With Open Enrollment underway, it’s time to think about your new and existing member experiences that begin effective January 1, 2016. It’s important to provide your members with consumer-friendly tools to help them find procedure costs, doctors, medical facilities, prescriptions, and pharmacies. Additionally, by gaining insight into member activities at each engagement point in their healthcare plan, you can understand member sentiment, gain insight into the likelihood of renewal, and segment members with lower satisfaction throughout the year. Having this intelligence at your fingertips will enable you to swiftly address member needs and improve brand affinity with your health plan.

Meeting the Consumer Challenge

Understanding your customers is more important than ever as they’re shopping around for healthcare and have many choices. Establishing effective on-going communication with customers is a huge challenge. In order to grow and retain members, carriers must (a) learn best practices from leading consumer companies, (b) build trust through improved health literacy, and (c) embrace data analytics that will lead to improved customer intelligence and efficiencies. Whether it’s the individual market or the group market, consumers are taking more control over their health needs, and health plans must facilitate seamless interaction with efficient consumer-facing solutions.

Focus on Consumer Experience

Zipari’s mission is to help you create the best consumer experience possible. We do that by applying deep institutional knowledge of healthcare and sophisticated analytical techniques. We tapped these core values to build the industry’s first healthcare customer experience platform, and the platform that enables insurance carriers to truly understand and interact with consumers. The Zipari leadership team brings experience from Apple, Deloitte, NASA, and other consumer and insurance brands. The team’s deep institutional knowledge, understanding of cutting-edge technology, and actuarial, data analytics skills, help Zipari deliver the right solutions to the industry.

The depth and breadth of our team’s collective experience is the DNA that makes Zipari’s solutions unique. We believe that the lessons we’ve learned speak to your challenges. Here are the 9 lessons we learned:

Apple: Consumers Come First

Mark Nathan, Co-Founder and CEO, and Peter Licursi, Chief Revenue Officer at Zipari had the unique opportunity to work at Steve Jobs’ company, NeXT Computer and the subsequent acquisition of NeXT by Apple in 1997. It was the dawn of dynamic websites, and at NeXT/Apple, we built some of the earliest e-commerce websites for Disney, Dell, Reebok, NHL, BankBoston and First Chicago. From these early days we learned:

1. Consumers want simple and convenient solutions to quickly get the information they need.

2. Seamless customer experiences across all channels lead to greater customer satisfaction and retention rates.

3. Information must be communicated in a manner in which no consumer feels confused or alienated.

Guardian and Deloitte: Understanding the Nuances of Health Insurance

Our founders, Mark Nathan and Diallo Powell, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, along with Michael Scheiner, CMO, and others on the Zipari team have a sophisticated understanding of the insurance business and deep institutional knowledge having worked at Guardian, Deloitte, and Cigna. At Guardian, a group of us of us led a $100M+ Customer Experience program to modernize medical and dental proposals, enrollment, billing, claims and call centers. The team’s management consulting experience at firms like Deloitte, were applied to developing strategies for Blue Cross and Cigna. The institutional insights from these experiences helped us learn:

4. To fully understand the customer experience, it’s important to understand every engagement point you have with the consumer throughout their entire lifecycle.

5. You need to know where the time-consuming processes that rely on costly consultants exist, and then how to replace these processes with cost-saving, real-time software products.

6. How all the integration points between health insurance business processes provide the opportunity to introduce new software solutions that can co-exist with existing investments, while offering a vastly improved customer experience.

NASA: Leveraging Data Analytics for Predictions and Recommendations

Our CEO’s work with NASA influenced our approach to solving problems with large quantities of data and predictive analytics. There was a tremendous amount of data, and the only way to solve problems and predict outcomes was with sophisticated mathematical software and artificial intelligence. This appreciation of data analytics led to our hiring actuaries and data scientists at Zipari. These kinds of approaches taught us that:

7. Collecting detailed data at every point in each business process creates the opportunity to mine data and solve complex business problems, such as understanding the entire customer lifecycle and experience.

8. Scientists skilled at data analytics can use segmentation algorithms and marketing technology to discover consumer patterns that cannot be detected without machines

9. Leveraging tools that can predict consumer behavior and make actionable recommendations for both consumers and health plan employees will result in higher satisfaction and greater retention of valuable customers.

As consumers become savvier about their healthcare options, choose higher deductible plans, and face increasing medical and prescription costs, health insurance carriers must provide the appropriate tools to help them make the right choices. Specifically, consumers need to be able to easily find doctors, medical facilities, drug information, pharmacies, and procedure costs with intuitive and mobile-friendly solutions. As consumers demand more, it’s imperative that health plans improve the customer experience in order not to lose market share.

Zipari’s Customer Retention Solution provides a quick and cost-effective way to provide member-facing tools that are branded and co-exist with your current website. Additionally, our Customer Experience Platform, provides operational tools that deliver strategic insights to your marketing, sales, finance, and operations teams. With the combination of consumer-friendly solutions, in-depth knowledge of the health insurance industry, and data analytics with actuarial insight, you can understand the value of your customer in real-time, and receive specific recommendations on how to retain your most valuable members.