Health Plans Fail On Customer Experience

Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi) ranks 133 firms across 14 industries. I recently analyzed the results of the nine health plans in the CxPi. Here are the overall results:

Some interesting tidbits from the research:

  • Health plans were the worst scoring industry for the third straight year.
  • The average score across health plans was the same as it was in 2008, a “very poor” 51%.
  • Kaiser was in top place again, although it dropped a bit from 2008.
  • The public plans, Medicare and Medicaid, had the largest improvement.
  • Anthem (BCBS) and United Healthcare dropped the most since 2008.

The bottom line: Health plan customer experience needs resuscitation.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

3 Responses to Health Plans Fail On Customer Experience

  1. Emilie Smith says:

    When it comes to things like your health, getting customer experience right also has an impact on your general wellbeing. I think customers expect a lot of their health plan and when that isn’t delivered, the experience can not be “fixed” after that point. The customer won’t be happy again if they are let down a first time.

  2. Lori Ezell says:

    Simply slashing costs to increase profits is not sustainable. There needs to be more cooperation between health plans and health care givers to improve the patient experience. Finding better ways to create efficiencies while improving provided care is key. Gaining insights from care recipient feedback is an important and illuminating means to understand what is happening in the care setting, the patient experience and ultimately guide critical strategic decisions.

  3. In the financial benefits world, we used to say:

    “When customers feel good about your service, they will engage more. When they engage more, they make better decisions. When they make better decisions, they will have more money at retirement. So by providing excellent service on each phonecall, people will have a better retirement.”

    But also: “when people have more money in their accounts, our company also makes more money.” So there are only winners!

    The healthcare industry needs to understand that providing good service leads to more engaged people. This leads to healthier choices. This leads to fewer future claims. This leads to more profits.

    If the providers of health insurance do not get this dynamic, they will never see the sense in providing good service.

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