STAMFORD, Conn.—Peppers & Rogers Group, the world-recognized leader in customer-based business strategy, released the results of a new study today, Trustability in Health Care. The findings and their implications were presented at the 8th Annual American Health Care Congress in Anaheim, California.

Highlights of the study include:

  • Respondents said that they would pay on average $30 a month more to do business with a health insurer that they trust. Some respondents report that they would pay up to $100 a month.
  • Almost 50% of respondents do not trust their health insurer
  • Trust impacts business outcomes like loyalty, advocacy and intent to purchase additional products and services
  • Trust impacts health outcomes like willingness to follow health insurer’s instructions and doctor’s instructions
  • Customers care about trust: Customers actually notice and remember the behaviors of a health insurer that enhance or diminish trust

“Given changes in legislation that will bring customer choice to the marketplace it is no secret that the health insurers need to think differently about how they build and nurture relationships with their customers,” explains Peppers & Rogers Group Partner and health care practice leader, Marc Ruggiano. “When consumers are no longer captive to a specific health insurer, their perception of the insurer becomes more important. It is all about establishing a trusted, relationship. Our new study shows the depth and urgency of this need for change.”

Co-author of the study, Peppers & Rogers Group research director, Tom Lacki, Ph.D, explains the intent behind the study, “At Peppers & Rogers Group, we believe that trust is divided into two distinct areas. Competency, the ability to do things right, and Goodwill, the ability to do the right things. We designed the study to help insurers identify the drivers of trust in each area. By knowing which behaviors of the company enhance or diminish trust among its customers, a health insurer has the opportunity to focus and prioritize its efforts, measure what matters, and align its reward and recognition systems.”

The study illustrates that respondents who report a high level of trust with their health insurers provide strong ratings on the Competency scale in areas like getting the basics right, communicating clearly and resolving problems quickly and correctly. On the Goodwill scale factors like keeping promises, taking ownership of issues and focusing on what is best for the customer, receive strong ratings. Ruggiano explains, “The study demonstrates that establishing and maintaining trust with customers is a critical capability for insurers and it is possible to measure and monitor trust as a practical metric. In an industry that touches individuals and their families so personally, trust is even more important.”

“To compete in this new world, health insurers must develop capabilities that are traditionally foreign to the industry; ones that enable building a trusted relationship with consumers. These capabilities include developing actionable consumer insight; managing interactions with customers; accessing consumer information; communicating complex messages effectively; holding themselves and their employees accountable,” Ruggiano concludes.

The topic of trust is part of Peppers & Rogers Group’s legacy of thought leadership. The research team is working on similar studies in telecommunications, financial services and the public sector. In addition, firm founders Don Peppers and Martha Rogers’ Ph.D. will be publishing their latest thinking on the topic in March 2012 in their newest book “Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage”.

About the Peppers & Rogers Group Health Care Practice

As the leading management consulting firm on customer-based business strategy, Peppers & Rogers Group’s Health Care Practice helps health care providers, payers and pharmas meet the competitive and technological challenges that are changing the industry landscape. Addressing the specific concerns of the enterprise while maintaining a focus on the patient, Peppers & Rogers Group brings clients strategic insights that create improved customer experiences and drive bottom-line results. Our team of health care experts has helped industry leaders implement customer-focused initiatives including building the business case for customer-focus, re-engineering the member onboarding process, executing enterprise-wide change management programs and many other activities that drive results.

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