Patients as consumers are changing the health care industry

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Investing in customer experience strategies can improve customer satisfaction, raise employee retention and save companies money in the long term. Private practices that do not maintain digital prowess will have unhappy patients and unhappy employees.

Adobe Stock/ Deemerwha studio

Adobe Stock/ Deemerwha studio

Digital innovations such as the Internet of Medical Things and artificial intelligence (AI) have given the health care industry a new set of value tools to attract and retain customers. Although information on these technologies is readily available, only 44% of businesses plan to implement customer experience strategies in 2023, according to a SuperOffice survey. The other half of companies are missing out on an opportunity to grow.

Businesses that prioritize customer experience can boost revenue. Investing in customer experience (CX) strategies can improve customer satisfaction, raise employee retention and save companies money in the long term. Private practices that do not maintain digital prowess will have unhappy patients and unhappy employees.

The consumer mandate

Customer experience is not a trend, it is a demand. Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to companies prioritizing their convenience and experience, which leads them to have increasingly high expectations for their health care providers. According to Hubspot, more than 90% of customer service teams say customers have higher expectations than ever before, and a medical practitioner’s digital prowess is now also a reflection of their medical expertise and business awareness.

Brands that prioritize customer experiences will more than likely be able to retain their customers. Investing in a strong, individualized internet technology (IT) infrastructure can help them do this. IT management tools can assist businesses in achieving growth by integrating technology with brand philosophy and user experience. Eighty-four percent of companies that improved their customer experience saw an uptick in revenue, and 79% of those companies achieved cost savings.

Your practice’s reputation can move beyond just word of mouth into social media posts and reviews, reaching thousands of friends and followers. A great customer experience will produce growth, and a poor experience can bring losses.

The tech revolution

There are many other technological advancements available to medical practitioners that have the power to make or break a business. Health care providers need to adopt a “digital-health-first” mindset if they want to increase productivity and elevate customer experience.

Technological advancements in health care can drastically improve patient experience, reduce clinician burnout and decrease overall costs, but 74% of companies fail to accomplish legacy system modernization processes, according to research firm Advanced. It’s time to ditch manual appointment books for an intuitive system that decreases wait times, shows available slots and offers updated medical records with the click of a button. Streamlining business processes with automation has the power to save your receptionist time and your company money.

The customer experience

Given the current economic climate, customers will be entering “considered purchases” with more hesitation. Doctors who operate in elected services such as cosmetic surgery or dentistry need to think about how they will merchandise their services to clients. Providing the customer with a positive experience from start to finish is a great way to make sure they keep coming back for more.

The medical industry tends to be more conservative than other consumer-facing practices. Doctors need to prioritize CX in order to compete with other businesses that are ahead of the game. While being aware of the competition, it’s important remember to pay attention to the customers already at your door. Failing to retain existing customers is one of the biggest lost opportunities for growth, affecting 95% of companies today. The majority of next year’s revenue comes from current patients, not the patients who are gained during the growth period.

It’s one thing to use tech and another thing to have the actual medical knowledge to produce great outcomes in an automated fashion. Automation helps improve patient outcomes.

Paul Vigario is the founder and CEO of SurfCT.

This article was originally published by our sister publication Medical Economics.

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