Health Plans Fail On Customer Experience

Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi) ranks 133 firms across 14 industries. I recently analyzed the results of the nine health plans in the CxPi. Here are the overall results:

Some interesting tidbits from the research:

  • Health plans were the worst scoring industry for the third straight year.
  • The average score across health plans was the same as it was in 2008, a “very poor” 51%.
  • Kaiser was in top place again, although it dropped a bit from 2008.
  • The public plans, Medicare and Medicaid, had the largest improvement.
  • Anthem (BCBS) and United Healthcare dropped the most since 2008.

The bottom line: Health plan customer experience needs resuscitation.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

3 thoughts on “Health Plans Fail On Customer Experience”

  1. When it comes to things like your health, getting customer experience right also has an impact on your general wellbeing. I think customers expect a lot of their health plan and when that isn’t delivered, the experience can not be “fixed” after that point. The customer won’t be happy again if they are let down a first time.

  2. Simply slashing costs to increase profits is not sustainable. There needs to be more cooperation between health plans and health care givers to improve the patient experience. Finding better ways to create efficiencies while improving provided care is key. Gaining insights from care recipient feedback is an important and illuminating means to understand what is happening in the care setting, the patient experience and ultimately guide critical strategic decisions.

  3. In the financial benefits world, we used to say:

    “When customers feel good about your service, they will engage more. When they engage more, they make better decisions. When they make better decisions, they will have more money at retirement. So by providing excellent service on each phonecall, people will have a better retirement.”

    But also: “when people have more money in their accounts, our company also makes more money.” So there are only winners!

    The healthcare industry needs to understand that providing good service leads to more engaged people. This leads to healthier choices. This leads to fewer future claims. This leads to more profits.

    If the providers of health insurance do not get this dynamic, they will never see the sense in providing good service.

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