utilize digital technology to provide more communication channels and support your agents.

With well-planned and optimized communication, you improve member satisfaction and should see significant improvements to lifetime member value. To achieve such coordination, your agents need a comprehensive solution that enables cohesive cross-platform member support.

RingCentral offers healthcare payers a comprehensive communications platform that facilitates better member engagement. To see RingCentral’s healthcare communications solution in action, request a demo today.

Originally published Feb 22, 2022


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