Defining the Next Generation Healthcare Call Center

Today’s consumers simply expect more. It’s not surprising: They have thousands of options at their fingertips whenever a need arises. Whether it’s ordering a pizza or booking a flight, consumers interact with businesses in dozens of different ways. Sure, they might eventually pick up the phone – but, depending on personal preference, they may also open up an app on their mobile device or surf the web to explore other options. The ease and convenience with which their need is fulfilled is a primary indicator of whether they’ll continue to be loyal to the brand.

caller frustrated with healthcare call center experienceLike it or not, the healthcare industry is in no way immune to these rising expectations. Unfortunately, however, health systems are still years behind other consumer-facing businesses when it comes to a customer engagement strategy.

Poor call center experiences are at the heart of the problem, with underlying issues such as a lack of data integration and disjointed systems leading to patient frustration and, ultimately, departure.

In fact, 26 percent of patients report having contacted a health system over the phone only to be transferred (often more than once) without resolution. More

How to Strategically Allocate Your Healthcare Marketing Budget

Whether or not a marketing campaign is successful is largely based upon how you choose to spend your money. You need to be in front of the right consumers, with the right message, at the right time.

Sounds simple, right?

The basic budgeting steps are the same across all industries: Look at where money has been spent in the past, analyze the underlying patterns, and set up your marketing strategy accordingly. 

Once you get into the details, however, things may not be so simple. Marketing is expensive. Many healthcare organizations – especially in this day and age – are tasked with accomplishing quite a lot with a limited budget. Paid digital campaigns, traditional advertising channels, and social media spend adds up quickly, but when integrated together maximize ROI. 

So, how can healthcare marketers make the most out of their budgets? It comes down to analytics. 

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Why Marketers Should Take a Closer Look at the Patient Journey

When a person falls ill or needs medical attention, he or she goes to visit a doctor. Right? 

Most of the time. But the reality is that, in today’s world, not all consumers prioritize healthcare. Other demands come first: jobs, children, aging parents and grandparents, mortgages, loans, the cost of putting food on the table. Plus, “Doctor Google” opens up a world of home remedies and not-so-accurate diagnostic tools, prompting many to try to take matters into their own hands. 

A study conducted in 2018 found that 44 percent of Americans don’t regularly visit their primary care physician for financial reasons. A different study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly one in four women (23 percent) have delayed or put off a doctor’s appointment simply because they could not find the time. 

Health systems can’t control every factor influencing this new wave of consumer behavior. What they can influence, however, are the experiences they create for patients – from the very first touchpoint. This is why nimble healthcare marketing teams pay close attention to patient journey maps
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Beyond Engagement: How to Create Harmonic Patient Experiences

With customers and patients interacting with a growing number of channels throughout the course of their day, hospitals can no longer afford to take a simplified approach to marketing.

They must strive to connect with patients across many different channels and deliver unified, seamless messaging. Historically, health systems have studied the strategies of successful retailers to enact powerful patient engagement campaigns.

Today, there’s a new trend on the rise: ‘Harmonic Retail,’ or the harmonic customer experience. This concept, trademarked by Harbor Retail, expands upon integrated customer engagement methods by reimagining marketing channels as an orchestra conducted by the customer. Instead of creating campaigns that simply combine online and offline experiences, a harmonic retailer continuously keeps a pulse on a customer’s activity across every channel. Retailers leverage these insights to craft personalized, reactive advertisements that are informed by previous customer interactions, enriching the customer journey and creating a living, harmonized brand expression that’s tailored to the customer. When I was with Swiss Army and Timex I played a heavy hand in retail and e-tail operations, bringing these approaches to life.
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Debunking 10 Common Digital Marketing Myths in Healthcare [Infographic]

Today’s consumer is more proactive about their health. With a wealth of information available anytime, consumers and patients take advantage of online resources both during initial research and ongoing care — researching health systems and services, reading physician reviews, and participating in online forums. This isn’t surprising, considering that 89% of consumers turn to a search engine to answer health questions.

To reach today’s healthcare customer, personalization and channel placement are key; in other words, you want to meet them where they are. But mastering precision marketing requires top-notch digital campaign strategy.

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