Four Cross-Industry Omnichannel Lessons from Telecom to Healthcare
A customer-first, omnichannel experience is reigning supreme across industries. We’ve seen it hold traction for years in telecom, media and entertainment (TME) and oft discussed, but omnichannel has been more slowly applied to other areas, such as healthcare. As healthcare begins to think of patients as customers and how to engage them across the spectrum of pre-and post-purchase of insurance or pre- and post-treatment, there is a lot to learn from their TME brethren.
Where Healthcare Can Heed Lessons Learned
- Brittle Legacy Systems
TME companies and healthcare payers are both hampered by brittle legacy systems. In the case of the TME companies, the issues often center on the billing systems and it can send a great customer experience into a death spiral. Payers that modeled their systems and processes around benefit plans will need to migrate to a customer centric model as they move to a B2C approach. It’s a high-risk, high-reward undertaking that will be time consuming and non-trivial, but also essential.
- Customer Turnover
If we look at the pending commoditization of healthcare insurance, there are basic lessons to be learned from developing quality customer experiences by looking at every channel. It’s not uncommon in TME, especially cable and mobile providers, for customers to get fed up and jump to another provider with a better short-term offer. However, when that short-term deal ends, the customer ends up frustrated again and typically switches back to the original provider. It’s important for healthcare organizations to circumvent this turnover and differentiate from the very beginning with a strong consumer offering.
- Rapidly Changing Marketplace
Just as TME has dealt with competition from Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other over-the-top content providers, the healthcare market is going through massive shifts on how employees access healthcare coverage. Many employers offer their employees’ healthcare stipends versus healthcare coverage as a benefit. This places purchasing power to choose a healthcare plan and cost into the hands of their employees. This dramatically changes how healthcare addresses its marketing overall, not just the omnichannel experience.
- Technology Driven
Historically, healthcare payers have treated IT as a cost center not a way to increase revenue. Payers will need to alter their mind-set when it comes to technology, the technology department must be thought of as a providing strategic value and funded to do so. If healthcare organizations are serious about embracing omnichannel and consumerism, IT teams will need to adopt several key behaviors:
- Focusing on a digital strategy – Healthcare payers must develop a customer-centric unified technology roadmap that embraces the central role of the customer.
- Creating a data-centric organization – Organizations must effectively use data and data analytics to understand and serve customers more effectively.
- Accepting and pursuing mobile transformation –Healthcare payers must address basic services such as provider network searches and coverage as well as more vexing issues such as multichannel enrollment and claims status.
- Using technology to drive business agility – As they re-architect their systems healthcare organizations will find it necessary to invest in staff or develop partnerships with companies that bring the necessary skills in new technologies and practices.
Healthcare can, and is, leapfrogging mistakes and taking advantage of learnings from outside industries, but the rate of adoption has room for improvement. Healthcare can be both technology and mission driven to achieve their outcomes if they are willing to embrace and adapt to market and consumer behaviors. After all, a company with happy customers is almost always a healthy company. And that’s an outcome to which every industry can relate.