The New Frontier of Customer Experience and Sales in Healthcare

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The healthcare industry has decentralized and branched out from a traditional hospital setting to multiple avenues like, care centers, health hubs, virtual care, retail healthcare, and even your homes! With its constant transformation into an “anytime, anywhere” model, the healthcare industry is stepping up and beyond medicine, and delving deeper into the field of Customer Experience (CX).

The History of Customer Experience (CX) in Healthcare

Customer experience has been quite a troublesome aspect in the healthcare industry. One of the primary reasons here, in my opinion, is the extent of immense sensitivity that’s required with every case you handle in healthcare. One blunder, and you can easily expect collateral damage to your healthcare brand.Management of each and every customer to the “T” is a challenge that all healthcare businesses struggle with.

This awareness has brought along a realization of the importance of a patient-centric or customer-centric approach in a healthcare business, and how it can directly impact your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value).

What’s Happening Right Now?

Digital innovations like IoT, Big Data, AI, and ML have introduced a fresh perspective to sales and customer experience in the healthcare industry, generating improved customer satisfaction and higher revenue. AI technology and data has facilitated a shift in the healthcare industry and is empowering patients to take charge of their personal health and well-being. Access to personalized healthcare resources and automation ensures that the customer experience delivered is seamless, meaningful, and of actual value.

Customer Experience (CX) in the Digital Age

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience has grown to become just as, if not more important, as a brand’s product or service.

In fact, according to a recent survey of 1920 business professionals, “CX or customer experience beats product & pricing, as their number one priority”

Customer experience in healthcare is defined by the customer’s perception of their online and offline experience with the healthcare product, service, or brand. This encompasses every stage of the customer journey, right from the point of brand discovery.

The digital age calls for the need of connecting with your patients or customers across their journey with your brand and understanding their pain points & needs.

What’s changing in Healthcare Sales?

As a result of changing customer expectations, 60% of a customer’s journey stands completed before the first interaction with your sales rep.

The healthcare industry is evolving quickly from the traditional product-focused approach to a more customer-centric approach towards sales and marketing. Trending technologies and marketing automation in healthcare can now help brands reach their customer during the first half of his customer journey, increasing the chances of making a sale, as well as cater to their post sale needs, for an overall improved customer experience.

3 Steps of Evolution in Customer Experience (CX)

There is a 3-step guide when it comes to evolving the customer experience of your healthcare brand from mere touchpoints to a meaningful customer journey! Although these steps are independent of the use of any technology, new innovations are making these steps easier as well as amplifying their scope & effectiveness.

Step 1 – Listen & Observe

Listen and observe carefully! What are your customers receiving? What is their reaction? What do they need? Understand your customer’s journey and identify what really matters to them and what step to bring a change in their life or add value for them.

Your customer may or may not remember your product or price, but they will always remember how you made them feel!

Step 2 – Reshape & Redesign

Reshape and redesign your customer approach & interaction to fit your customer’s expectations. Design an engagement flow that will redefine and amplify your brand value.
This can certainly be a time consuming process, but it would be an understatement to say that this step is important. Without a thought out customer approach, all your other efforts could prove futile.

Step 3 – Deliver

Transitioning towards improved customer experience is a change that needs to take effect throughout the funnel, diligently and seamlessly. Once you have planned & strategized, it all comes down to this step – delivering an exceptional customer experience all through the customer journey!

Why Go Digital for Customer Experience (CX) in Healthcare?

5% of all Google searches are related to health issues. Digital search drives three times more traffic to a healthcare website as compared to a non-digital search. Extensive research on a digital channel is usually the first step customers today take before scheduling an actual appointment.
The extensive digital research includes looking up online reviews left by other customers and relying strongly on them before making a decision towards or away from a healthcare brand.
After this point, the onus is on the healthcare brand to deliver a customer experience that goes way beyond their product, service, or price! The customer experience they deliver after this point, will have the power to multiply the brand’s customer retention rate instantly.

    Healthcare CX is now going beyond offline interaction with your customer, delivering an experience that is more responsive and efficient.

The Present & Future of Customer Experience (CX) in Healthcare

  1. Increased CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
  2. Improved customer loyalty and customer retention
  3. Improved customer satisfaction, reviews, recommendations, word of mouth marketing, and brand reputation
  4. Improved competitive edge
    Fun Fact! According to a study, 72% of customers share a positive experience with 6 or more people. 13% of customers who have a negative experience will share with 15 or more people. Interestingly, absence of a negative review is not a sign of a positive experience!

Digital innovations and technologies need to be used to listen to your customers in the healthcare industry. Delivering an empathetic customer experience by gaining understanding of their expectations, needs, and preferences is the key!

Hyper personalization through advanced technologies can increase customer loyalty and generate higher revenue.

Tools

Digital technology is the most vital tool healthcare businesses can depend on to amplify their customer experience. This is a space that delivers care beyond the traditional clinical environment. New digital channels including websites & apps, social media, video games, and metaverse now have the capability to yield higher sales, better revenue, and improved brand value. Adoption of these technologies and tools are the only way healthcare businesses can set themselves apart in an otherwise crowded market.

Master the Omnichannel Approach

Healthcare brands need to put efforts towards creating a hybrid experience for their customers, combining the physical and the digital worlds. For instance, a patient schedules a video consultation with a doctor of their choice. Post this they book diagnostic tests which have a test kit delivered to their doorstep. Once they have their diagnostic reports sent to them virtually, they see their doctor in-person for their treatment & care plan.
Brands need to create a patient experience through multiple touchpoints in a seamless and engaging way.

Account Experience Platform

For creating an improved and a more personalized customer experience model, you can collect and assess the feedback you receive through an Account Experience Platform.
An Account Experience Platform takes your Customer Experience (CX) and calculates a near-precise revenue for every NPS point.

In short, a platform like this is equipped to give you a monetary value of your CX, which enables you to understand the cost of every negative experience you deliver and the profit you make with every successful customer experience. An account experience platform ensures your Customer Experience model is not just based on research, but is backed by numbers & actionable insights.

Areas of Constant Improvement in Healthcare Customer Experience

The latest technologies and innovations have brought about an evolution in customer expectations, leading to a dire need of consistently going above & beyond when it comes to delivering efficacy and efficiency in customer service. Delivering top-notch and innovative customer experience through the healthcare funnel can not only be easier but also more effective with the new technologies.

Seamless Experience

Improved patient interactions on multiple touchpoints, right from selecting a healthcare provider to scheduling an appointment, and beyond, with the help of innovative customer experience tools & technologies.

This is where focus on your customer’s digital experience on mobile devices comes in. According to a study, 50% of customers stop visiting a poorly-designed mobile website even when they like the brand.

A positive digital experience is imperative for a successful customer experience. Healthcare brands should outsource the job of developing a high-performing healthcare mobile website or app to a professional who not only understands technology, but also understands the intricacies of the healthcare industry.

Hyper Personalization

Hyper personalization is what is expected out of healthcare businesses in today’s day and age. Personalization is expected to the extent where your technology can predict potential health risks and deliver real-time remote assistance to customers. Healthcare businesses that can cater to these expectations have higher customer loyalty.

Personalization of every little aspect of your customer’s healthcare journey can lead to better customer loyalty and improve customer acquisition rate. Symptom and vitals tracking can get patients right medical assistance, and at the right time.

  1. Keeping track of a patient’s health risks, allergies, etc and providing care based on this data can predict future health risks, recommend necessary diagnostic tests, and so on.
  2. Personalized DNA analysis can identify a patient’s hereditary conditions and provide health advice based on that analysis

Improved Transparency

Trust is a very important element when it comes to healthcare. Customers expect complete transparency from healthcare brands and healthcare providers. Upfront communication that is easy to understand is pertinent to maintain a healthy customer-brand relationship. This empowers customers to make well-informed decisions, improves customer retention, and can increase the referral rate.

Be Tech Forward

Empathy alone cannot drive a healthcare business towards success. It is important to keep your operations running efficiently and delivering to meet your customer’s expectations & more, with the latest technology. Keeping up with innovative trends and technologies can give your brand a competitive edge, generate more business, improve customer engagement, and result in higher retention.

Remote Consultation & Assistance

Majority patients today lean towards virtual consultation and medical assistance rather than a walk-in appointment. Healthcare assistance in real time through voice or video chat is the bare minimum that healthcare businesses need to deliver today.

Healthcare customer experience extends to before and even after their consultations. There may be multiple interactions with the healthcare facility, in which case, remote engagement can maximize the customer experience and satisfaction rate, like with personalized and live text/voice/video consultations.

  1. Patients can engage with a healthcare provider of their choice, anytime and anywhere
  2. Face to face interactions elevate customer trust and improves retention
  3. Improves the overall patient journey and elevates their treatment outcome by improving the chances of staying on prompt and on-schedule with their consultations due to the convenience of remote assistance

Final words on “Improving Sales in Healthcare”

Delivering high quality customer experience and meeting your customer expectations is the lifeline of a healthcare business. Real-time data collection & analysis combined with innovative technologies can help create a well-rounded and fulfilling experience for your customers.

The new age customers expect and accept nothing less than a premium quality customer experience from a healthcare brand and business.

Manish Tahiliani
A multi-dimensional, revolutionising leader with a pragmatic approach & a keen appetite for challenging opportunities. Excellent conceptual and analytical skills, ability to lead cross functional multi-geography teams and achieve great business results across varied categories & challenges. I've created everything from digital strategies for Fortune 500 Technology companies to experiential strategies stimulating tremendous business growth. Currently in relationship with powerful B2B sales and marketing teams, setting up and deploying AARRR processes with conviction, positive mindset.

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