Empathy: The Key to Creating Meaningful Digital Experiences for Consumers
// By Kyra Hagan //
Gaining an understanding of what drives the choice-making and loyalty of healthcare consumers is complex. What we do know is that consumers’ expectations for healthcare interactions are being shaped by the personalized and convenient experiences they have grown accustomed to in other industries, like retail, hospitality, and banking. As a result, they are demanding more engaging digital experiences, capabilities including personalization and transparency, and convenient self-service options like chatbots, direct scheduling, and virtual visits.
Every Touchpoint Matters
The job isn’t over when healthcare consumers become patients. Beyond acquisition, the journey is complicated and episodic, and differs greatly from the consumer experience in other industries. The first time a patient encounters an organization — the first phone call, the experience with a provider, how clinical and billing departments behave, the management of the referral, the post-discharge follow-up — it all matters. Therefore, earning loyalty requires a comprehensive approach to smooth out the “lumpiness” of episodes and transitions of care as well as a genuine effort to prove that consumers’ feelings and opinions are valued.
Like their retail counterparts, healthcare organizations must bridge the gap between traditional and digital encounters to improve brand perception and loyalty at every touchpoint. But who should be responsible? Does this responsibility fall squarely on the shoulders of marketers, or should it be the IT department? What role do physicians play in sustained digital engagement?
In our latest article, Kyra Hagan, senior vice president and general manager of marketing & communications at Influence Health, discusses the need to develop digital strategies that matter to consumers, and shares a road map for getting there.