John M. McKeever Executive Vice President
John McKeever works with clients to develop market insight to deliver exceptional customer experiences, revitalize their brands, or enter new markets. He has worked with...
Loyalty to traditional brands continues to decrease. Today’s consumers don’t hesitate to switch providers or abandon their first-choice hospital if they find access difficult or have a poor experience. So you MUST include well-designed Voice the Customer gathering practices. VOC is at the core of healthcare consumerism.
The experience provided represents some of the best opportunities to create patient loyalty and motivate patients to share positive stories with others.
While quality of expertise and treatment continually rank at the top when examining patient decision factors, quality is an expected as cost-of-entry and is difficult for patients to assess. Experience-related factors often serve as a proxy that signifies quality. In other words, patients are unable to measure quality of clinical care but they can quantify how long it took them to get an appointment, how long they waited in the office, and the extent to which they felt listened to by their physician. Even if a hospital is first-choice due to reputation for clinical expertise, today’s consumers are quick to abandon it if they find it difficult to access or have a poor experience. It’s no surprise that the patient experience is a strategic imperative among 90% of healthcare executives (based on APQC/Gelb/Beryl benchmarking study).
The ideal experience is delivered through linking brand, culture and operations. Leaders must translate expectations to the organization, assign priorities and reinforce expected behaviors. Delivering an exceptional experience requires a disciplined approach and a deep understanding of customers.
One of the best ways to achieve results is through obtaining in-depth understanding your customers’ experiences by capturing the voice of the customer. Direct and actual customer feedback provides actionable insight. Feedback should capture both functional needs (what is done) and emotional needs (how customers feel about the interactions). Patient feedback is important, but so is that of referring physicians, donors, and employees.
A tool that Endeavor uses frequently is Experience Mapping. This in-depth qualitative research technique uses visual clue (the experience map) to help patients recall each stage of their journey. Compared to a journey map, an experience map is broader in scope and allows for more variation in the journey, this useful for understanding how multiple pieces of the journey fit together and assessing omnichannel touchpoints.
For those who are constrained by budgets, there are also inexpensive tools to meaningfully connect with patients, including:
Regardless of which tool you use, understanding the voice of the customer and integrating it into marketing and operational decisions is critical to meeting the evolving needs of customers.