Your numbers are great as more members sign up with your plan from the health exchange. Now what? If you do nothing at this point to engage those new members, your chances of retaining them long-term diminish drastically. How can you engage new members in effective ways that let them experience real value and generate long-term loyalty? Here are ten success strategies to consider.
Make Welcome Calls
While you do need to pay attention to the big picture, it is important not to treat new members as "just another number". But creating personalized engagement doesn't happen by accident. One of the best ways to begin is with a phone call, with the only agenda being a sincere welcome that lets new members know what to expect moving forward.
Send Welcome Letters
Along with a welcome phone call, it is important that new members have something concrete, in hand, that they can digest in their own time. Sending each new member a welcome letter gives them another tangible encounter that helps solidify your desire to create a positive long-term relationship with them.
Write a Monthly Newsletter
This will help give new members a feel for what's happening in the industry and with their plan in particular. Make sure you include human interest posts, healthy tips, and industry news as this will ensure a higher number of recipients actually read it.
Strategically Use Social Media
Post interesting and engaging content regularly on accounts like Facebook and Twitter. Invite new members to engage on social media, and work to create a dialog. Post healthy tips, contests, giveaways, member-of-the-month, and special recognition.
Your members are tech-savvy, so use that to help build relationships. Send text message and email reminders, offer digital FAQs that are easy to access, and invite members to use your app.
Build Within the Community
Your members are real people who live in dynamic communities. Find out what causes or issues are important to them, then get involved. Sponsor a high school sports team or music group, run a food collection drive during holiday seasons, sponsor a half marathon, or add your voice to local causes like building a homeless shelter or planting trees downtown.
Have a Significant Presence at Local Health Fairs
Offer information and available resources for lifestyle issues such as smoking cessation, weight loss, healthy diet, and heart health. Work to build a reputation of providing high quality resources that work in the real world where your members live.
Be Sensitive to Language
Each region has its own unique mix of languages. You'll go a long way in establishing positive relationships with new members by providing information and communication in their preferred language.
Educate and Inform
Don't assume your new member is literate about their plan. With more than ten million newly insured across the United States in the last year, many for the first time, you must provide basic information that will ultimately help you better serve each individual member. The newly insured tend to be young and relatively healthy and likely know how to search out information about their medical conditions online, but may know very little about their new plan or what options are available for their care.
Provide Creative Rewards
While new members likely won't respond favorably to premium reduction for engaging in healthier habits, they will likely be responsive to rewards such as gift cards, social media recognition, and being placed in a drawing for quarterly gifts.
The landscape has changed dramatically as health plans are newly focused on marketing to individuals rather than ready-made groups. This means more creativity, transparency, and individual engagement. While this engagement involves time and human resources, it ultimately helps stabilize membership along with creating a culture of incentive for better health. Contact us today to explore even more ideas for how you can dynamically engage with your new members.