Many of the issues you face with patient experience may be solved with the same best-in-class customer experience (CX) principles used by the world’s most successful brands.

Guest speaker Faith Adams, Senior Analyst from Forrester, discusses this in more detail in our recent webinar on modernizing the patient experience. Below are her 3 answers to common patient experience problems…

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Problem 1: We urgently need to take a more modern approach to our patient experience. But how do we sell it into the C-suite?

ANSWER: Executive engagement can be tough to come by, but it’s critical for long-term success. Best-in-class programs create engagement — leverage these to help get others on board and then sustain the executive engagement in the long term.

Foundational voice-of-the-customer (VoC) programs focus on “crawling”, and once you start to “walk” that executive/leader engagement is critical.

A lot of people talk about “listen, interpret, act”… and forget the “monitor” piece, too. Focus on the quick fixes and low-hanging fruit, and aim to show the value of the efforts. But also show what is at risk by not doing something.

“Show a faster closed loop. When this happens, customers feel like their voice matters.”

Some ways to think about showing the value:

  • Use a simple ROI calculation. This can include:
    • Increased customer retention.
    • Higher cross-sell and upsell potential.
    • Greater customer acquisition.
    • Decreased cost to serve.
  • Show a faster-closed loop. When this happens, customers feel like their voice matters. While this can be hard to quantify, you can track broadly to see if these customers do or do not churn. If they buy more, then you can begin to identify the impact that it has on the relationship with the customer.
  • Improve employee engagement and retention. Investing in customer experience (CX) means improving policies and procedures — and can help improve the employee experience. For example, one large communications firm embraced both the voice of the employee (VoE) and VoC and, as a result, saw its employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) go up 60 points in one location. Its NPS went up double digits, too, as a result.

Problem 2: Our leadership is focused too much on the metrics and not enough on the ‘why’ behind them. How can I shift this?

ANSWER: Leverage storytelling to help leadership understand a more comprehensive story — one that goes beyond the metrics. A comprehensive measurement framework allows you to tell the story of what happened to the customer, how they perceived it, and what they did as a result of it. The metrics become a supporting factor to the story of the customer’s experience.

“Positive stories create engagement and help establish a connection to the customer. Negative stories establish areas for action.”

In addition to this, more organizations are embracing approaches to capture unstructured and unsolicited feedback. Using this information directly from contact center calls, chats, ratings and reviews, social, and more can help with buy-in and show the “real” voice of the customer.

It is hard to debate direct client feedback within a story. Use images and video feedback (going beyond the raw open-text feedback and social) as a great way of embracing both positive and negative feedback. The positive stories create engagement and help establish a connection to the customer. The negative stories establish areas for action.

Problem 3: We have a problem with clear communication in our organization, what can we do to improve it?

ANSWER: For healthcare organizations, there is a lot at risk by not communicating clearly with your customers and members. How you communicate is synonymous with trust. Communication permeates the entire customer lifecycle.

Forrester’s research explains why it is so important:

  • Customers are three to four times more likely to say they trust brands that communicate clearly.
  • When customers trust a brand, they prefer it to other brands.
  • When companies do not communicate clearly, customers perceive the brand to be deceptive or unethical — as literally trying to cheat them.
  • When customers trust a company, they are twice as likely to forgive it if it makes a mistake.

“How you communicate is synonymous with trust. When companies do not communicate clearly, customers perceive the brand to be deceptive or unethical — as literally trying to cheat them.”

How to embrace clear communication:

  • Utilize tools and services, like the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), or bringing in clear communication consultants.
  • Create internal guides and an internal campaign.
  • Engage a customer communications review board.
  • Use glossaries or other ways to highlight, in simple terms, what cannot be changed.
  • Focus on making the commitment to clear communication and on making plain language visible.

Want to Learn More About CX and the Patient Experience?

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