Top 3 Reasons Why Customer Service Is Key for 2018 Open Enrollment
April 03, 2017
April 03, 2017
Open Enrollment is just around the corner for consumers which means that preparing your staff for the event should be taking place as you read this. Many health insurance companies saw issues with customer service during last year’s third quarter open enrollment period. During this time, new and returning members came to insurers with questions about both the enrollment process itself as well as details of the plans they were considering. Caught off guard by this dramatic annual upswing in consumer contact, some customer support infrastructures were unable to handle the added stress.
In order to stay ahead of the surge, it’s important to understand what things, if overlooked can impact your members and your business:
Remember that just a single call can have a major impact on the overall customer experience your brand provides. Representatives need to be able to accurately and courteously answer customer inquiries, especially during high-volume, stressful periods such as open enrollment.
Are your agents able to accurately address questions about the New Year’s coverage, or do inquiries go unanswered? Do your agents go a step beyond to ensure issue resolution? This year, provide your subscribers with extra-level support and proactive outreach.
Inadequate customer service can make you lose out on revenue opportunities. After all, people are unlikely to sign up for a plan if their needs aren’t being met early on in the customer journey. Failure to assist members at this stage can bring on doubts about the quality of the service you provide.
Keep in mind that improving the customer service experience isn’t just about impressing potential customers. Helpful, positive interactions with representatives can result in significant increases to retention rates for years to come.
In the health insurance industry, customer service quality can have high stakes: It can directly impact the health and well-being of your subscribers. When communication is poor or if call wait times are long, frustrated customers frequently end contact without issue resolution.
We’ve seen this happen most often with elderly consumers — a group that tends to be at a greater risk with many of them managing multiple medical problems with limited access to digital support channels. Delays in enrollment or uncertainty about coverage can lead to unnecessary and potential hospitalizations.
The good news? All of these issues can be solved through preparation for the upcoming open enrollment season. The two most important steps insurers can take to get their call centers ready are:
Complementary strategies also include:
Open enrollment can be a stressful time for your customers but with these tips, you can help alleviate some of the discomfort. As you prepare for another busy open enrollment period, consider contacting us to find out what we can do to help.
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Please visit our our most recent 2019 open enrollment update for latest information.