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What is Consumer Experience in Healthcare?

March 31, 2021 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

Consumer experience in healthcare means how patients perceive your healthcare organization or a health system on their online and offline experiences.

To improve the customer experience in healthcare, we must first understand what healthcare consumer truly needs, and it's often different from what we think. Although the industry's been talking about consumer-driven practices for at least a decade, healthcare is still in the dawn of its consumer era. Hospitals working to provide a satisfactory digital patient experience are stymied by low adoption rates, while payers continue to struggle with the creation of valuable, member-friendly portals.

With the arrival of digital innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), the healthcare industry has a new outlook for customer experience. Such innovations can massively improve the customer experience of healthcare providers, thus can drive to a higher customer satisfaction index and more profits.

Improving Consumer Experience in Healthcare

The Healthcare industry is moving towards value-based care coupled with growing consumerism makes it critical to deliver a retail-like experience that will both retain and attract patients and members. Creating a seamless experience user experience and high-quality service consumers want is often challenging due to disparate data systems. When data operate in silos, it forces users to interact with multiple systems, creating an inefficient, often-frustrating experience.

Areas of improvement in healthcare Customer Experience

In today's competitive market customer experience (CX) is the new driver of decision making. Customer experience has become equally or more important than product and cost when it comes to consumer decisions.

Companies and organizations which are consumer-centric are 60% more profitable.

Let's look at some healthcare industry areas that can be improved by the emerging trends in digital innovations:

  • Smooth Experience

    Flawless end-to-end experience can be presented to patients by improving interactions between the healthcare provider and customers over various touchpoints. Through the transition from choosing healthcare providers or scheduling appointments retention at each stage can be improved multiple folds by employing innovative customer experience platforms. Patients wish for customized experiences. And such hyper-personalized and top-notch patient experience can be given through technologies such as AI, cloud solutions, live-interactions, and big-data.

  • Hyper-personalization

    Personalization is not a new word in the healthcare sector. However, expectations of patients especially millennials and gen Z, have made it difficult for healthcare professionals to cope with hyper-personalization. Personalization in healthcare can now be extended as far as predicting potential health risks and providing round-the-clock remote live-assistance. This has resulted in greater customer loyalty and expanded business profits.

  • Live Engagement and Assistance

    Patients' worsening health and difficulty in transportations have made remote healthcare consultations more desirable. 74% of patients are inclined towards a virtual doctor than a face-to-face appointment according to a report by Cisco. Hence, live healthcare assistance by voice or video chat solutions is the need of the hour for most healthcare businesses.

How are new digital innovations changing customer experience in healthcare?

With the evolution of technology, the options for healthcare customer experiences are endless. Healthcare providers can improve their loyal patient base by meeting their patient's needs with evolving technologies and giving a more comfortable experience to their patients.

Here are some of the advantages of improved consumer experience:

  • Improve the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers.
  • Improve customer loyalty and boost retention rates.
  • Increase reputation through better online reviews, recommendations, and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Maximize customer happiness index more than ever before.
  • Rise as a best-in-class healthcare provider and stay ahead of competitors.

How Live Interaction can improve consumer experience?

Customer experience in healthcare is not just restricted to patients' hospital visits. Healthcare providers can maintain a long-term relationship with patients by providing the best possible customer experience even before and after the hospital visits.

Patients, especially with long-term health illnesses, are required to have many interactions with their physicians. For such cases, innovations such as remote live engagement can maximize customer satisfaction. Normally, patients won't find it easy to travel to hospitals to engage with their doctors for post-appointment follow-ups or post-op care. For such cases, personalized live voice and video chats can raise your customer experience massively.

Live engagement by video call or conferencing is getting popular among leading healthcare specialists especially after the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such live engagement alternatives can increase your customer satisfaction index in different ways:

  • Patients feel happy about engaging with their doctors face to face. This increases the provider-patient trust levels and this leads to increased customer retention rates in the long run.
  • By live interaction, patients can engage with the physicians, which was impossible in the case of hospital visits.
  • Usual objections of patients such as long-distance travel and the time needed to travel to hospitals do not come into play. Hence loyalty of customers increases due to such web consulting arrangements.
  • Post-op or recovery patients have a lot of questions that they feel satisfied only asking their doctors. Tending to patients and answering live queries can lead to a significant improvement in joyous and happy patients.

With the increase in digital innovations, the expectations of patients have also increased with time. And hence, it's time for healthcare providers to embrace innovations that give live web consulting services.

Patient Personalization increases healthcare Customer Experience

Personalized customer experiences in healthcare are not a new concept. But, with advances in digital innovations, hyper-personalization is what can get you far ahead in giving the best possible experience to your patients. Hyper-personalization is when you take the extra step of personalizing every small aspect of your customer's healthcare journey. By providing hyper-personalized customer experiences, you'll generate greater customer loyalty and increased customer acquisition rates as well.

Here are a few ways in which healthcare providers can provide hyper-personalized customer experiences to their patients:

  • Can have 24*7 face-to-face appointments with the physician on demand.Personalized live-chat or video calls rather than automated text messages or emails to portray a feeling of empathy.
  • Customized DNA analysis to recognize hereditary conditions and give personalized health advice based on that.
  • Appointment reminders, personalized appointment scheduling, notifications on offers for better patient experience.

As technologies continue to grow as well as the expectation of patients also grows. Remote patient monitoring, doctor on demand, online consultation, video conferencing in healthcare are now a necessity. Hence, healthcare providers should start combining remote servicing options such as live and video chats to give the utmost personalized and top-notch customer experience possible.

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