What’s most important – Satisfaction or Loyalty? In healthcare, it’s not necessarily an either/or proposition. To get to loyalty, you typically need satisfaction. Building satisfaction is facilitated by multiple visits reinforcing positive experiences. But whereas data has been vital for decades in treating patients and measuring patient satisfaction, data is much more recently being tapped to track, predict, and facilitate patient loyalty.
In the article Where do Patients’ Loyalties Lie? Building Revenue by Improving Satisfaction, the author interviews a Texas data provider to address the use of data to drive loyalty in healthcare. The author quotes a data provider that stated “they should measure their performance on [satisfaction] drivers and develop strategies to close gaps and improve performance. Hospitals should first focus on the areas with the least satisfaction and where improvement is feasible.” The article then notes that “Another way to build loyalty among patients is to ensure easy access to the organization’s services.”
So a couple of the key points – that apply to any business – include:
- Know Satisfaction Drivers – Your organization may measure satisfaction, but does your organization statistically correlate satisfaction of individual attributes to overall Satisfaction, Willingness to Return, Willingness to Recommend, and Loyalty? Identify satisfaction and retention drivers.
- Prioritize Improvement Efforts on Satisfaction Drivers Performing Poorly – Your organization may try to improve on poor aspects of the customer experience, but is it improving on attributes of the experience that truly impact loyalty? In other words, try to improve on what really matters.
- Ensure Ease of Access to Services – What barriers exist to customers accessing your services, your information, your answers? Assess your website’s ease of navigation, your phone system, your directional signage to the facility, and your employees’ responsiveness to needs and requests to make sure they facilitate customer contact, not impede it.
Target improvement efforts, and eliminate barriers to loyalty.
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