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3 Steps to Listen to your Members at Scale

Are you having meaningful conversations or talking at them?

There are certain human experiences everyone can relate to. One we have all felt is someone talking at you. It’s not a conversation. There are not two participants. You are just there to absorb whatever they say, and if you respond, they don’t listen. They just wait for their turn to speak again. We all know this feeling. It’s frustrating and leaves you looking for an exit.

Fortunately, people can become better communicators. They can learn to slow down, focus, and listen. They can learn to have a conversation instead of just dumping their message on an unwitting volunteer. And when they do, the rewards are clear. Two-way dialogues allow for feedback and new information that, when listened to, can drive the conversation deeper or take it in new directions that teach both parties something new.

The key difference between a one-way dump of information and a meaningful conversation is the ability to listen and have empathy. For healthcare organizations that aim to have these meaningful interactions with hundreds of thousands of people, the question is how to listen at scale.

Step 1:

Start Conversations at Scale

The easiest way to engage people in conversation is to find topics they care about then ask them about those topics. Most of us do this intuitively. Doing this at scale requires determining content / topics that are relevant to specific segments across large populations and leveraging technology that allows you to start and maintain thousands of conversations at once across communication channels. We call this member-centric outreach.

To properly conduct member-centric outreach and begin conversations, there are a few things you need to have in place.

  • Ability to deliver messages on high-reach conversational channels, such as SMS
  • Population segmentation to tailor content / topics
  • A way to track engagement and responses to verify and update population segmentation and tailoring

Using automated conversations with the ability to listen to member responses and handle those responses appropriately is crucial to making interaction between a plan and its members natural and easy

Step 2:

Orchestrate Engagement Across Channels

Imagine having a great conversation with someone at a party. You found a common interest and dove deep into it. Then days later you read an article your friend might find interesting, so you email it to them. A few days later, they text you a link to a related video. You are communicating across channels to maintain and deepen your relationship, all connected to that initial conversation.

Orchestrating engagement across channels is relatively simple to do at scale when your engagement channels are all hosted on a single platform. Think of your engagement platform as the person at the party – it’s easy to keep track of what content has been shared across channels when it’s all coming from and to the same place.

Digital communication occurs in real-time more often than traditional healthcare outreach. When you consider the outreach strategies of Pharmacy, Clinical, Quality, Care Management and Marketing, it’s vital to orchestrate engagement over mobile channels. And if a platform is not listening to data from member actions and adjusting appropriately, it is falling short of true omnichannel orchestration.

Step 3:

Use data to listen and empathize

During in-person conversations, people gather all sorts of valuable information in real time. We gauge sentiment based on vocal tone and body language that is not typically available with digital conversations at scale. To compensate for real time empathy, digital conversations rely on new types of data to listen and inform an appropriate, tailored response. To listen well, there are some important focus areas when it comes to data.

  • Focused Data: Determine what information you are trying to capture before launching a digital conversation program. Are you hoping to learn about channel preferences or something like barriers to care? Determine that and engage in line with that goal.
  • Sentiment: Leverage technology or a team to understand the sentiment of member responses.
  • Preferences: Analyze what channels, message frequency, language, topics, and content individuals and persona populations prefer.
  • Target Insights: If there are specific insights or answers you need, use your trusted relationship to have conversations about those topics.

Asking members questions on scalable conversational channels can create a wealth of new data that is almost impossible to gather otherwise. This data provides a fuller understanding of populations which allows for more informed decision- making.

Meaningful conversations and experiences are core to human relationships. The better you can create and maintain relationships with all of your consumers through conversations, the more aligned you will be about their care.

If you would like to have a conversation with us about how we can help you build more positive relationships with all your members, please contact us here.


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