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Penrod Blog

Don’t Put Member Health on Hold

Most payers offer some level of live chat support on their websites, but not everyone is doing it well. Your members appreciate, seek out, and deserve a high-quality digital experience when working with customer service. Here’s how you can offer just that.

On Hold

“I can’t ever reach a live person!” has been a longstanding frustration of customers around the globe. And now in the age of digital, more and more people prefer avoiding the phone and going to the internet where the answer is right at their fingertips. (Whether Dr. Google has the right answer is another story!)

The best solution? Live chat. It offers the option to “talk” with a person almost instantly, with no need to go through a lengthy directory only be told to “press 5”, then hold, then transfers, wash, rinse, repeat. It’s also no surprise that 41% of customers prefer live chat as a way to reach out to customer support teams.

As a health insurance provider, how can you better leverage your live chat customer support team? By following these key steps:

1. Personalize the experience. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, more than half of customers surveyed reported having a bad service experience and 40% said they would stop doing business with that company based on that experience. They want solutions, speed, empathy and perhaps above all, a personalized experience. Luckily, live chat customer support makes it easy to offer a personalized experience from the very start. Platforms tailored for health insurance companies like Salesforce make it easy for customer support representatives to see the name of the person they are speaking with and can easily confirm “Is this Mary?” They can quickly pull up records to reference, as well as any past notes of previous issues. They can even go above and beyond, checking in on past inquiries. For example, at the end of the call, they may reference “I see you needed an insurance card. Did you receive that?”

At the end of the day, remember that this is chat. Adding a personalized, human touch, even via a computer screen, can go a long way.

2. Let users know your chat is private and secure. 

This is especially important for healthcare providers, who deal with protected health information (PHI) regularly. Letting your members know that your life chat is a safe space where they can discuss PHI securely, whether it is related to a health question, billing, or benefits is a great way to build trust. It’s also a reason why it’s smart to invest in a secure live chat platform, like Salesforce, which offers security features like data masking and blinded chat log retention.

3. Anticipate questions and have standard responses at the ready. 

Now that the customer has been welcomed and knows you take their security seriously, it’s time to address their needs. As noted above, two things members want when they start a live chat are solutions and speed. A good place to start is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list. Basic questions may include “How do I log into my account?”, “Where can I find my benefits information?” or “What is your mailing address?” Having readily available answers can satisfy members quickly.

But what about questions that are a little more complex? For that, you’ll need to identify your customer’s pain points and provide helpful solutions. This is where your live chat customer service team can really shine. As a team, discuss problems that members have presented frequently and talk about needs that may not have been addressed. Customer service reps may believe they are the only one who came across a particular issue, but may find out another rep has a great solution for the same issue.

You can also use the live chat transcripts to help you identify these pain points. With Salesforce, administrators and supervisors have access to all chat histories. These can be searched, shorted, and filtered to help track trends and tease out information. By anticipating your customer’s problems and providing a fast solution, you can provide an exceptional health insurance live chat experience and gain customer loyalty.

4. Leverage the data. 

Building on this information, be sure to leverage the data; specifically, visitor traffic analysis. This tracking is fully behind the scenes, but can be highly useful to know demographics, referral sources, and times of greatest chat activity. Armed with these insights, you can better anticipate staffing needs, determine the best times for training, and ensure you have the right talent (such as supervisors) in the room at the necessary times.

4. Convert Visitors Into Members With the Right Plan

Don’t assume everyone who comes to your site and jumps on live chat is a member. Today, almost 60% of the “buying cycle” is complete before a customer even speaks to a company; however, they most likely have visited your website or done research on your plan offerings.

By enabling live chat on your website, you encourage future members to ask questions that will help them enroll in the right health plan for their needs, improving satisfaction and health outcomes. Salesforce offers two-way chat engagement, enabling live chat customer service reps to reach out proactively, asking if they can assist or offer guidance or information. Being proactive goes a long way in moving people through the sales pipeline from prospect to satisfied member.

5. Follow Up

Once the member or potential member has left your site, there’s not much you can do but wait, right? Wrong. A smart live chat platform allows representatives to execute a series of actions after a live chat session. This includes recording notes, setting up email notifications, scheduling follow-ups, and more. Discuss whether an HDHP or traditional plan is right, answer HSA funding questions, and more to build valued relationships.

Another option to make a positive lasting impression is to have a brief survey, asking members to rate their level of satisfaction. This demonstrates for both members and potential members that your organization makes customer service a top priority no matter how big or small the question.

Penrod’s Final Take

Live chat, when used properly, is great customer service for the digital age. It offers speed, convenience, and personalized, real-time support. Add in the right talent—customer service reps who are knowledgeable and eager to help—and you have the ideal customer experience covered. The only thing missing? The right insurance CRM platform to bring it all together.

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