Captive Customers: Do Your Patients Visit Your Website Because They Want To or Because They Have To?

July 7, 2016

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

“Every single touchpoint you have in healthcare, we should have the same consistent experience,” says Chantal Stephens of Orlando Health, formerly of Ritz-Carlton and Disney, two organizations renowned for exceptional customer service (eHST, January 2016). The implied word in this sentence is “positive”—a consistent positive experience. When any aspect of a customer’s experience with an organization is negative, the entire relationship suffers, particularly when the customer has no other choice but to transact business with you.

One Bad Apple

Hospitals and health systems are spending hundred of thousands, or even millions, of dollars to give consumers an easy-to-navigate, personalized, content-rich experience on their websites. But frequently, a negative experience with something as basic as paying a bill or scheduling an appointment online can color the entire consumer perception of the health system’s brand. These are situations where consumers have to interact with your website, but because of their bad experience, they don’t necessarily want to.

Are your website visitors captive customers? When an organization fails to meet customer expectations—and the bar has been set high by industries outside of healthcare—the impact on brand can be great. Here, we’ll look at consumers’ top gripes when it comes to hospital websites, based on new research from Greystone.Net. We’ll share the potential consequences of not adequately addressing issues, and see an example of an organization that is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to service recovery.


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