Study on customer loyalty with health insurance companies – Statutorily insured rely on digital health services

Support in finding a doctor or hospital, expert advice during treatment or rehabilitation and health checks: Two out of three statutory insurants in Germany expect their health insurance company to offer such services via digital channels in the future.

Other online and mobile services are also of great interest. The study “The success formula for health insurance companies: Interact, intensify, differentiate” by the international management consultancy Bain & Company highlights the growing importance of digital services in statutory health insurance. It identifies levers that can be used to increase customer loyalty. For the study, Bain asked more than 3,400 insured persons at 18 major health insurance companies in Germany.

Number of satisfied customers predominates

The customer loyalty measurable with the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) differs significantly from health insurance company to health insurance company. The Techniker Krankenkasse, AOK PLUS and Knappschaft again achieved particularly high NPS values. Compared to the last Bain study in 2016, the pursuers have just moved closer in the upper third. In addition, many of the 2016 health insurance companies with lower ratings have improved their position. However, with an average NPS of 14 percent, those with statutory health insurance are relatively loyal.

Regular interaction is decisive for a high loyalty value. The less time has passed since the last contact with the health insurance company, the higher the NPS. Innovation is the second important driver. The contribution rate, on the other hand, has comparatively little significance for customer loyalty (see figure). “By expanding their digital services, health insurance companies can demonstrate their innovative strength and facilitate regular interactions with customers,” explains Dr. Christian Kinder, Bain partner and co-author of the study. “Both promote customer loyalty”. Strong customer loyalty has a direct economic impact. Because the higher the NPS is, the more new insured persons a health insurance company can tend to win per year.

Patients under 35 are digitally much more active

When it comes to interaction, the most important thing for the insured person is still a personal conversation in the office. In addition to e-mails, other digital channels such as websites, apps and online chats will also gain in importance in the future. This is also reflected in the high expectations of policyholders with regard to online and mobile services. Around 16 percent of the under-35-year-olds already use existing services, while the figure for the over-35-year-olds is 11 percent. Bain partner and co-author of the study, Mareike Steingröver, is convinced: “In the future, the use of smartphones or tablets will also become a matter of course for health topics. And the health insurance companies can become the preferred contact point.

To learn more please read here (German only)

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