HealthPayer Intelligence recently featured an article outlining effective steps that health plans can take in marketing to their members and improving satisfaction.

At NextHealth, we believe that behavioral change campaigns should be focused on one goal – reducing friction for consumers.

The author of the article outlined four strategies to make a company’s offerings stand out in a market filled with competition:

  1. Profile consumers to build strong buyer personas
    Developing a clear understanding of the geographic, demographic, and lifestyle factors of beneficiaries is an essential part of targeting the right offerings.
  2. Use metrics to communicate health product benefits
    Present numbers and statistics in a clear and compelling way to educate consumers on the benefits of their coverage.
  3. Invest in technology to improve product navigation and point of sale
    Make the enrollment and renewal process simple and easy to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Reach out to patients, excel in customer service to build “product champions”
    Provide lots of ways for members to engage with the plan, encouraging trust through better communication.

At NextHealth, we believe that behavioral change campaigns should be focused on one goal – reducing friction for consumers. Our minds are wired to avoid hinderances, identify solutions, and replicate successful actions, thus creating the basis of our daily habits and behavioral patterns. Friction is inherently antagonistic to this behavioral loop. Whether it begins with a tiresome extra step, tedious decision-making, or an inconvenient task, consumers–like our minds–will avoid friction whenever possible. This is especially true when it comes to changing established behavior, where friction can result out of the mind’s natural propensity to maintain existing habits. Companies that address these issues and cater to solutions, have the best chance of driving true consumer change.

Some of the ways consumers avoid friction can be seen in our day-to-day lives. Most consumers go to the grocery store closest to their home, regardless of prices or selection, simply to avoid the additional drive time. Similarly, online retailers capitalize on the natural instinct to find the simplest solution. A product may be the same price at a store down the street, but Amazon will deliver to a customer’s home for no additional cost, all from an easy to understand interface. Some other “frictions” can be a bit more nuanced. Many consumers avoid making decisions or changing behavior for reasons such as – “This has always worked and I don’t have time to comparison shop,” or “It sounds like a nice benefit, but it’s probably too complicated for me to use.”

At NextHealth, we recognize that for true behavior change to happen at a member level we must do more in our outreach than just educate on the solution, but also understand the mindset of the consumer and what the source of “friction” may be that will prevent them from accepting and adopting the solution, even if the solutions is beneficial for them. By using a holistic approach that includes behavioral data, demographics, member feedback, and market insights, we are able to successfully and sustainably improve member behavior. The result is cost savings for our clients by not just giving members a one-size-fits-all solution, but by targeting members with solutions that ensure success the best way possible – by reducing friction.

Want to learn more about how NextHealth reduced avoidable ER visits at a Colorado health plan?