“If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water”
– Old Irish saying
In December, I wrote about how health insurance exchanges are handling the deep, deep water of inbound calls during open enrollment season in different ways. Many were simply staffing up – the Federal exchange’s call center hired 15,000 new agents, and several state-based exchanges added representatives by the hundreds.
The exchanges were drowning in inbound calls with questions that ranged from how to pick a plan or whether their application had been approved to how to make their first premium payment. In short, the calls were overwhelming the contact centers, resulting in long hold times and unsatisfied customers. The answer isn’t to staff up – it’s to get smart.
In a St. Patrick’s Day webinar, I’ll team with Carrie McLean, director of customer service, retention and communications at eHealth, to discuss how to reduce inbound calls with a smarter approach to customer service. Rather than staffing up, eHealth – the nation’s largest private health insurance exchange – employed proactive automated outreach to deflect calls, enhance customer experience and contain costs.
eHealth uses a series of Nuance automated voice and text applications to let applicants know when a health plan has received their application, confirming an appointment with an agent, how to make their first payment and more. eHealth also used its automated outreach capabilities to rapidly let people know about the evolving deadlines and changing regulations last year.
Impressive customer engagement and satisfaction scores, along with compelling metrics for texting adoption further underscore the organization’s success. And this approach doesn’t just apply to healthcare. Any business that is looking to provide a better experience with timely, relevant information through their customers’ preferred channels should be interested in their story. I hope you’ll postpone your merry-making on St. Patrick’s Day to join us and find out more!