In most industries, it is an obvious cliché that consumer focus is critical. But within healthcare, this remains an emerging concept. The complexity of the services, payment structures, and even emotions involved in healthcare make “consumer-centric” an excellent but hard-to-achieve aspiration.
So what does it mean to be consumer-centric in healthcare and how can organizations find ways to anticipate true consumer needs and disrupt the market? The approach encourages us to think of a consumer’s path through the healthcare system as a series of personal motivations or “jobs to be done.” This is in stark contrast to viewing the consumer’s healthcare path as merely a series of services and activities. The system providing a service that was developed and delivered with the service in mind, not the end result, or “job”.
Competition is fierce in retail. To continuously provide value and build loyalty one consumer at a time, retailers slice and dice staggering volumes of data to derive real-time insights. In turn they develop 1:1 marketing to give consumers what they want and build 360-degree views of their suppliers to maximize efficiency, all to provide a better consumer experience.
Developing a truly consumer-centric healthcare experience starts with the basic notion that patients and members are consumers first.Here are four steps healthcare leaders can take to help tackle consumer’s most pressing jobs to be done and become truly consumer-centric.
- Comprehensive Information — Patients need to answer their burning questions about symptoms, treatments, adverse reactions, records and even appointments now when they want to know. And don’t forget pictures – would you shop online with no pictures? Being able to access medical images and other information, through apps or a web portal, is crucial for patient engagement.
- Precision search and recall — If people are searching, they want the most relevant answers. Being ill or taking care of someone who is ill is extremely stressful. It takes very little frustration to send your potential customer looking elsewhere Search that provides no results, too many results, or irrelevant results is a business disaster.
- Privacy — Patients fill out HIPAA forms at every doctor visit and care about the security of their personal information, so it’s imperative that your database be locked down and secure. It’s very hard to win back trust.
- Reliability — How many times have you gone on Google or Facebook and found it down? Probably never. If you build an awesome patient portal, they will want to come, so make sure it’s built on a reliable enterprise platform that scales and is resilient.
Even small efforts based on improving customer experiences and participation can make a big difference in changing the way your company interacts with healthcare consumers.