Many Americans believe healthcare is trailing behind other industries when it comes to customer experiences. According to a West survey of 1036 adults and 317 healthcare professionals in the U.S., approximately one in three patients rate healthcare behind the grocery (30%), travel (30%), entertainment (29%), financial services (29%) and electronics (29%) industries when it comes to delivering consumer experiences. Healthcare needs to determine what these other industries are doing right and learn how to deliver better patient experiences. Looking at the grocery industry provides insights into how healthcare can streamline experiences.
In a head-to-head comparison of 20 different industries, the grocery industry was crowned number one for customer experiences according to the 2018 Temkin Experience ratings. While the grocery and healthcare industries are very different, a comparison reveals two lessons about delivering the types of experiences consumers value.
Lesson #1: Consumers want to save money.
Nearly one in three patients (31%) say they are disappointed that healthcare offers fewer deals, coupons, and discounts than other industries. On the other hand, the grocery industry offers numerous opportunities for consumers to save money by clipping coupons, using loyalty cards or taking advantage of other discounts. Although healthcare organizations may not have traditional sales or deals like the grocery industry, they can help ensure patients are aware of and use no-cost and low-cost services.
Patients are often unaware that they are eligible to receive certain preventive screenings and services without having to meet a deductible or make a copayment. Healthcare teams can send patients automated messages to alert them when they are due for covered preventive services. By doing this, providers can help patients get more value out of healthcare. Sending these communications is simple and can be done using the same technology providers already use to deliver appointment reminders.
Lesson #2: Capturing feedback is critical.
More than one in five patients (22%) believe it is more difficult to provide feedback to healthcare organizations (compared to other companies) when they’re dissatisfied. But feedback is essential for learning what consumers want to make meaningful improvements. Grocery stores use a variety of methods to capture customer feedback. One method is printing survey invitation codes on the bottom of receipts. And employees may encourage consumers to complete surveys, particularly if there is a benefit in doing so. Most grocery stores have a customer service counter, so that customers can easily find someone to speak with if they have an issue or are dissatisfied with their shopping experience.
Healthcare teams can learn from the grocery industry and act to make sure every patient knows how to submit feedback. This is simple for teams that are already sending appointment reminders to patients. The same technology can be used to deliver survey invitation messages to patients following office visits or other healthcare interactions. With automated messages, healthcare teams can reach out to every patient and ask for feedback. Not only does this show patients their opinion is valued, it helps providers gather the insights they need to measure satisfaction and make improvements. When the grocery industry—or any other industry—provide exceptional customer experiences, it puts pressure on healthcare organizations to keep up. To learn more about what that means for healthcare teams and find out what patients want out of healthcare experiences (but aren’t currently getting) download Compared to Other Industries, Healthcare Experiences Need Elevating.