A 2013 study found that 80 percent of patients say it is their doctors job to keep them healthy, not just to treat them when they are ill, and “70 percent of respondents say their doc has never checked on them when they weren’t sick in order to help them stay healthy.”
Now more than ever, patients are behaving like empowered healthcare consumers. Rising deductibles associated with the Affordable Care Act (up by 26%), for example, are causing patients to pay closer attention to their healthcare decisions. It’s no surprise, then, that research from Deloitte shows an increasing number of people that are going online to find information to help them make educated medical purchases.
As published by Nielsen Mobile, “the typical U.S. mobile subscriber sends and receives more SMS text messages than telephone calls.” This may not come as a surprise. However, the fact that this has been the case since 2008 might. So why haven’t service oriented companies adopted this communication channel to deliver a more delightful experience for their customers? And why are you reading about this on a blog from a healthcare technology company?
Mobile payments are all the rage lately—just look at Apple Pay or Square. It’s an exciting development that’s changing the face of mobile commerce–as long as customers have an iPhone 6 or access to a card reader for smartphones.
But what if customers could pay without downloading an app? What if they could pay for things over text messaging?
It’s not uncommon to find a OneReach team member wearing a bright blue t-shirt with the words “Can I Text Your Business” in big block letters on the front of it. My colleague and I were both wearing them at the International Customer Managment Institute conference in San Diego a couple months ago, when a woman who manages a contact center said- “No, you can’t!” from across the way. While that may seem like a pretty normal statement, the ensuing conversation brought a couple key elements into focus for us both.
The holidays can be a stressful time for your customers: they’ve got gifts to buy, lights to string up, and people to fight off before they grab the last half-price flat screen TV. If you work in customer service, you’re well-versed in the frantic frenzy during the holidays. And, with business booming during the winter months, you’ve also got more to do and less time than you can shake a candy cane at.
Having observed dozens of providers and staff members in their natural work environment, we have seen and heard a lot. But some of the personal stories that we’ve heard are hard to forget and worth sharing. These stories shed light on the truth about healthcare communications and the workflows of these dedicated, and often over-worked, staff members.
One of our clients has seven telephony providers–we are the eighth. Thankfully, we’re helping them consolidate.
Over the last six weeks, we’ve been able to migrate 60 percent of their traffic to the OneReach platform. Good for us, right? But even better for them.
You may not be a doctor, but you’ve been a patient. And you’ve definitely had to call in to a doctor’s office before. How do you recall that experience going? Was it simple, quick, and effortless? Was the staff member you spoke with warm, friendly, and helpful? Or was it a rushed experience, lacking of context and generally unpleasant?
Unfortunately, it was probably the latter. And no matter how unpleasant it was for you, just imagine what it must be like for that staff member whose job is to handle dozens or even hundreds of those encounters a day.
Given the hierarchical nature of healthcare communications, where each provider is surrounded by a layer of full-time employees, who collectively serve a patient population that could number in the thousands, the communication process is inherently challenging. To make matters worse, staff are given rudimentary tools to communicate with patients, referring physicians, pharmacies, and payers. How can they be expected to manage everything?
Having a “mobile strategy” goes beyond just having a mobile application and mobile friendly website. It means using all of the capabilities of today’s mobile phones and understanding the role that these devices play in the lives of your customers.
How much of a role? Not to get too personal, but more people would rather give up sex than give up their phone. A study found that 26% of Americans said they couldn’t live without their smartphone, while only 20% of Americans said they couldn’t live without sex. The same study found that 44% of people sleep with their phone at night, and 67% check their phone even if it’s not ringing.