By Chris Evanguelidi, director, enterprise healthcare market, Redpoint Global.
In a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. healthcare consumers conducted by Dynata and commissioned by Redpoint Global, more than 80% of respondents said that they prefer to use digital channels (online messaging, virtual appointments, texts, etc.) to communicate with healthcare providers and brands at least some of the time, and 40% prefer digital communications most of the time.
Along with digital-first communications and experiences becoming a standard expectation, consumers are also on record that they want their providers to display a deep, personal understanding across the full spectrum of engagement touchpoints and channels. In the survey, 60% of consumers said they would choose a provider based on how well the provider understands them, beyond patient data, so that the experience is relevant and personalized. Beyond patient data means that a provider has a single view of the healthcare consumer, to include clinical and claims data, consumer and social determinants of health (SDOH) data such as economic stability, access to health care, etc.
Furthermore, 66% said the selection of a provider was dependent on the provider’s ability to communicate in a timely and consistent manner.
Examples of the depth of understanding that patients now expect – and that are also indicative of the digital-first mindset – are a provider’s ability to proactively contact patients at the right time and in the right context (e.g., via text, email or online portal). Nearly half (44%) of respondents expressed that this ability is now the expectation. And 36% said they expect communications from their provider to match their in-person experiences in terms of relevancy, consistency and outcomes.
In a recent Harris Poll survey about marketer and consumer perceptions about customer experiences across various industries, consumers consistently ranked healthcare third (behind retail and financial services) in terms of providing a consistent experience that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the customer. Yet when consumers were asked which industry should provide the most consistent experience that demonstrates a thorough understanding, healthcare polled first.