The rise in healthcare costs are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. But, one thing holds true, consumers are more empowered than ever before and they’re not willing to shop around. Here’s what you need to know about insurance chaos.
Health insurance has become a financial burden. With high deductible plans becoming unusable for medical care under $10,000, consumers are feeling stuck. And, when you force consumers to choose between paying for medical care or being able to pay the mortgage, insurance becomes an optional luxury. Between high-deductible plans proliferating, the crazy requirements of the ACA and insurers controlling health treatment approvals, consumers no longer feel they can accept any course of action their doctor prescribes.
“This insurance chaos” is inspiring consumers to demand higher value!
This leads to shopping.
This leads to research.
And it can lead to friction in the doctor-patient relationship.
Health consumers are no longer passive participants in their health. They are taking charge and expecting to receive high-quality service well before they step into your office.
From the initial first call through to follow up emails, every touchpoint is a chance for health brands to add value to the consumer experience.
The trusted relationship between “patient and physician” has morphed into a high-stakes, high-cost business transaction between health consumers and providers.
It’s not how this shift has occurred that’s important to understand, but rather what this change means for marketing to the empowered health consumer.
Also Read: 9 Point Scorecard for Optimizing Health Brand Marketing
Informed Consumers Shop Differently
With increasing volumes in health and wellness options comes a high level of discernment among patients. They’re not willing to settle for what is convenient or what is “good enough.”
If you can’t (or choose not to) provide high value and immediate care that fits their needs and their budget, then you won’t get their business.
Informed health consumers shop for value and are not loyal to a status quo or maxims like “doctor knows best.” And these consumers will perform their due diligence to make sure they get the best value for their hard-earned dollars.
There are two emerging trends that “insurance chaos” has kicked off that health brands cannot afford to ignore.
1. The Consumer’s Collective Power
Medical credibility hinges on positive online reviews.
If you want to compete for business, you must showcase what your business can offer. And, consumers don’t want to hear it from you directly. They want to hear it from other customers, like them.
The days of “trusting” a medical provider have been replaced with needing online reviews to “fact check” their expertise and service. With 92.4% of consumers reading online reviews before making a purchasing decision, if you’re not positioning your reviews front and center, then you’re invisible to the consumer.
2. The Power to Speak Up
Consumers’ shopping power has reshaped traditional provider and health brand relationships.
Consumers want to see reviews – and they’re not afraid to post them online, either. With the power in the hands of the consumer, the dynamic between the brand and the prospective customer has inevitably changed. And consumers are quick to vet health brands based solely on the number and type of reviews they have.
Business beware… all online reviews are not made equal.
In the consumer marketplace, having no reviews is not an option, as 81% of consumers distrust brands without some form of social proof. While over 88% of consumers will be less likely to do business with brands that have too many negative reviews.
Consumers may be forgiving, but they’re certainly not gullible.
A few negative reviews prove that your brand is authentic. Having recent and lots of raving reviews warrants consumers to at a minimum visit your website.
But, how you market to them once they’re interested will determine whether you can close the sale.
Provide High Value Or Be Left Behind
As a health brand, you have to consider what consumers want at every step of the journey. Ignore their preferences or fall short on providing online reviews, then expect to watch your market share shrink.
It’s time to shift your focus from how to get new customers to knowing exactly what your target customers want in order to convince them to buy. Speak directly to their needs and you’ll have no problem outpacing your competition.