13 Jul Day 54: Learning from AMEX why membership has its privileges
* This is a guest post by Stephen Gaines, our Director of Membership Experience at Crossover Health. He will be talking about his role, what he does, and how everything we do is focused around how the Crossover brand can consistent deliver an exceptional experience in future posts
In 1958, American Express redefined the “Charge Card,” by introducing the American Express Card. The card was a far cry from today’s modern Credit Cards. It was made of paper and had the card members name typed on it. The membership fee was $6 a year and required the member to pay the balance in-full each month. What made membership so popular was the worldwide network of offices, travel agents and associated banks that were available to card members. Before it’s release date of October 1, 1958, American Express had issued more than 250,000 cards!
As American Express Card evolved, it earned a reputation for the having the highest customer service standard. AMEX employees were regularly encouraged to go above and beyond the call of duty. One representative hand delivered a card in the middle of the night to a stranded cardholder at Boston’s Logan airport. Another instance involved a representative in New Delhi who arranged for another representative’s brother (a military helicopter pilot stationed close to the caller) to deliver cash to an AMEX Gold cardholder who was stranded in a remote village in the Himalayas.
History is about to repeat itself. Starting this fall, Crossover Health will redefine healthcare as we know it by introducing a new standard in healthcare. Like American Express, Crossover Health will feature a membership based experience that rivals fine hotels and retailers. Imagine having care that allows your physician to practice medicine independent of insurance companies while offing unprecedented access. And best of all – it’s affordable!
When did going to the Doctor become so negative?
Today, visiting a physician’s office is rarely a pleasant experience. We’ve all grown accustomed to reading back issues of People Magazine while we wait for our notoriously late physician. Once inside, we’re lucky if we have 10 minutes and a full conversation.
Back in the day, physicians were held in high esteem. Changing doctors was unheard of because people stayed with their doctor long-term. Doctor’s offices were a place of community not disharmony. The result has left most patients feeling blasé about there healthcare experience. Bad customer service, insurance coverage complications, and the inability to cross compare service pricing have resulted in high patient defections.
The truth of the matter is, we’ve become so accustomed this type of medical treatment, that we don’t expect anything different.
This fall, Crossover Health will introduce a new standard in membership focused healthcare. Crossover Health will combine world class customer service, straight-forward pricing, and a suite of healthcare tools, services and resources that will be exclusive benefits for its members.
Physician interaction has traditionally been limited to office visits. However, Crossover Health intends to change the way we interact with our physician. Imagine attending weekly workshops, benefiting from a tight partnership between a third-party healthcare provider or taking part in a special field trip to a local organic supermarket – all lead by your physician!
Proactive Goal Setting
Most physicians today only see patients when there is a urgent need. Rarely if ever are patients seen outside of an illness or injury. Crossover Health intends to change this experience by seeing patients before something happens. Members will have the ability to create Annual Healthcare Blueprints in partnership with their physician and a trusted third-party providers such as personal trainers and nutritionists. These blueprints will create a framework and set goals fort he coming year.
Better Communication through Technology
Although, physicians tools have changed a lot over the years, patient communication is still limited. Patients are demanding communication standards that are used in regular forms of business like: email, instant messaging and video chat. Crossover Health will employ all three methods for it’s members.
As American Express did in the 1950’s, Crossover Health will define a higher standard in healthcare – one that will be affordable, accessible and patient focused. Keep an eye out for Crossover’s new location opening this fall in Aliso Viejo, California.