Fight or Flight: Voice of the Customer and Why it Matters Most to Healthcare Customer Engagement

Let us say that, for whatever reason, your customers feel dismayed about the service they have received from your business. Let us say that your customers take it as personally as the negative experience can possibly be taken.

Consider for a moment the old flight or fight mechanism, a common primal, physiological occurrence in conflict situations.

Do you want your customers running from you, never to detail where their experience went wrong? Do you want your customers to send angry blasts spread across the internet in a social media niche? A niche where you have not been present to address them and their listening peers? Of course not.

Such consequences would be destructive for any business. But, to the healthcare industry they are catastrophic. In fact, more than any other service (e.g., retail, financial, IT), it is the healthcare industry which suffers the most from inadequate customer engagement. Indeed, when it comes to the healthcare industry a neglected customer is a threatened customer.

Why? Why does adequate customer engagement practice so dramatically effect the healthcare industry more than any other? To answer this, we must look from the perspective of the customer.

When it comes to healthcare, your services are about their life and well-being. Literally. What is more personal, more visceral, more in your face than the measure of whether or not your needs of survival are met?

Says your customer: “My health is me.”

One might say the perceived slight or discrepancy is not directly related to the the customer’s survival or to their quality of life. But no. This is truly beside the point.

The point is: the customer will perceive a slight or discrepancy as directly related. They will perceive the healthcare industry’s ignorance of or disregard for their experience as ignorance of or disregard for their very life.

Thus, if the healthcare customer’s gut reaction is dramatically amplified, the perceived responsibility or negligence of the healthcare industry is too.

One important note, as stated in prior blog posts: now, according to the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. government funding for a given healthcare outlet is inextricably tied to the customers’ feedback about said outlet’s performance.

Thus, in this age of social media platforms and instantaneous response time, it is crucial to the success of the healthcare industry to heed, to anticipate, to understand loud and clear: the resounding voice of the customer.
For more information on USAN’s customer engagement platforms, or for assistance in realigning your customer engagement policies and processes, please, contact us today.