Alexa, Find Me a Doctor

August 22, 2017

// By Shawn Gross //

Shawn Gross, White RhinoThe robotic yet charming voice of Alexa can help you find a good movie, make a payment on your credit card, get airline fares for a trip to Dublin, or see how many calories are in the banana you’re eating. With an estimated 11 million devices sold, the Amazon Echo is quickly becoming a trend for innovative customer experience (CX). And healthcare is no exception. Mount Sinai is using Alexa to help patients find a doctor. Boston Children’s Hospital is using it to provide fever and medication advice.

So how do you know if an Alexa app—or some other experience—is the right investment? Here’s what we know: Customers who have the best experiences are more loyal—and valuable.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study “The New Science of Customer Emotions“, the most emotionally engaged customers are:

  • At least three times more likely to make recommendations to their friends and family
  • Three times more likely to repurchase
  • Less likely to shop around
  • Much less price sensitive

But what does it really mean to engage a customer emotionally? And which customer experiences are critical for building patient loyalty for your hospital?

Luckily there’s a science to it.

It starts with understanding the role of trust in consumer preference and decision-making. Neuroscience tells us that, within milliseconds of being exposed to a message, our brain’s amygdala determines if it is something we can trust or not. If it triggers negative memories, the amygdala sends out neurotransmitters that actually block the message from reaching the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that drives decision-making. In other words, a distrustful past experience can cloud a person’s future decisions and behavior—such as selecting a hospital or adhering to a doctor’s recommended treatment.

Neuroscience further reveals how the brain evaluates memories to determine trust. There are three factors in particular that we see in the most effective customer experiences today.

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