Customer loyalty to health insurance companies: Every interaction is an opportunity

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Germany’s health insurance companies are doing a great job, even during times of supplementary contributions and increasing digitalization. This is revealed in a representative survey by Bain of 3,300 people insured through the public healthcare system by 18 major suppliers. The report shows that the number of customers who are enthusiastic about their insurance company outweighs the critics – and the degree of loyalty is steadily rising.

Yet significant differences still exist between the individual suppliers. Top of the league table, despite losses compared with the last study of 2013, is the Techniker Krankenkasse, followed by AOK Plus and Knappschaft.

The economic significance of rising loyalty indicators is enormous. Loyal customers are five times more likely to endorse their insurance companies than are the critics, and three times less likely to recommend against them. Such endorsements are a key factor for growth. After all, one in five Germans cite the main reason for choosing a health insurance company to be the advice given by a friend or acquaintance. This means that personal recommendations are no less important than an insurer's product and service range, or its reputation.

The contribution rate is still a key factor for prompting people to change insurance companies. But more importantly, factors such as regular interactions and innovations are crucial for nurturing customer loyalty. A supplier's reputation and his products and services come next and only then does the cost of the insurance come into play. These results point to three paradigm shifts posing a challenge to health insurance companies:

  1. It pays to regularly interact with customers
  2. Customers expect more digital channel services
  3. Online healthcare platforms are setting the trend for the future

Click here to download the study.