07/26/2019 in Blog
Nailing consumer experience is hard. It is one of the buzziest phrases in corporate marketing, and yet according to Forrester Research's 2019 Customer Experience Index, the overall quality of the U.S. consumer experience is making only anemic gains at best.
Making consumers happy is not the single most important driver of loyalty, Forrester finds. Consumers say that the following six feelings affect their positive or negative impressions about companies:
Nevertheless, the connection between positive consumer experiences and quantifiable revenue growth for companies is clear. When decoded properly and delivered successfully, great consumer experience drives brand loyalty and revenues. Forrester research commissioned by Adobe in 2018 found that businesses that invest in experience accrued revenue 1.4 times faster in the prior year, than those that didn't. The writing on the wall is clear: nailing consumer experience is no longer an option, it is a necessity.
Take AT&T U-Verse for example.
CEO Randall Stephenson made the company undergo a restructuring effort a few years ago that combined several stand-alone services into one seamless offering.
Speaking in 2016 about the Customer Experience Index, Forrester Vice President and Research Director Harley Manning said the effort resulted in AT&T seeing a 29 percent increase in its revenues because customers were receiving a less frustrating, more streamlined suite of products. "They're not only doing this for their existing customers, they're doing this for new service (customers) so they can become a disruptor," said Manning.
The findings across the board are telling. In the retail industry, 91 percent of consumers who said they feel valued also say they will stay with that brand and 89 percent say they plan to spend more with that brand, the report found. All this matters to company's bottom lines, Forrester says. “A one-point improvement in its CX Index score can lead to an incremental $244 million in revenue for a big-box retailer."
On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, annoying, disappointing or frustrating consumers can be even more damaging to their willingness to stick with you as angering them. A 2017 Forrester report found that among TV service providers, the industry that annoyed consumers the most, a company stood to lose $104 million in potential future gains for every one-point their CX Index score fell.
How to Apply These Lessons to Health Care
While many components of a consumer's experience can impact how they feel about their healthcare provider, Forrester researchers found a consumer's emotional experience while interacting with a company can have an outsized effect on how loyal the consumer is. “How an experience makes consumers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in nearly every industry," the report says.
Almost by definition, healthcare consumers are emotional. They visit providers for guidance on how they or their loved ones can be healed. Improving how consumers feel during the different points when they interact with their healthcare providers can create some easy wins for your consumer experience.
To track whether your consumer experience strategies are working you must be tracking consumer experience, and we mean with real-time data. Data can tell you more than what's working with each individual campaign. It can reveal what consumers in your audience are most likely to respond to certain campaigns or features. Data can highlight areas where your provider needs to improve services or experiences the most, and it can outline methods to personalize marketing, all of which drive growth and create loyal patients.
So as you think of strategies at your healthcare provider on how to make your consumers feel happier, more appreciated and more valued, there is one final thing to keep in mind: make sure everyone at your organization is on the same page. Maximizing consumer experience is critical to a company's growth, and when relevant, bring teams or divisions—like human resources or compliance—in on your consumer experience plans. The last thing you want is to create a plan for more dynamic and compelling marketing content only for the legal team to veto the material. Everyone needs to realize it is their job to improve consumer experience in order to grow and disrupt in the healthcare provider marketplace.