Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Traditional health insurance brands offer a stronger online customer experience than digital disruptors

“Based on this [health insurance] website – I think I would give up before finding what I was looking for.” – research participant

The above quote was captured in 2015 when Global Reviews interviewed over 1700 ‘in market’ health insurance consumers – that being consumers actively in the market for buying health insurance within the next 90 days at the time of the research – as part of their health insurance programme, resulting in a very specific, active and robust sample for the purposes of this research.

Concentrating specifically on the desktop journey, the performance of 17 health insurance brands across 3 different countries; Ireland, UK and Australia were benchmarked. These brands were segmented into disruptor, agile and traditional brands – see infographic below for definitions.

So which type of brand within the market segments outlined best meets customer needs along the customer journey? Within the ‘Consider’ and ‘Act’ phases of our Digital Sales Effectiveness benchmark, we looked at each stage of the online customer journey for the brands within each segment. The topline results are displayed in the infographic.

  • When it comes to first impressions on a homepage, ‘Traditional’ brands had the most stable score across all areas of the radar chart, mostly outperforming agile and disruptor brands
  • Disruptor brands were found not to be doing well in terms of trust
  • Clear gap for ‘agiles’ in relation to “I would be likely to use this website” on the first impression of the website

It is clear from our research that trust needs to be built, in particular at the application form stage for the ‘disruptor’ brands with security and privacy not being communicated well at the application form stage.

It appears that while disruptor brands are potentially doing well to shake up the market, their website experiences are perhaps a bit too formulaic and are trying too hard to be different and advanced.

“It appears all marketing hype almost to the point of being bogus. At no time did I feel that the [health insurance] website was providing ‘me’ with a service. It was more focused on boxing me into its fixed formatted process.” – research participant

“The experience with the sample website was not ideal, although quite typical of modern websites.” – research participant

As a result, agile and traditional brands are generally providing a stronger online customer experience – although they each hold their own sets of weak spots that could do with some improvement.

What is the right balance for evolving without losing touch with the traditional aspects that bring a sense of trust with it? Contact us to find out where your website fits and how you can strike that balance in order to deliver the best online experience for your customers.

Health Insurance

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