Ever felt that you were putting too much effort into figuring out how to complete a task on a company’s public website? Well – you are not alone! West Monroe Partners recently conducted Customer Effort Index (CEI) scoring for the dental insurance industry. This CEI scoring benchmark allows companies to see how much effort is required to complete certain tasks through various touchpoints. An evaluator scored each task on a scale of 1 (high effort; not easy) to 5 (low effort; very easy) to benchmark customer effort in the dental insurance industry. That is, the higher the score, the lower the customer effort.
West Monroe Partners’ 2015 Customer Effort Index in Dental Insurance Study—conducted in early 2015—included more than 25 national and regional dental insurers and several Delta Dental member companies. To benchmark performance with respect to customer effort, West Monroe Partners used a “mystery shopper approach” to create a CEI that encompassed 55 discrete tasks across public website and interactive voice response (IVR) system. West Monroe then aggregated scores to develop customer effort rankings by channel and overall. A graph showing the best, average, and worst CEI scores per touchpoint is included below.
After concluding our study, there were three key takeaways that stood out in relation to customer effort within the dental insurance industry:
THE DENTAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAD HIGH EFFORT COMPARED TO THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
As part of West Monroe Partner’s CEI assessment, benchmarking scoring has been completed for three industries in addition to dental insurance; retail, banking, and energy and utilities. From our CEI dental insurance scoring of the public website, West Monroe found that the dental insurance industry scored low compared to the retail industry (average public web score of 4.60) and the banking industry (average public web score 3.92), but comparable to the energy and utilities industry (average public web score of 3.22). The dental insurance industry needs to focus on getting their public websites to the same ease of effort level as other ‘customer-centric’ industries.
PUBLIC WEBSITES DO NOT GO ABOVE-AND-BEYOND TO CREATE A PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE
Public websites are focused on allowing self-help for basic needs, but does not go above-and-beyond to create a personalized experience for a diverse set of customers. Dental insurers in general make it difficult for the user to find dental insurance information that they could not answer on their own and that was related to their specific situation and needs.
According to the American Dental Association, one of the major reasons included in why adults forewent the purchase of dental insurance was the inability to find a plan that covers the services an individual is interested in. Out of the 17.7 million adults looking to buy dental insurance by 2018, only 4.2 million (23.8%) adults shopping for dental plans report ease in finding a plan with the type of coverage they need. If dental insurers were able tailor their public website to their unique customers by allowing them to find answers to specific issues or situation this could help business in several ways and could help them acquire these additional customers being lost due to lack of information.
INSURERS WITH A MOBILE PLATFORM FOR THEIR USERS ARE ABLE TO STAND OUT IN THE MARKETPLACE
Having a mobile optimized website allows for benefits such as an improved user experience, faster website load speed, and increased engagement. Many dental insurance public websites were not mobile optimized, which caused the websites to look overwhelming with information (and small text) and were poorly organized. Having a mobile optimized website would allow dental insurers to appeal to the increasing amount of mobile users/customers.
Customer acquisition is always a challenge for dental insurers. But this research concludes that taking steps to ensure that customer experiences are as effortless as possible across channels can help dental insurers break out of the “commoditization” rut and boost growth and loyalty in this rapidly changing environment.
To learn more about how companies can turn their customer acquisition to customer loyalty, don’t miss Kristin Irving and Paul Hagen speaking at NADP Converge tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29th. Their session will cover the art and science of customer loyalty.
For more information on West Monroe’s CEI for the Dental Insurance report – you can download here – or for questions on the NADP presentation, please reach out to Kristin or Paul.
Paul Hagen Kristin Irving
Senior Principal – Customer Experience Director – Healthcare