What the Ride-Sharing Revolution Can Teach Benefits Managers

Less than 10 years ago, terrible service from taxi companies lead to the biggest breakthrough in the transportation industry. Even if you lived in a big city, hailing cabs often felt like a crap-shoot: there might be none available when you needed them, or you would see someone take a cab just before it reached you. Calling a taxi company could be just as frustrating, when the cab failed to show, or couldn’t find you, or got picked off by another customer. If you were in a strange neighborhood, you didn’t know what taxi service to call or whether you had a shot at finding a cab on the street. You certainly had no idea how much the ride was going to cost. All in all, a poor customer experience.

What changed that was technology – specifically, the mobile phone, a device that more and more people had with them at all times. Phones had the power to make payments, track GPS and communicate updates in real time. They could solve the consumer’s biggest problems by providing the driver’s name and license number, minute-by-minute updates on the car’s location, complete price transparency, and the ability to give real-time feedback. For the frequently frustrated taxicab customer, ride-sharing changed just about everything. The speed at which ride-sharing companies grew and spread is a testament to how well they met the consumer’s needs.

What are the lessons for benefit managers? The typical healthcare consumer of today is just about as frustrated as the taxicab rider of 10 years ago. The problems we need to solve for are similar: We need a better consumer experience. More price transparency. The ability to give feedback and get one-on-one support. And the best path to get there is through a better use of technology that already exists. That’s the challenge we’ve taken on in Mercer Marketplace 365, a bundled benefits solution that brings together a best-in-class platform, decision-support, transparency tools, and health advocacy services – all backed by Mercer consulting expertise.

Learn more about Mercer's bundled benefits solution, Mercer Marketplace 365!

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