Learning to Treat Healthcare Consumers Like Customers
// By Kyra Hagan //
Outside of healthcare, customer experience drives business. Retailers and hospitality providers have realized explosive revenue growth and brand loyalty by deploying best practices in customer engagement. What are those best practices? World-class customer experience requires tightly integrating cross-channel data to bridge digital and in-person encounters. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has fallen behind by not truly treating prospects and patients like customers.
Prospects and patients are indeed customers (or consumers, as is more widely accepted in healthcare). Higher deductibles and co-payments, greater transparency into provider performance and costs, narrow networks, and an increase in provider-led health plans have caused consumers to become more involved in healthcare decision-making.
Newly empowered healthcare consumers bring high expectations and preferences about how and when they desire to engage digitally with a healthcare brand. They research, ask for opinions, read online reviews, educate themselves, and weigh their options, all before making that first phone call. That makes them customers.
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