Patients Are Customers Too

The customer is always right. THE END. That’s one short story the retail, hospitality, and business sectors internalized, years ago. They knew satisfied customers were usually repeat customers. They appreciate the cost of customer acquisition was higher than that of customer retention. They mapped customer journeys designed to “delight” at every turn and to create frictionless interaction. The race to total customer centricity took off, likely driven, in part, by competition and overwhelming choice, enabling technology, and the expectation of instant gratification (same-day delivery). Today’s UEX had better be good, no, better than good or cash registers don’t ring, checkout carts are abandoned, and the customer reviews can irreparably damage your business.

It’s similar, yet different, in healthcare. Patients, who are also consumers, expect the same type of positive experience from every interaction with hospitals, surgery centers, and medical offices. Yes, that should be the case when it comes to administrative operations—scheduling appointments, simple bill pay, east access—everything patient portals provide. However, patients cannot always be right. That’s the unfortunate truth when it comes to caring for certain life-threating diseases. posted an insightful Q&A on the topic of customer service in healthcare as it relates to satisfaction and patient experiences. The piece, which features an interview with a former Chief Experience Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, differentiates the business and healthcare environments and explains why the comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples.

The CMS places a lot of weight on patient satisfaction and experiences when reimbursing providers and facilities for the care they provide which signals their importance. And while shopping on Amazon can never be the same as having open heart surgery, both experiences had better be as positive as they can be. You don’t want to learn from consumer reviews that your product/service was awful, and they would never recommend it or be a repeat customer. After all, when every stakeholder is satisfied, your revenues having a way of thanking you for it.

Infographic: Is Your Facility Patient-Centric?

Is Your Facility Patient-Centric?

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