Posted: December 21, 2017

As healthcare organizations develop and implement approaches to enhance the consumer journey, marketers and other teams must develop new skills, knowledge, and confidence to stay at the top of their game. Luckily, many organizations are realizing the importance of staffing a person dedicated to leading these consumer experience efforts, most often a consumer (or patient) experience officer (CXO).

Even if you don’t have a CXO or other team member solely focused on these initiatives, there are skills you can learn and apply to create more dynamic consumer experiences within your organizations. Here are the top three:

Skill #1 – Understanding consumer journeys
The consumer experience begins long before a patient ever sets foot in your door. As a CX leader, you must look beyond individual interaction touch points to see the full consumer journey.

Consumer journeys are the framework that allows an organization to organize itself and mobilize employees to deliver value to consumers consistently, in line with its purpose. According to this report by McKinsey & Company, advanced analytics can help consumer experience leaders:

  • Gain rapid insights that help their organization build customer loyalty
  • Achieve revenue gains of 5 to 10 percent
  • Reduce costs by 15 to 25 percent within two or three years.
  • Make employees happier

Try this: Use your consumer data to enhance the experience with your healthcare organization. If you’re not sure where to find the data you need, communicate with your company’s CTO, CIO, and/or CMO for help with data acquisition and analysis. Then, use the data to improve the consumer experience. A robust healthcare CRM, with two-way integrations to marketing automation and your web assets will likely be your best source for this data.

Skill #2 – Leading organization-wide change
Forrester claims that every successful consumer experience transformation they’ve studied had the active support of the organization’s senior leaders. As a consumer experience leader, you must be able to create a culture where the consumer comes first and physicians and staff are empowered to meet consumer needs.

CX leaders must also be able to influence executive leadership and budgets in order to make the changes – like implementing mobile technology – that consumers want. It takes patience and guts to train an organization to see the world through the consumer’s eyes and to redesign functions to create value in a consumer-centric way.

Try this: According to McKinsey, executives at consumer-centered organization engage employees at every level, working directly with them in retail settings, taking calls, and getting out into the field. To foster understanding and conviction, leaders at all levels must model the behavior they expect from their teams, consistently communicating the changes needed.

Skill #3 – Implementing digital processes
The McKinsey report also urges consumer-experience leaders to become even better by digitizing the processes behind the most important consumer journeys. Doing so could help your organization significantly outperform its competitors.

In AdAge, Charles Trevail writes that CX leaders should work closely with their organization’s digital team, along with other key stakeholders, to ensure they are designing, testing, refining, delivering, and marketing experiences healthcare consumers actually want to have.

Try this: To help you identify some of the tools today’s healthcare consumers want, we put together this Consumer Experience Checklist. The guide goes into more detail, but the key takeaways are (i) make sure that when consumers use mobile search to find the closest provider, your pages show up and offer the information they are looking for and (ii) make sure you offer a great user experience for online scheduling and bill pay, as well as anytime/anywhere access to information across multiple social media channels.

Building your skills
If you’d like to hone your skills to become a more effective consumer experience officer, check out the many resources available through the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD). This webcast, in particular, covers topics including the expanded skills and perspectives that strategy professionals must adopt to remain relevant in a true patient and family-centered industry.

The empowered consumer experience leader must have the skills to serve as the bridge bringing the consumer and the healthcare organization together. This means having the data skills to understand your consumer’s wants and needs as well as the leadership skills to drive change within your organization.

Want help figuring out where to get started or how to optimize the consumer experience for your organization? Request a free assessment, and we’ll give you personalized insight.