Ask yourself: If I had a medical emergency and I could go to any hospital, where would I want to go? Do you have an answer? If so, it’s probably based on the proximity and how fast you could get that hospital. In this instance, your past experiences probably don’t come into the picture.
But what about those times when the encounter is not rushed, and you are seeking a preventative visit, a wellness service, or even a second opinion? What factors go into making that decision? In this scenario, people are becoming more selective when it comes to spending time and resources to patronize a healthcare provider. They read reviews, check social media posts, ask friends and family, and perform countless online searches. And that’s just for the first appointment.
Brand loyalty is something for which every healthcare system should be striving, but focusing only on patient loyalty and not including the customer experience is a limiting factor. Healthcare systems should want to be top of mind over all other organizations and the first choice in their potential patients’ minds. This concept is a proven key success factor for any business, and healthcare organizations are not exempt. When developing a strategy to establish and build brand loyalty, healthcare systems first need to consider the total user experience from both the patient and customer perspectives:
- A value-based patient experience that offers the highest quality of care
- A hassle-free customer experience that provides the right tools and processes at the right time
So how can healthcare providers develop loyal customers and be consistently top of mind at all times? An important consideration is to understand how they engage with patients differently along their healthcare journeys. A person’s healthcare needs exist on a spectrum of reactive and proactive states, and the associated healthcare provider engagement varies.