Health plans have learned from the retail industry that providing a first-class consumer experience requires time, money and energy. It also requires an understanding of the existing consumer experience, as seen through the eyes of the consumer.
That’s why it’s important for health plans to have a consumer journey map to capture the interactions between them and their consumers. Specifically, the feelings and emotions consumers experience at each point of contact with the plan. This is different from process mapping, which focuses on functional silos tasked with delivering the experiences.
Successful journey maps should include these 10 essential components:
- Consumer segments: Your members vary, and so do their experiences. Ideally, your journey maps should reflect the differences in your members and how they feel while interacting with your plan.
- Touch points: Health plans offer multiple points of contact to consumers. It’s important to outline how a consumer feels during each action and interaction.
- Moments of truth: These interactions have the power to change a consumer’s opinion of the plan. Health plans should take note of these occurrences because if handled correctly, they can help build lifelong relationships.
- Pain points: When consumers experience discomfort or dissatisfaction during their journey, they may decide to leave their plan. Identifying these areas allows you to prioritize resources for improvement.
- Time: Your journey map should call out how much time is spent at each point of contact. Doing so helps identify internal conflicts and can help determine how consumers feel about the overall process.
- Channels: Identify all the possible ways an interaction will take place, and note the distinct experiences at each point.
- Consumer emotions: Highlighting a consumer’s emotions during plan interactions, both visually and audibly, can provide valuable insight into the consumer’s journey with you.
- Research: Qualitative research is the best possible way to uncover the emotions that populate a journey map. Think of it as adding color to the story.
- Goals — both yours and theirs: Journey maps should outline the consumer’s goal at each stage during his or her journey, as well as the plan’s goals, vision or brand promise. The journey map should track whether consumers feel you are meeting those goals.
- Action plan: Journey maps uncover opportunities for improvement and drive the action plan, including priority next steps and operational strategies.
Download our white paper, “Consumer engagement: 10 things you don’t want to miss when your creating your journey map,” to review:
- Differences between journey mapping and processing mapping
- Expanded explanation of the 10 components
- Specific value these 10 components provide health plans
About the author
Whitney Haggerson is the Director of Consumer Engagement Consulting. She specializes in engagement strategy development, customer journey mapping, consumer segmentation modeling, development and deployment of choice architecture strategies and integrated communication infrastructures. Whitney has experience with the research and implementation of an onsite clinics strategy with both payers and multi-national employers.