Tech titans are at the gate – are you ready?
For years, innovative tech titans like Apple, Amazon and Google have treated consumers to beautiful, personalized, on demand experiences – experiences that consumers now expect in every interaction they have with a company. These giants have now turned their sights on disrupting the $3.5 trillion healthcare market and the question every healthcare exec should be asking themselves is, “Am I prepared?”
Imagine a future where patients start their healthcare journey with a Google search, ride their doctor visit in a Lyft, pay their bill using ApplePay and then purchase their prescribed medicine on Amazon. Now open your eyes – the future is now.
Healthcare leaders can learn from this moment by adopting some of the practices that have made these companies so successful in retail and enabled them to translate that consumer trust into an expansion in healthcare. After all, we are consumers all our lives, it’s only when we interact with the healthcare industry that we have the label “patient” applied to us. Increasingly, the healthcare experience is becoming a healthcare consumer experience.
Here are three hallmarks of great retail experiences that healthcare can adopt to become more consumer-centric:
(1) Price transparency
Consumers don’t buy a shirt, book a flight or put a grocery item their cart without knowing the price upfront, why expect them to not look for price information before making healthcare decisions? Johnson and Johnson took a bold step in this direction, disclosing pricing of their blood thinner drug in a TV ad. Innovative health systems like St Luke’s University Health Network are providing similar upfront pricing information to their patients through an easy to use website.
(2) Digital payments
Consumer payments have rapidly evolved away from paper to a point where an entire generation doesn’t even own a checkbook. Paying bills on a computer, or increasingly a phone, is becoming standard because of the ease and convenience of the experience. Healthcare has been slow to embrace this transition, but there are great gains to be had by meeting the new consumer standards for online billing that retail has forged.
(3) Patient satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is sacrosanct in retail and companies spend a huge amount of effort to collect and analyze customer feedback. Often great insights to improve a product or service are surfaced by listening to customers. Don’t miss a chance to ask for feedback after any interaction with a patient. Want to understand if you’re meeting the mark with your price transparency or digital payment experiences? Poll your patients digitally right after they’ve completed those experiences. You may be surprised what you hear!