Putting Customer Experience First: Standing Out from the Crowd

September 1, 2020

woman wearing a medical mask looking at a phone

Coronavirus has changed the world and how we think about healthcare, forcing a radical rethink of what customer experience means in a rapidly changing – and increasingly digital – landscape. 

It has never been easy for healthcare companies to deliver the customer-centric experience that people desire – and today, demand. The journey is fragmented, with an array of touchpoints and parties that are often siloed from each other by stringent regulations and legacy IT systems and processes. But now, more than ever, the transition from patient experience to customer experience has to be a top priority for the healthcare industry.

Healthcare disrupted

Patient-consumers today place a high value on great customer service, trustworthiness and reputation. But they don’t always find these attributes readily available when it comes to healthcare. In Edelman’s Spring update to its Trust Barometer 2020: Global Health Report, only 47% of respondents said that healthcare firms were ensuring that the products and services that people need most are readily available and easily accessible.

It’s a challenge that can be found across key Healthcare sub sectors, including Health Insurance where low levels of customer experience and trust risk customer retention. 

This perceived lack of accessibility and customer service is paving the way for disruptors like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to take their first steps into an increasingly competitive healthcare landscape – one that has become more digitized, virtual and remote by necessity. Organizations like these, which are already seen as digitally customer-focused, have a competitive edge against Healthcare incumbents, whose ability to deliver customer-centric services across multiple channels is in question.

As consumers take charge of their health and embrace these new disruptive technologies, traditional customer experience models are starting to evolve. Many health insurers have adjusted policies to include telehealth visits and waive additional fees, demonstrating their ability to quickly adapt and encompass new technologies and procedures. 

We’re also seeing an accelerating adoption of telemedicine services, using technological advances to power the delivery of health services remotely, tying together services through electronic medical records and helping healthcare along the road to a seamless, rewarding customer experience.

An increasing shift towards value-based care is also putting pressure on pharma brands to help healthcare practitioners prove patient outcomes. They are responding by harnessing technology-driven data and metrics, gathered through developments in wearable tech, electronic health records and even genome sequencing, to strengthen care recommendations.

Customer-centricity is the market differentiator

Brands that can demonstrate that they have put technology and ease of access front and center will stand out from the crowd. For healthcare marketers, there is an enormous opportunity to differentiate by showing that you have put the customer at the heart of the experience. Marketers must show how they have embraced key innovations, such as simplifying registration, insurance applications or the diagnostic and care process, and giving access to actionable insights for patient-consumers.

Edelman’s earlier Trust Barometer on Health in January 2020 found that health innovations were seen as positive for personal wellbeing (58%) and personal safety (54%). And 64% of people trust businesses involved in personalized medicines to do what is right, even though 78% of them admitted to knowing very little about these innovations.

Edelman’s report also shows that trust is being built through technological innovations that enable healthcare providers to communicate more effectively. Furthermore, there is an opportunity to cement trust by demonstrating that they are harnessing innovation to respond to the public’s urgent health needs at this time. As a marketer, the best place to showcase that commitment and build trust is by connecting in a place that consumers trust – and LinkedIn is consistently voted the world’s most trusted social network in Business Insider’s Digital Trust Reports. Companies should be open about the challenges that they face, but celebrate the innovative steps they are taking to improve business resilience and customer experience.

A growing opportunity

Engagement is growing on sponsored content in the hospital and healthcare industry on LinkedIn, and telemedicine is a key topic of interest. From early February to late March, the volume of content about telemedicine on LinkedIn spiked by 726% and member engagements with this content grew by a massive 691%. Across subtopics from community care to urgent care, medical sciences to disease prevention and more, LinkedIn members are keenly interested in the future of medicine and how technology-enabled care can improve their experience.

Healthcare firms cannot ignore the opportunity to make audiences aware of the improvements their sector – and their own organizations – are making to understand patient-consumer wants, needs and behaviors and meet their expectations through more connected, engaging and dynamic marketing. 

That opportunity is clear. In the 2018 Global Culture Survey conducted by PwC’s Katzenbach Center, less than half of health providers and health insurance respondents selected consumer-centricity as one of their top three strengths. Those who can demonstrate that commitment today will create more loyal customers, improve care outcomes, and reduce costs.

Visit the Healthcare Hub today to advance your marketing strategy and find out how LinkedIn can support the goal of the healthcare industry to build purposeful communities, improve CX, and drive ROI with LInkedIn solutions. 

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