Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in terms of both revenue and employment.
And as with any growth, comes competition.
It is one of the most competitive sectors in the market.
Improving customer experience in healthcare has become a ‘must do’ for any organization to remain competitive in the industry.
In this sector, positive customer experience directly drives customer loyalty and sales.
Improving customer experience in healthcare was never a priority within the industry.
Old tech and systems with long outdated processes fueled negative customer experiences in healthcare.
There is a myriad of reasons for the negative customer experiences in healthcare. Bad administration, obsolete tech, and processes, untrained employees, the list go on.
Having said that, advancements in technology are making the sector sit up and take notice in improving customer experience in healthcare.
Like in any industry, customer experience is an integral part of doing business. This is especially true for the healthcare industry.
A positive customer experience may not only be just a satisfied customer but it can also mean a vastly improved quality of life for that person.
Image source: www.qminder.com
If you’ve been thinking of upgrading and improving customer experience in healthcare for your organization, here are 13 best practices that can have a positive impact on your customer experience in healthcare.
13 best practices for improving customer experience in healthcare
1. Make a positive first impression
Most people generally feel anxious while visiting a healthcare facility.
Your first-line employees should be able to assuage those fears and anxieties. Train them to put people at ease through small talk, by being polite, and by showing empathy.
This little bit of human interaction can go a long way in improving the customer experience in healthcare.
2. Upgrade/automate your form filling system
Instead of filling the same patient form multiple times, use tablets or other digital devices to fill them.
Once filled, the form can be made accessible to the doctor or any other healthcare worker who needs to access it.
This saves time, money, and paper and contributes toward a positive customer experience in healthcare.
3. Improve communication/use of chatbots
Healthcare environments can be full of stress for both the customer and employee.
Appointments can overflow creating disruptions in schedules. It is during these times that your employees should communicate with the customers and make them understand that their concerns are being looked after.
Sympathizing their questions and concerns will have a positive impact on customer experience in healthcare.
Using chatbots to schedule appointments, give reminders, and perform other repetitive tasks can help you free up manpower and resources which will help with your employees’ welfare and create a more streamlined customer experience in healthcare.
4. Employee training
As mentioned earlier, trained and skilled employees are an integral part of any organization for improving customer experience in healthcare.
Your customer experience in healthcare depends on the quality of interactions between your employees and customers.
Therefore, conducting training for your employees on not just technical subjects but also people skills should be a priority for you.
5. Improve complaint resolution
A complaint in a healthcare setting can have a more urgent context than in any other industry.
Customers can become frustrated and anxious waiting for their complaints to be resolved.
Faster complaint resolution leads to a positive customer experience in healthcare settings.
People with positive customer experience in healthcare tend to stay loyal to the company.
The opposite will also hold true where even one negative customer experience could be enough to drive away a customer forever.
Try to create systems that support telemedicine to improve the healthcare customer experience for your organization.
Give your customers the option of communicating with their healthcare providers without being physically present at the facility.
This is a truly customer-centric service that will also benefit your employees by taking some of the load off them.
7. Improve/update/upgrade your digital experience
Set up systems that utilize technology to make your employees’ jobs easier and boost positive customer experience in healthcare for your organization.
- Integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) into your healthcare system serves to really connect your healthcare providers with your customers.
This is another value-based service to enhance your company’s customer experience in healthcare.
Using devices connected to the IoT like fitness bands and smartwatches allow healthcare providers to better track their patients and communicate with them on a more regular basis.
- Another value-based service that can have a meaningful impact on your customer experience in healthcare is virtual reality (VR).
VR programs and glasses cannot replace in-person consultations but can serve as a supplemental treatment strategy.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another modern-day approach to creating a positive customer experience in healthcare for your organization.
AI can help your company with scheduling, billing, and logistics saving both you and the customer time and money.
It can help your employees schedule the right staff for the right patient which will translate into a happy and loyal customer.
- By utilizing virtual networks a customer can be provided service by multiple healthcare providers at different locations.
Customer data can be uploaded into the network which can then be shared by the customer with other healthcare professionals at various other locations.
Integrating all of these modern digital value-based services will only enhance the level of care provided to your customers leading to an overall positive customer experience in healthcare.
8. Leverage data to tweak your customer experience
The healthcare sector has a vast amount of data being generated but that data is used in a non-constructive way.
Analyzing the data generated by your company statistically instead of individually will allow you to identify gaps and come up with solutions.
By using analytics and omnichannel platforms you’ll be able to interpret that data to see the bigger picture with which you’ll be able to improve the healthcare customer experience for your organization.
9. Environmental control
Healthcare settings are notorious for harsh clinical lights and blasting air-conditioning. Giving your customers control over these environments through the use of smart gadgets and tablets is one way to improve healthcare customer experience.
10. Drive customer engagement
Improve healthcare customer experience by actively engaging with your customers. Interact with them through social media or emails enquiring about them. Monitor your customers and their experiences through surveys and questionnaires.
Customers should never be surprised by unexpected bills or communications. Be transparent as possible from the beginning when it comes to patient care.
Your employees involved in the day-to-day activities of your organization and your customers can be your most valuable source of information.
Creating user-friendly feedback processes for your employees and your customers will ensure that you get a constant stream of useful data.
All this information will help you to plan for the future and to improve the healthcare customer experience of your organization
13. Be human
The goal of any service industry should be to make the customers happy. This takes on more meaning in the healthcare industry.
A happy customer is a healthier person, both mentally and physically.
Even though we talked about automation and digitization this is still an industry dependent on human social interactions.
A smiling and polite employee will take your organization to the next level when it comes to improving customer experience in healthcare.
Image source: technology-signals.com
Once upon a time, not so long ago, the healthcare industry had a reputation for being one of the worst when it came to customer experience.
They didn’t understand the benefits of a customer-centric approach.
With the latest innovations in healthcare, customer expectations have gone up, especially among the younger generation.
Lack of positive customer experience and a very competitive market has led to an increase in customer churn in the industry.
Here are two simple steps to turn your patients into loyal customers
1. Seamless experience
Create a seamless end-to-end experience for your patients. Design various customer-friendly touchpoints throughout the whole experience while transitioning from one stage to another.
A touchpoint between scheduling an appointment and choosing a healthcare professional is a positive example of improving customer experience in healthcare.
Personal care is not a new concept in healthcare but with the latest advancements in technology, it can be taken to the next level.
Using IoT’s like smartwatches and other remote sensors, you can provide personalized predictive health risks or even 24/7 remote live assistance.
These simple two steps can definitely lead to an enhanced customer experience in healthcare where a patient will walk in and a loyal customer will be walking out of your facility.
Customer experience expectations in healthcare
How customers perceive your organization, your health systems, and your offline and online services can lead to a ‘make or break’ scenario for your organization.
Customers in a healthcare setting crave customer-focussed services. Prioritizing your organization to keep the customer at the core of operations (pun intended) with a focus on customer data, customer-centric processes, and customer-friendly employees is exactly what your customers will be looking for when they want to experience a positive customer experience in healthcare.
The healthcare industry needs to focus not just on delivering world-class treatment but must also deliver positive customer experiences to generate customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Achieving this goal will automatically lead to increased revenues.
Kapture can help you with your customer experience by designing and integrating necessary modules and processes for positive customer interactions into your system.
Click here to know more.
About the Author
|Elvis Richard Cormuz|
|Elvis hails from Darjeeling and has had vibrant work life experiences – a musician, social worker and freelance translator/transcriber, his hobbies include music, movies and reading.|