For a long time, users have followed a primarily reactive model for healthcare. It goes like this: we feel unwell, we visit a doctor, receive the treatment we need and, after we feel better, we disengage entirely from our healthcare until we feel ill again. Rinse and repeat.
By applying the fundamentals of customer experience in healthcare, specialists are trying to break this cycle and instead transition into a more preventive and proactive model, where people are surrounded by a healthcare ecosystem of physical and digital touchpoints that give medics a 360-degree view of each patient.
How to build continuous engagement through personalized healthcare.
If we want to move away from reactive healthcare, the healthcare system must be set up around individuals so that healthcare is not something sporadically used but rather a daily ongoing process. Its major elements are:
- Nutrition, home health, and mindfulness.
- Telemedicine, medical advice, and physician appointments.
- Post-acute care.
- Behavioral health.
By intertwining these elements through digital and in-person touchpoints, healthcare companies can create a customer journey with continuous engagement. But the question remains: How can healthcare brands bring personalized healthcare experiences through CXM? Our experts explore this below.
5 key factors to improve customer experience in healthcare.
- Access to data: Innovative methods to bring data together are a must to access healthcare data spread among payers, healthcare providers, and patients/consumers. Of course, access, consent and responsible use of this data are also necessary.
- Personalization at scale: Once data is in place, custom plans based on personal health data should be created to cater to individual needs. You could provide personalized communication streams based on specific conditions, like newsletters with healthy recommendations or discounts on beneficial services like a gym membership, or even target prevention campaigns for customers who missed their yearly checkups.
- Identify the proper communication channels: Customers can engage in healthcare through multiple online and offline touchpoints since customer journeys are not linear. Identifying their preferred channel and contacting them through it at a frequency customers deem appropriate is the way forward.
- Gathering feedback: Rounding up user feedback helps identify and solve problems customers might be going through. Doing this regularly improves customer satisfaction.
- Build close-knit relationships: Regular communication is key to a lasting relationship, especially with newly-enrolled healthcare customers. Thank them for joining the plan, confirm they received all the materials they need to understand their membership terms, and clear up doubts. In short, stay in contact and make them feel you value your relationship.
The leading brand Walgreens is an example of some of these key factors of personalized healthcare in action. Adobe mentions that every moment counts:
"Walgreens uses customer analytics and outreach tools to understand better and assist customers. They have access to the data in real-time and can put it into play at just the right moment, whether it's 24/7 live pharmacist chat, tailored wellness tips for loyalty program members, or recommendations for nearby health services through their Find Care digital platform".
Available options to start delivering personalized healthcare experiences in real time.
With consumers expecting a personalized digital experience in all aspects of their lives, it's no surprise that healthcare would be next. However, a personalized approach that leads to more holistic experiences with better outcomes and more transparent pricing would require a considerable shift in strategy from payers and providers. Put simply, improving customer experience in healthcare takes time, resources and effort. At the same time, according to John Nash (CMO at Redpoint Global) for brands to accomplish this successfully, they must have:
"A deep understanding of each individual's unique needs offers highly relevant communications via preferred channels and generally removes friction from interactions —both digitally and in-person".
In other words, data is still king —despite the healthcare system being very different from retail and other industries more associated with the personalization model. And the two major issues getting in the way of health-related data collection are actually collecting this information and then breaking down the organizational data silos that would prevent it from being readily available to all departments.
The collection of data will be more difficult by the continuous segmentation of internet data and privacy concerns related to HIPAA compliance. At the same time, data silos will be a matter of managing the internal structures at play within each brand in order to bring personalized healthcare experiences to users and clients.
Read more about: How can CX teams leverage first-party data in a cookie-less world?
Mateusz Krempa, Chief Revenue Office at Piwik PRO, believes that data collection and technological changes will lead to more opportunities for healthcare organizations and to a more efficient industry:
"[Personalized healthcare] will increase the competition, and in the end, we as consumers will be much happier with that because increased competition means lower prices and better customer service."
To cater to the rising demand for personalized healthcare experiences, Adobe announced that the Adobe Experience Cloud for Healthcare platform would be expanding its digital transformation capabilities to the patient experience. Recognizing the importance of patient data platforms early on, Adobe developed the only end-to-end solution for managing, understanding and leveraging healthcare consumer data.
The healthcare industry is effectively catching up to the model that experience-driven brands have been building for years now. Indeed, customer experience in healthcare has started to become the front and centre of healthcare brands' strategy. In fact, Vineet Mehra, Global CMO at Walgreens Boots Alliance says:
"Health is the most personal thing in the world. And if there's one category that needs to be personalized, human, and customized to each and every one of our customers and patients, it's got to be healthcare."
The transition challenges.
Now, applying the same principles as retailers also means healthcare brands must play by the same rules, so any healthcare customer data platform will have to meet HIPAA and CCPA/GDPR requirements and quickly adapt to new legislations as they come up. Taking all these factors into account, the future of consumer-driven healthcare projects will be about much more than providing the best treatment options —it will be about making sure consumers' needs are met inside and outside health centers.
As personalized healthcare acts as the motor for changes in the industry, it is a perfect time for brands to wonder about and learn how to improve customer experience in healthcare. If you're ready to invest in a tool that will allow you to personalize and boost user engagement, don't hesitate to reach out to our experts. At Conexio, we use technology and strategy to design unforgettable experiences for your customers, clients, and patients.