Are You Using Your Clickstream Data?

Healthcare companies have spent millions (maybe even 10s of millions) of dollars building out self-service platforms on the web. Based on data from the Service and Support Professional’s Organization, only 44% of the time that customers use self-service are they successful. That is of course of the individuals who try the self-service. A Harris Interactive poll found that 89% had difficulty with web self-service.

That seems pretty pathetic to me. There are lots of different solutions. For example, you could use a virtual agent (e.g., CodeBaby) to help guide the individual through the process. You could use NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies to make the website more intuitive (e.g., Knova).

In most healthcare companies, web utilization is okay. I don’t think I have met one with over 20% registration (much less utilization). Of course, we know that isn’t because patients aren’t using the web for healthcare. Just look at all the tools out there and the massive investments by WebMD and RevolutionHealth.

But, I have yet to meet a large healthcare organization that can tell me much about their web utilizers and that has integrated that data into a total CRM (Customer Relationship Management) approach.

  • How does web utilization map against your high cost patients?
  • If a patient researches a topic, do you reach out to them to close the loop? (e.g., I saw that you were researching alternative therapies. Did you know that we cover up to 6 visits to an acupuncture center?)
  • For patients that are constant web utilizers, do you push them to the website rather than send them printed materials?

And, one of my favorite questions and pet peeves is whether the CSRs (Customer Service Representatives) have the ability to co-browse. For example, if I am stuck on the website, can they see where I am and help me get to the right section. In some cases, the CSRs don’t even have Internet access and have never been on the website. Hard to drive self-service if the agents aren’t on board.

Another thing I have looked at before…why not offer a different cost structure to employers or others if they achieve a certain rate of self-service? Your costs as a MCO or PBM would be lower. Your ability to influence behavior would be lower.

It seems like there was a huge push to drive adoption when this was new, but I don’t see it as much now. Where is the campaign to drive adoption with the incentives? The economics haven’t changed and companies continue to invest, improve, and have spent real money on these very cool and often helpful technologies (even if not necessarily intuitive).

From a KMWorld July/August 2007 article/advertisement about eGain, their CEO, Ashutosh Roy, gives a list of several best practices and makes the point that “customer service has emerged as one of the few sustainable differentiators in today’s hyper-competitive markets.” How true that is in the healthcare world.

  1. Take a proactive approach to customer service.
  2. Provide value-based customer service.
  3. Leverage online channels as part of a unified customer interaction hub.
  4. Empower your agents and customers with knowledge.
  5. Align metrics with goals and business strategy.

2 Responses to “Are You Using Your Clickstream Data?”

  1. I started using my HealthNet online services a few months ago, to see where Intelecare could fit into their health portal. I was impressed by how much data was already in my PHR from previous MD visits, however I had several problems when I tried to access the more advanced features. Luckily I did not have to deal with any claims data, just routine functions.

    I tried to change my primary doctor a few times – they had a walk-in clinic MD listed – and ran into trouble. The first time, they requested an additional log on and password for a systems administrator which I did not have, so I logged off. I tried again, and was sent to a page that said I could not perform this function. Twice more this happened, so I gave up. Finally I got it to work, but I only went back because I had to look up a prescription dose.

    I also tried to order a prescription online, twice, but the PBM site it sent me to just didn’t work. Plus, it was slow to shuttle between different pages and sections. I took the HRA, and it recommended I contact a Health Coach but not why. I went to the Health Coach area and sent an inmail asking why, but just got a generic response that stated the Health Coach can answer a variety of questions.

    If the HealthNet portal has these problems with somewhat simple features, what about the more complex functions? No wonder why so many people have problems and do not want to use the web self-service.

    As far as customer service, with another health plan I was on, I called about a claim, then asked if they had tools on their website. The rep had no idea what was on their website – so go figure.


  1. ICMCC Articles » Blog Archive » Are You Using Your Clickstream Data? - February 27, 2008

    […] self-service. A Harris Interactive poll found that 89% had difficulty with web self-service.” Article George van Antwerp, Patient Centric Healthcare, 26 February […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: