Why You Should Have a Customer Effort Strategy

September 28, 2021

// By Diane S. Hopkins // 

Ease should be part of the definition of an exceptional experience in any business but for those who are ill or injured, making their journey as easy as possible is part of exceptional caring. When you are designing customer solutions, is ease of use your numberone priority?

Healthcare providers are on a constant mission to align the brand (what you tell the world you stand for and offer) with the customer experience (what happens when patients reach out or show up in person, online, or on the phone).

Patient engagement and satisfaction plans are constantly evolving to enhance outcomes, differentiate in the market, and achieve high satisfaction scores. These strategies incorporate some key priorities tied to public comparisons such as:

  • Communication
  • Response time
  • Teamwork
  • Noise
  • Courtesy

Patient experience and operations leaders spend much time and effort on policies, procedures, sentiment analysis, training, and support to improve the odds of reliably high satisfaction — typically with intermittent success. Most organizations have realized how important it is to set impressive goals and hold staff and leaders accountable for delivering exceptional experiences, yet low and mediocre results continue to abound.

The traditional activities across the industry such as rounding, standard communication guides, enhanced customer listening, huddles, and service recovery systems are very common.

One big-picture approach that isn’t as common is managing a comprehensive patient/customer effort strategy. A customer effort strategy is a segment of the overall patient experience strategy where impact to patient or customer effort is taken into consideration before new procedures are approved, and customer effort is constantly reviewed to identify improvements.

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