Today, patient satisfaction is mostly driven by digital touch points, not quality of care.
During the buying journey, companies that deliver a great buying experience grow twice as fast as those that deliver average experiences. (Gartner). Likewise, 80% of patients reported they would switch providers for “convenience factors” alone. So if you want to grow, you’ll need to deliver a great experience.
A great experience in healthcare means expectations are met or exceeded. It’s grounded in understanding consumer needs, often before they need something, and being ready with convenient information that progresses their journey.
Journey maps allow healthcare marketers to identify and improve gaps in the experience. The ultimate goal is to help patients and consumers to become active participants in their own care, engaging with your brand more regularly as a partner.
How to Map the Journey
To map the journey, put yourself in the mind of the consumer and experience your business as they experience it. The map is your reference point for internal teams and executives to make business decisions.
Create patient/consumer personas – everyone’s journey is different.
It’s highly likely that you have many types of consumers, and it’s your job to document, analyze, and understand these different types of profiles and their motivations.
Identify the most important touch points and emotions.
Identify all of your touch points first before starting your journey map, this way you can build an accurate picture of the experience. Some touch points carry more weight because they’re experienced at key make-or-break-moments in the journey.
Map consumer-facing vs. behind-the-scenes experiences.
Consumer-facing experiences are something the patient sees. Reading a blog post and signing up is a consumer-facing event.
Behind-the-scenes experiences are what happen behind the scenes that consumers don’t have sight of. In the blog example, when the user submits their details, a behind-the-scenes event will be triggered to add them to the mailing list.
Talk to patients, consumers and internal stakeholders.
People from different areas of the business will be more familiar with different touchpoints, how they work, and how consumers experience them. For example, your customer service team will be invaluable in creating your map because they speak to consumers every day and understand their frustrations clearly.
Maximize positive emotions and minimize negative emotions to set yourself apart.
This can be a simple emoji or quick sketch of the emotion the consumer feels as they move through the journey. You can assign negative emotions to areas where the customer hits a pain point or experiences more friction, and positive emotions when the user is rewarded for their actions, like when they receive a confirmation email after purchase.