Rethinking Health Plan Customer Service

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , August 3, 2011

Finally, use customer service to enhance your social media strategy. Although more and more folks use the Internet to look for information about their health plan, only 6% of respondents said they use social media to help them understand or become more aware of the products and services offered by their own health insurance companies. And only 5% said social media sites have helped increase contact with their current insurance company and its brands.

VanWingerden says that probably means that your message is getting fragmented or is lost among all of the other social media noise. He suggests using customer service to reinforce social media messages. “Maybe a health plan is promoting women’s health through its social media sites, customer service could plug into that message by reminding callers to schedule a mammogram.” Even better, he says, is for customer service to have the capacity to go ahead and schedule the appointment.

The bottom line is that every health plan will be looking for ways to differentiate itself in the new normal of healthcare reform. Customer service could become that niche for your company. But VanWingerden warns that the time to act is now before the change becomes a competitive necessity.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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