What changed for healthcare providers and pharma companies?
In a customer-centric era, it’s all about consumerism and the overall customer experience. In healthcare, it means patient-centered! They are consumers that look the same way in the healthcare industry as they do in other sectors, such as retail.
With COVID-19, a new type of more concerned and well-informed patient emerged. One that proactively researches options and consumes online resources. It is the first step of the care decision-making process.
They seek to get value from high health costs. As well as from their invested money, by engaging with medical educational content. All before actually choosing or connecting with a provider. Thus, patients have gained more weight in their care journey choices. Also in the decision-making process as their knowledge increased.
Guidance is expected from patients in the form of educational digital materials shared along the path. To succeed, there are 3 major focus points:
- Hybrid in-person and virtual healthcare solutions, focusing on digital materials;
- Enable patients with transparent and understandable data for more knowledgeable decisions;
- Focusing on wellbeing, and delivering a seamless overall customer experience throughout the patient care journey is paramount.
New Era Consumerism: What does it mean?
Its final goal is to enable the complete involvement of patients in the decision-making process of their care journey. So, what is today’s healthcare consumerism? The movement of delivering healthcare services in a more efficient and low-cost fashion.
Patients expect more data and resources that are easy to understand. In their care journeys, they are now demanding the same kind of customer-centric experience. Just like those delivered in other industries.
Differences from other industries
Navigating the healthcare system can be confusing with understandable data. In other industries, data, costs, and benefits are easy to compare. In healthcare, there’s a lack of digestible and easy-to-understand resources.
Therefore, 75% of new era digital patients expect guidance on expensive decisions they have to make. The need for educational content is higher than ever before. HCP and pharma companies ought to allow patients to take part in the decision-making process.
Engaging with the digital patient
Patients, empowered by more knowledge, expect tailored healthcare solutions. These are to be adjusted with each step of the journey and access to medical educational resources from physicians. All this is delivered by pharma companies in an easy-to-digest format with understandable content.
The customer experience must be center stage. Consumers’ interactivity preferences must be taken into consideration for type, frequency, and channel. This will ensure a continuous flow of effective engagement with the digital-native patient. While also establishing authority and loyalty.
Then, a patient-centered approach must be urgently adopted by healthcare providers. It must make use of relevant digital resource sharing to engage with patients. 85% of them think they can be responsible for their health by accessing the available resources online.
Relevant shifts in the healthcare industry
Healthcare’s navigation system needs to become simpler, more transparent, and understandable to patients. In essence, for that to happen, companies must reshape the business model in place. Having as the main touchpoints:
Within the digital and remote landscape, the most important things are products and promotion. HCP must have a consistent presence with continuous communication flow. One that accords with the care journey stages. It’s more than selling a product, it’s providing added educational value to each interaction. Through tailored, nurturing communication with medical resources shared. As well as a consistent brand-positive message and the patients’ trust. This way, loyalty and effective engagement increase.
Pharma companies should, in the long run, nurture relationships based on digital interactions. Furthermore, develop and deliver a tailored, fit-to-size, seamless customer experience to patients. Consumers’ focus lies in their well-being. So, their needs and expectations lean towards higher value and quality educational content. That is, overall, according to their needs at each stage.
Healthcare providers: Going Omnichannel?
Within the patient-centric atmosphere, on-demand and personalized digital content define the consumer’s engagement. It’s becoming a consistent presence in a multitude of channels. But having the patient’s preferences identified and well-segmented is key.
Omnichannel communication strategy creation includes:
- Knowledge about the patients’ behaviors and expectations;
- Knowledge of channel and media type preferences;
- Identify the patient’s journey stages and content sharing segmentation; and
- Continuously analyze and be reactive to the customers’ feedback.
Within the non-personal engagement scenario, channel possibilities are endless. And, most importantly, relevant data is dispersed. This is why it is so important for healthcare providers to tailor content. Thus, allowing the patient to engage when it wants to through its preferred channel, device, and media type. Nurturing the patients’ needs and expectations for knowledge helps build authority. And has a direct impact on the care decision-making process.
Consumers’ content preferences
The message must be consistent and content made available in all relevant channels. These can be patient portals, provider portals, and email. This, to help guide the patient through the journey in the hyper-connected healthcare environment.
But to score the perfect engagement flow, organizations and teams must deliver content at the right time of the journey. So, it is consumed according to the audience’s preferences.
Let’s take a look at what consumers prefer.
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Video as the number one…
Regardless of the channel, video content is the number one preference across all media types. Consumers prefer this format to better understand, learn about, or choose a product or service, as these statistics show:
- 72% of consumers would rather watch a video about a product or service (Optinmonster);
- 84% have been convinced to buy a product or choose a service by video watching (Optinmonster);
- 95% of a message is retained when watching a video, compared to 10% when reading a text (Insivia);
- Watching videos accounts for one-third of all online activity (WordStream);
- Videos up to 2 minutes long get higher engagement, with a big drop after that length (Wistia);
- Videos with less than 90 seconds have a 50% retention rate (HubSpot);
- 96% of people have watched an explainer video to better understand/learn about a product/service (Wyzowl);
- Video is the number 1 media type used in content strategy by marketers (HubSpot);
- 71% of B2B marketers and 66% of B2C marketers use video marketing (Wyzowl).
Medical professionals and pharma companies can guide patients by giving them more educational resources. Explainer animations are the preferred and most popular type of video content.
Videos are multi-channel and multi-device. Consequently, it is possible to deliver it at the right stage of the journey. Then, one cannot dismiss videos as a valuable resource for both pharma companies and providers. Through it, it is possible to implement a successful flow of engagement through tailored interactions.
Healthcare is now consumed differently. Patients expect the same kind of customer experience that one sees in other industries.
The new type of more knowledgeable and concerned patient seeks more responsibility for their health. As well as a bigger role in the decision-making process of the care journey. They are all about empowerment and guidance through digitally available, educational resources.
With this in mind, pharma companies must develop and nurture digital interactions with patients. Well-being must become the main focus, and customer experience has to take center stage. It’s important to provide a tailored, seamless experience with content relevant to each stage’s decisions.
To achieve this, it is crucial to make medical data available in the channel, format, and video type preferred. This way, HCP and pharma companies can provide guidance while increasing authority and engagement. The question is how to guarantee patients’ engagement flow and loyalty. And that is through, easy-to-understand, bite-sized, and attractive medical animations.