The Affordable Care Act is prompting the insurance industry to engage customers using digital means. The market is responding with E-Commerce sites that collect enrollment and payment information, in hopes of selling new products to individuals and their families. Conduct just a few minutes of online research and you will find a range of site designs with varying degrees of branding, functionality, and customer interactions. And while customers may have a history with the organization, odds are it was facilitated by their employer; which makes the website their first true interaction. Did you know it only takes a customer 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) to decide if they like your site or not? 0.05 seconds is all you have to make the right first impression! And what’s true in real life is also true in the digital one: first impressions only happen once.
Does your first impression familiarize customers with your company, values, and brand? Does it empower customers with functionality to compare products by premium, deductible, and coverage level? Does it encourage sales with a short, easy to use sales funnel?
When customers hit your site for the first time, they want to get to know your organization. In the days of cyber-attacks and data breaches, customers want to know you are a trusted partner, capable of delivering service, and understand security. Give them opportunities to read about you company’s history, values, and brand promise. Use familiar colors, logos, and content to drive an emotional connection and prove authenticity.
Let’s face it – shopping for insurance is confusing! With so many different options to choose from, how do customers know which plan is right for them? A well-designed shopping experience uses a few pieces of information to display available products with pricing, in a side-by-side view for easy comparison. When customers get confused with unfamiliar terms like annual plan maximum, out-of-pocket maximum, and ACA certified vs. non-certified, click-to-chat functionality brings the experience to life with answers from knowledgeable customer service specialists.
Have you ever been to Healthcare.gov? Arguably one of the most frustrating parts is the endless screens one must navigate just to finish the order. Optimal shopping experiences use a short, concise sales funnel to collect the right information at the right time. It provides landmarks to illustrate progress towards completion and restricts exit points to increase conversion rates.
Harlan Hogan famously coined “you never get a second chance to make a first impression…” a phrase that is even truer in the E-Commerce space. Make sure that your first impression, is the right one.
Tyler Moeller is an Experienced Consultant in the Customer Experience practice at West Monroe Partners with a focus in the healthcare industry.