The common theme at the AHIP Institute 2016 in Las Vegas was customer experience. Specifically, how transformative modern technologies and access to real-time data can positively impact customer experience and differentiate a brand. However, the largest challenge to this is the cultural shift that is required within an industry that holds firm in legacy technologies with a limited view of their consumers.

Is customer experience really a priority?

Consider the following stats shared during the conference:

  • Rebekah Swain, Principal Strategic Advisor, BCBS North Carolina shared this Lippincott study: “95% of business leaders agreed that the next differentiator is customer experience. While 80% of these business leaders believed they were delivering on customer experience, only 8% of their customers agreed” – Rebekah Swain, BCBS North Carolina
  • David Poole, Staff VP, Consumer Experience, Anthem, Inc. said: “The best consumer experience is more than likely to drive repeat purchase by 3 times. Bad experiences are shared on average with 9-15 people, who then share it again with another 9-15 people and so on. This downward spiral will end up costing a great deal more than it would to implement an informed and elevated customer experience solution.”

Ingrid Lindberg, an industry advisor on customer experience made it very clear that to drive customer experience, the internal culture needs to be aligned first: “Focus more on the company to change and improve customer experience. You can have the greatest tech, but if the company isn’t behind it, it will not succeed.” Ingrid continued, “Insurance is purchased because we need to vs. want to” and because of that, carriers need to earn the trust of their members.

Understand that consumer experience is a collection of every single brand touch point.

Key messages at the conference emphasized the importance of transforming the industry and placing the consumer at the forefront. Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente kicked off the conference with an inspiring keynote urging the audience to take advantage of the “opportunity to reimagine and reinvent healthcare.”

Several sessions focused on the need for a shift in the insurance industry, from more proactive customer service and making health literacy a priority to the importance of utilizing data to gain a true understanding of members. Marilyn Tavenner, AHIP President and CEO, discussed the evolving needs of the consumer and how this presents “Big opportunities for incorporating tech into healthcare, especially with millennials.”

Leadership from both Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina spoke about the importance of understanding the customer journey and how carriers should “Put the customer at the center of the experience to create a streamlined experience that is designed around them, not the company.”

But the overarching question during the week was how can carriers capture the customer experience?

Carriers must ensure that they are architecting an experience around the end-to-end consumer journey by utilizing data from every member touch-point. Speakers from BCBS of Massachusetts shared that they have identified 257 different touch points of the customer journey to address the following questions:

  • Which are the pain points?
  • Which are the most critical to the consumer?
  • Which will help to motivate the member decisions? And lastly,
  • What are the 20 most important priorities?

Zipari, Co-founder and CEO, Mark Nathan led a panel discussion about leveraging customer experience technology to become a trusted brand. The key takeaway being that carriers need to embrace modern technologies that provide real time insight into the customer experience in order to improve trust between members and carriers. Carriers can use this data to provide more proactive and consistent customer experience ultimately leading to improved brand affinity and increased member value.

See you next year in Austin!


Learn how Zipari's data analytics solutions provide carriers with real-time visibility into the consumer experience