Which Channel Is Best For Engaging Healthcare Customers? Answer – The One They Prefer!
The variety of communication channels available for a business to engage with customers has really expanded in recent years. Options include everything from traditional print correspondence and email messaging to the innovation of digital voice assistants and chatbots.
Several forces are driving the adoption of new channels -, not least the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The pandemic served to accelerate the shift to digital channels and to place greater importance on building strong digital relationships with customers.
This is highly relevant in the healthcare sector. As the industry navigates the new “business normal,” it will be more important than ever for healthcare providers to focus on improving customer engagement in healthcare, by working towards providing a multichannel customer communication experience.
What is the first step to achieving great customer engagement is healthcare?
The first step is to determine which channel is best to reach and engage healthcare customers.
Without a doubt, the best channel to reach customers is via the one they prefer.
Today’s healthcare customers want the ability to select their preferred communication channels. When it comes to engaging with their healthcare provider, customers want to interact through a variety of channels and to seamlessly switch between channels, from anywhere and at any time.
According to Keypoint Intelligence’s transactional communications research (2020) 74% of respondents said they want to decide which channels their providers should use to communicate with them. Only 2% of respondents disagreed with that statement.
Physical and digital communication channels are interdependent on each other to drive customer engagement and loyalty. There is no single channel that will appease all customers, which is why the “magic bullet” is the ability to choose.
Channels like AI-powered chatbots, smart speakers, and personalized video are expected to become increasingly important to communications strategies over the next two years.
But traditional channels like print, portal, email, and text are not going to disappear. In all cases, the best strategy will involve a combination of channels that work together seamlessly to drive the same message and provide a consistent patient experience.
So, how do you determine a customer’s channel preferences?
You ask. It’s that simple.
The best way to begin to understand your customers’ preferred channels is to ask them directly through a survey or poll. Nowadays, it’s likely that customers will mention at least one digital channel, which is important, as it helps the provider learn more about them (digital = data!)
Once a digital relationship is established and engagement across channels increases, the ensuing data can be used to determine future shifts in channel preference based on behavior.
Going forward, communication channels will continue to evolve in both positioning and value and consumer expectations will change as they are exposed to great communication experiences from within healthcare itself, and from other sectors.
The reality is healthcare providers can no longer delay the implementation of a customer communication management solution that enables a full omnichannel customer experience.
Speak to our CCM experts about our multichannel customer communication management solution for healthcare
Regional Vice President, Utilities and Healthcare at Doxim.
Jason has 22+ years of experience serving a diverse array of industries, across a wide range of print and digital communication technologies. Prior to joining Doxim in July 2020, he was a Senior Client Services Manager at Taylor Communications.
In his current position as Regional Vice President, Utilities, Jason is focused on developing long-term client relationships to facilitate account growth and expedient conflict resolution, He retains a key interest in communication management in other regulated industries, such as the Healthcare sector.