Today’s consumers have increasingly higher expectations. Thanks to their experience with online retailers, which leverage big data and sophisticated analytics, consumers have become accustomed to receiving personalized offers that meet their needs without them having to sift through extraneous, irrelevant information. In fact, 62 percent of consumers are highly in favor of personalized offers and promotions based on previous experience, according to Infosys.
Consumer expectations are not stopping at just traditional retailers; they are manifesting themselves in every aspect of consumers’ lives, including new demands for more personalized, convenient healthcare options. Many healthcare providers now understand that it is important to evolve to address consumers’ wants and needs. As a result, they’re looking for ways to engage consumers with personalized communications and omni-channel experiences, and establish themselves as the patient’s lifelong brand for healthcare.
At the heart of accomplishing these goals is the need for a customer relationship management (CRM) system that provides real-time access to rich consumer data. A comprehensive healthcare CRM can help organizations pinpoint ideal targets for campaigns, personalize messages across channels, and measure effectiveness and ROI to inform future decisions. The impact, and importance, of CRM will continue to accelerate in 2018, as 94 percent of businesses indicated that personalization is critical to current and future success, according to Econsultancy.
Here are three top trends that will be driving continued adoption and evolution of healthcare CRM technology:
#1. Websites and social channels will provide a more personalized experience for consumers
CRM data and technology will be vital as healthcare providers seek to quickly expand highly personalized experiences across multiple channels. But beware, just because some CRM vendors have added “website” or “social integration” to their feature list, does not mean the capabilities in these channels are mature. In fact, most have barely scratched the surface.
Going forward, it’s critical to explore new possibilities for using web and social channels to track a wider set of consumer behaviors and interact with consumers in a more timely, relevant and helpful way, in order to achieve truly omni-channel engagement.
#2. CRM expands across the consumer lifecycle
To date, CRM vendors, especially the new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) players, have primarily addressed only marketing department needs, as they seek to improve patient acquisition and service line revenue.
Having proven its worth in these initial scenarios, healthcare organizations now better understand the value of adopting CRM to solve a broader set of business problems across the healthcare consumer journey, thereby increasing consumer lifetime value. In 2018, and beyond, healthcare providers will master the basics of CRM campaigns and evolve their strategies to address new use cases – including relationship marketing workflows for improving cross-sell opportunities, referrals, and retention – that will positively impact both consumer loyalty and program ROI.
#3 Artificial intelligence (AI) drive enhanced results
AI is becoming ubiquitous throughout many industries, and CRMs will get AI upgrades, too. When it comes to healthcare CRM, big data refers to all the information created about today’s consumers — from keywords they use and content they share, to the webpages they visit, emails they open, and even the steps they take in a single day.
AI will enhance actionable data insights at an aggregate and individual level. For example, service-line and procedure scoring, which informs segmentation and targeting, will evolve from a rules-based system to a self-learning algorithm. AI will enable marketing systems to predict the best offer for individual healthcare consumers at the moment of interaction and will empower dynamic adjustments of spending on programs based on a real-time understanding of program ROI. And, AI will help CRM vendors provide benchmarks that will help contextualize results.
CRM is a must-have for healthcare providers that want to grow and strengthen consumer relationships. Increasingly, CRM systems will be used in an infinite number of healthcare use cases, helping providers build their brand, effectively address competitive pressures, deliver customized offerings that improve patient engagement and quality outcomes, all while increasing profitability.
This article originally appeared on Health IT Outcomes.