The winners in the new healthcare marketplace will be those payers and providers that are able to improve customers' overall experience by engaging them, making interactions easier and simpler, and by affording them better product choices, the consultants said.
The increased use of mobile information technology is one of the drivers of change, according to report co-author and Strategy& principal Keith Fengler.
“A majority of consumers actually desire to be engaged digitally,” preferring online interactions to face to face or other forms of encounters. “There is huge demand for that. They don't want to talk to reps on the phone.”
When it comes to buying health insurance—despite the highly publicized troubles with the Obamacare launch online—more than half of survey respondents (51%) were “highly satisfied” with buying health insurance online and 66% who bought insurance online plan to stick with the same insurance next year. Demographics impact attitude, however, with 57% of younger purchasers (ages 18-44) having “high” confidence levels while only 46% of older respondents (ages 65 and older) have high levels.
Regarding tech-based care delivery, instead of a slight divide, there is a yawning chasm of acceptance between young and old, the survey showed. More than 4 in 5 respondents younger than 35 “embraced” care provided in what the authors described as “virtual marketplaces” such as telehealth. In contrast, 47% of senior citizens surveyed simply “hate the idea.”
When it comes to healthcare, “trust” remains the No. 1 driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty across all age groups.
Trust was mentioned most frequently as a key driver of customer satisfaction by about a third (32%) of consumers surveyed. Trust was named as a key a driver of customer loyalty by 34% of survey respondents. Other drivers were “simplicity, convenience and seamlessness,” 22% for satisfaction, 23% for loyalty, “value” 17% for both satisfaction and loyalty, and brand, 15%-14%.
“I think the biggest question about engagement through digital is how do you sustain it?” Fengler said. “What's the right way to maintain engagement with the consumer? It has to be simple. It has to fit into your life and it has to be ever changing and bring something new.”
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