Changing consumer expectations in healthcare is placing a premium on the customer experience. According to a recent survey, 63% of payers said that customer demand for a retail experience and the growing popularity of high-deductible plans were driving their adoption of a customer-centric strategy and 70% said that building long-term customer relationships was the principle driver for building out member engagement capabilities.

To successfully leverage customer experience as an initiative and meet the mandates of value-based care, healthcare payers need more than a member engagement strategy. They need to approach customer experience as a discipline that requires dedicated leadership, thorough execution, and continuous analysis for successful implementation.

In healthcare, insurance products are memorialized in documents that outline plan benefits, from the Summary of Benefits and Coverage that consumers use to compare and select plans to the Explanation of Benefits that plan members receive when they utilize their benefits following enrollment. What’s more, these products are constantly evolving, both in response to changing requirements and internal factors, including service interactions with call center representatives, case management processes, systems of record, and archives.

In many ways, insurance products are defined relative to communication events arising out of each phase of the customer lifecycle, making them ideal touch-points to understand and analyze the customer experience. Placing a clear focus on communications with prospects, customers, and the larger market provides payers with real-world opportunities to hear the voice of the customer, while quality one-on-one and one-to-many communications improve the overall customer experience.

However, leveraging customer communications in the era of value-based care is easier said than done. While value-based care is driving change for 74% of health plans, providing quality coverage and improving patient outcomes is straining the resources of payers and providers, who must contend with over 500 provider quality measures. Moreover, there is little overlap between the measures healthcare payers need to grow business and the measures government agencies require.

Meeting customer expectations and government mandates will require healthcare payers to transform the way they manage customer communications. Relying on manual processes can impede growth because they are time-consuming and error-prone. To deliver the retail experience customers want, healthcare payers must automate the content lifecycle using in-sourced, low to no-code application development and a rich digital ecosystem.

Low to no-code platforms employ graphical user interfaces and configuration to develop software. By eschewing conventional computer programming and hand-coding, low and no code development platforms democratize and accelerate the creation and delivery of application software and expand multi-channel capabilities.

In particular, no code platforms enable business users to develop apps without involving IT on the front-end. The appeal of low and no-code development platforms is evident in their growing adoption by enterprise development teams. According to Forrester, 23% of global developers reported using low-code platforms in 2018 and another 22% planned to do so in 2019.

These advantages make low and no-code platforms ideal for managing customer communications in the era of digital transformation, social media, and mobile optimization. One of the biggest advantages is that developers can create apps with more advanced features, including automated workflows that provide status notifications for batch production while enabling real-time generation of ad hoc correspondence.

Being able to automate member enrollment and other communications is a huge advantage for healthcare payers, who can eliminate inefficient manual processes and deploy workers more strategically to focus on complex tasks requiring subject matter expertise. At the same time, low and no-code development empowers business users to manage changes and ensure that brand messaging and marketing materials are aligned with experience initiatives.

Successful, long-term member engagement requires that healthcare payers adopt a new mindset and the right technology to solve challenges posed by changing consumer expectations, value-based care, and other mandates. Automating member enrollment and correspondence gives healthcare payers the most powerful tool of all—information—at every touchpoint in the customer journey to inform product development. This intimate connection between product development and customer experience means that a strong focus on communication processes has the potential to significantly improve business growth, member engagement, and patient outcomes.