Tips & Tricks: How to Boost Member Engagement Using Your Customer Service Team

No matter which engagement and transparency tools your plan offers, I’ll bet you are always looking for ways to get the word out to members. After all, driving awareness and use is the way to drive member loyalty and savings.

Answering the unasked questions:

When we talk to our clients about driving engagement, our advice is always to develop an integrated marketing plan – one that capitalizes on all the means you have to reach your members. While that can mean email, direct mail, social media etc., it can also include using your people resources – specifically, your customer service team. You train them to provide excellent care to your members, so why not also harness them as your members’ advocate in taking control of their health care.

I caught up with one of our clients who does just that, to get their advice. Like all health plans, their goal is to keep their members happy and healthy. With each call, they aim to “answer the unasked questions” and use their conversation as an opportunity to promote the most appropriate tool for the occasion. While it’s natural to use customer service to let members know about the tools when they call with a concern, the real opportunity – and one that positions you as their health care hero – is letting them know about your tools before they pick a provider or have a health care service. Doing that could just eliminate the frustration entirely. Here are a few ways to tap into your fantastic customer service teams to drive engagement:

When a member…

  • …is new to a plan. In addition to providing them the basics of how their plan works, highlight the tools available to them, and how to access.
  • …is searching for a doctor. Help them find the provider they are seeking and show them how to search online and read provider reviews.
  • …is trying to register for a portal account. Provide an overview of the tools found online.
  • is calling about upcoming services or procedures. Discuss what to expect and the types of providers that may be involved. Help them use the cost estimator to see if the anesthesiologist or assistant surgeon is in network and what they should expect to spend.
  • …is newly diagnosed with a condition. This is a pivotal time to help them use the treatment cost estimator to look up conditions, treatment timelines, how to find a specialist and point them towards other resources you may have such as community support.

And, even if a member does call with concerns, help educate them for the future. If they call to…

  • ask about an out-of-network claim. Ensure they know how to locate providers in their network.
  • ask about surprise charges on a claim, have your teams provide education on how to plan ahead.

So if you aren’t using your customer service team in your member engagement efforts, consider giving it a try! Want to talk more? Reach out – we’d love to hear from you!

Oh, and in the meantime, check out this handy-dandy infographic!

How to use customer service to engage with health plan members