An email went out from my company’s HR director recently that said it was time to register with a new employee benefits broker. I immediately had that sinking sensation of dread. Let's just say that I've had some less than pleasant experiences with picking insurance coverage.
I’m not the only one who reacts this strongly to the thought of Open Enrollment. Research shows that 54% of Americans think that choosing a healthcare plan is more complicated that solving a Rubik’s cube1.
Another study showed that 90% of us will choose the same benefits, or as close to the same benefits, that we chose last year to keep from having to actually think about it2.
Poor Customer Experience
Why is it so hard? There are lots of reasons, and many of them have to do with poor customer experiences like these that we don’t want to repeat:
- Excessively long wait times to speak with an agent
- IVR menus for self-service that are confusing and repetitive
- Insufficient online information to compare options
- No mobile-friendly website for enrollment
- Impersonal agents who don’t know me
Most of these poor customer experiences can be fixed. A call center can be improved pretty quickly using automated IVR testing solutions, but many providers are so burdened with legacy systems that they think it’s just too hard. And, they are right to think that it’s a challenge to know where and how to get started.
Customer Experience Payoff
But, too hard isn’t impossible, and the rewards are certainly worth the effort. For example, the Temkin Group, a well-known customer experience think tank published some research last year regarding investing in the customer experience. If you haven’t seen this report, here’s what it said: if a $1 billion company makes even a minor investment to improve the customer experience, they can expect a return rate of $587 million in additional revenue over the next three years3. That’s right, customer experience improvements — even minor improvements — pay off. You can get more interesting facts about customer experience, Open Enrollment, and how Americans feel about healthcare insurance in this infographic.
Open Enrollment 2017 is coming up soon. I'm sure some insurance companies have invested in making the customer experience a little better this year. Even if they haven't, the only way we can avoid it is to choose not to buy insurance. Not many of us are likely to make that choice, so good luck, and remember to take deep breaths!
1. ConnectedHealth News, October 2015
2. Engaged Employees, Metlife, 2013
3. The ROI of Customer Experience, The Temkin Group, 2015
Find out How Cyara can reduce the stress of Open Enrollment