The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a sea change in every industry – but perhaps none more dramatically than healthcare. As the pandemic surged, patients began turning toward digital solutions like telemedicine and apps. Modern consumers expect a seamless, convenient experience. Prioritizing the healthcare customer experience has become paramount. A December 2020 study published by the Harvard Business Review found that “improving customer experience” was the top priority in the healthcare industry. Health care executives ranked it above lowering costs and increasing revenues. So, how do healthcare organizations tackle the new challenge of a hyper-personalized, high-quality, digitally connected patient experience? In this article, we’ll explore the role of customer experience management in healthcare. We’ll also look at leading trends in healthcare services and explore eight tips for how to improve the healthcare customer experience.
What is Customer Experience Management in Healthcare, and Why is it so Important?Customer experience in healthcare involves everything from appointment setting to filling out forms, interacting with healthcare workers, and paying bills. Customer experience management in healthcare can often be a matter of life and death. Long wait times or dropped calls can mean someone in an emergency doesn’t get help. Patient care is customer care. Does your patient feel safe? Do they have access to the information they need? Do they know they can trust your organization? All of these questions are key to the patient’s health and your business’s success.
What are the Leading Trends for Customer Experience in Healthcare?Customer service in the healthcare sector is changing dramatically. Healthcare companies and public health groups have more data than ever before. But they will fall behind unless they can leverage it to deliver a better customer experience (CX). Trends in healthcare CX involve data-driven innovation. Let’s explore a few leading trends identified by Harvard Business Review Analytical Services, titled “The Customer Experience in Health Care: New Journeys Ahead.”
Predictive TechnologyWith access to more and more patient data, healthcare companies can be proactive about patient care. Patients expect convenience and curation. By using data to predict needs, companies can deliver that curated experiences. Modern predictive technology can help define and incorporate “social determinants of health, personal communication preferences, behavioral data, and more.”
PersonalizationIn every industry, excellent customer service should involve hyper-personalization. Especially in healthcare, you feel safe when you feel known. We all have probably been to a doctor’s office and felt like the doctor didn’t know enough about our health journey. It’s not a good feeling! Data-driven CX solutions give healthcare partners a 360-degree view of their patients and members, driving better personalization and customer satisfaction.
“Care Anywhere”The future of healthcare is decentralized. With the rise of telemedicine, chatbots, and virtual appointments, customers can now receive needed care from the comfort of their own homes. Healthcare organizations must prioritize convenient “care anywhere” models to stay competitive.
The Customer in the Driver’s SeatCustomers want and expect to have control of their data, have greater visibility into costs and payments, and more. Other industries offer this high level of customer empowerment, and patients want it in their healthcare experience.
8 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in HealthcareThe trends in healthcare reflect the trends in the market at large – but they are so much more critical in health. Customer experience (CX) in healthcare drives quality of life like almost no other industry. These are no small goals! But what can companies start today to get ahead of the competition and serve customers better in the next decade? Here are the top 8 ways your healthcare organization can improve customer experience.
1. Establish TrustAgain, trust is more important in healthcare than in any other sector. Patients need to feel safe to take doctor’s advice, keep appointments, and ensure their long-term health. From the first impression, customers need to know you will take care of them. Healthcare companies should prioritize empathy, communication, and transparency in their interaction with patients and members. Establishing trust means personalizing the customer journey. It means communicating costs upfront. It means training employees to exhibit excellent customer service. If you outsource your customer experience management, it means finding a partner that speaks your language, uses the best technology and focuses on customer happiness first.
2. Adopt New TechnologyWe all know that innovative technology is key to any company’s strategy. In healthcare, technology transforms outdated systems and gives customers more control over their experience. To stay competitive, it’s time to explore the following technologies:
- Chatbots are ideal for scheduling appointments, sending reminders, and dealing with low-level customer needs. The use of chat technology can deliver instant customer service without burdening your staff.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): With machine learning, your employees can more easily assign the correct information to the right patient, set up appointments, predict patient needs, and more.
- Virtual Reality (VR): While the personal touch is still paramount in healthcare, some innovative companies are adopting VR technology to facilitate telemedicine, scheduling, and more. Patients can receive treatment in a more mobile setting with VR.
- Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things has connected our entire world and can help healthcare providers connect better with their customers. IoT-enabled devices like smartwatches and wearable tech can give key data insights and help streamline customer care.