Over the past decade, society has woken up to the advancements and improvements that can be made to healthcare through technology.

The impact of technology on the healthcare sector has become even more evident to everyone during the Covid-19 pandemic, an outbreak that highlighted some inefficiencies in the traditional model of interaction between service providers and customers.

Improving the Digital Experience for Healthcare Brands

With extremely high demand for online and offline service support, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been proven to be the answer when it comes to revolutionising healthcare services across the world. This reflects a significant source of innovation in terms of automation, self-service, and even replacing a substantial share of the customer-facing services.

This article will explore three aspects that your healthcare brand should consider in the context of Machine Learning and AI technology.

  1. Contextualisation
  2. Data and information
  3. Service sector

1. Contextualisation

Technological and organisational innovations are pillars of change in social norms and practices. Given digital transformation has affected nearly all aspects of business over the last decade, many businesses seek more inclusive and humanistic technologies.

Most companies assume they’re constantly giving customers what they want. When it comes to healthcare providers, the pressure to digitally transform commercial operations should allow a much more meaningful experience for individuals and business customers.

Yet, research conducted by Salesforce discovered that close to half of consumers say that the healthcare industry is focused more on their own needs than those of patients and consumers.

Furthermore, a study from PwC found that only 49% of consumers believe the healthcare customer experience they have encountered is satisfactory.

Whether through the lack of integration between systems, or the fear around the use of sensitive data, healthcare organisations are not living up to consumer expectations - despite the sense of urgency around the consumer/patient experience.

With numerous case studies of how an improved consumer digital experience can lead to better operational efficiency and enhanced financial performance, healthcare organisations need to act now.

They need to better understand patient needs. They must deliver a digital experience that drives awareness and consideration, builds trust, and treats each patient or consumer as an individual.

Digital transformation is critical for the long-term survival of healthcare providers, and the digital experience will be the differentiator.

2. Data and information

According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to increase by one billion people by 2025, 300 million of whom will be aged 65 or older.

In addition, rural-to-urban migration and a resulting rise in affluence are leading to a rise in inactivity. This will eventually lead to greater incidences of obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Research conducted by Salesforce shows that 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. An additional study affirms that the biggest problem in healthcare systems worldwide perceived by patients and customers are the long waiting times, followed by the lack of staff.

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Patients today are taking advantage of unprecedented access to information to become more diligent and informed about their health. As a result, they demand a more convenient, affordable, and personalised service.

Over the past decade, healthcare organisations have invested in technology to optimise systems, streamline work, reduce human error, and improve patient outcomes. Patients have been introduced to mobile-health calls with doctors, wearable medical devices, and online portals that provide medical test results and explanations of illnesses.

Healthcare professionals like physicians have been trained to use AI-powered systems to streamline and aid their work. Leveraging ever-more-complex robotics and virtual environments make operations easier for surgeons and patients.

Physicians are also taking advantage of the gig economy and freelance on mobile health screening and advice calls. There are even drones delivering life-saving medicines and defibrillators to patients in hard-to-reach areas.

In 2021, 78% of organisations said they use AI chatbots for self-service in simple scenarios. Further research indicates that 44% of customers are comfortable using chatbots to make insurance claims, and 43% are comfortable using them to buy insurance policies.

Chatbots can manage claims instantly and deliver customised quotes to simplify insurance-related processes and enhance customer service.

3. The Service sector

The four characteristics of intangible marketing offerings are:

  • Intangibility
  • Heterogeneity
  • Inseparability
  • Perishability

Services can’t be touched, seen, or felt in the same way as goods. They’re produced and consumed simultaneously, and they can’t be saved, stored, resold, or returned.

The service sector is at a tipping-point regarding productivity gains and service industrialisation. However, while quality in tangible goods has been described and measured by marketers, quality in services is different.

In order to understand how customers perceive quality in services, it’s necessary to have a clear picture of what customers really are looking for, and what they contemplate when evaluating these services.

It’s expected that customers have different standards of evaluation based on their own experiences, leading to possible gaps between the services supplied and the customer's overall satisfaction.

Recommendations and implementation plan

By using personalisation from the very start of the customer journey, your healthcare brand can create a fluid brand experience by offering your audience relevant information. This will benefit and guide them through services that they’ll be interested in; a journey where the information adapts to customer behaviour and changes in real-time.

Contextual personalisation is a powerful tool that’s becoming critical to the success of healthcare. It has become more than just customising a promotional email with someone’s first name or providing an online portal with access to medical records and personal data. It’s about creating unique experiences for each patient, and each potential patient, whenever and wherever.

Brands who create personalised experiences achieve revenue increases of between 6-10 per cent. Qubit, 2021

With research into, and knowledge of customer needs and customer behaviour, your healthcare brands can start mapping customer journeys and begin to create relevant messaging and content for each.

Having the right digital experience platform with an efficient database is essential. It allows your business to act on all relevant customer information in one go. And with the right personalisation and marketing automation tools in place, you can start to create and deliver contextual content at the right time, in the right place, on the right device.

Investing in an experience platform that tracks the right metrics provides you with actionable insights – in real-time. It can improve content, copy, and optimisation efforts across every touchpoint. It means you can test, target, and automate at all points in the customer journey. This helps drive conversions and leads to better outcomes for your business, and patients.

According to a study by Juniper, using conversational AI chatbots will lead to cost savings of about $1.3 billion by 2023 across life, property, and the healthcare industry.

If the solution is well designed, your customers can access the information they need straight from the bot without even having to speak to a human being, This reduces the human workforce and enhances the customer satisfaction.

By creating a personalised journey through the use of an experience platform, or the implementation of the chatbot, you can provide a solution from a different perspective. You could for instance use personalisation to display different content depending on location, persona or stage in the journey.

Suppose the experience platform follows a persona with a millennial/gen Z behaviour towards the website through their customer journey. In this scenario, it could show a different home page with access to the chatbot and some tailored/targeted ads and promotions.

Additionally, if the persona is a middle-aged male that uses the website to look for policies for children, the website could show a different page tailored for this specific person.

It could offer, for instance, a family package policy and even a “request a call back” button. Understanding that the expectations from these two customers are different when it comes to experience is essential to effective personalisation.

From a chatbot perspective, the bot could react according to the customer’s questions, issues, and needs, projecting a much more interactive communication clarity on all its processes.

Final considerations

Implementing an enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy is vital for healthcare organisations to ensure investment in technology, address short-term goals, reinforce brand image and allow for future scalability. All this while having the most significant impact on patient care and organisation outcomes.

Today, personalisation and automation are not just a nice-to-have for organisations looking to provide a better digital experience – it's a must have.

AI in healthcare that utilises personalisation and automation etc. are essential in representing a complex, multi-faceted offering to different customer groups. People searching for health insurance companies expect it. And if you are not doing it, they may go to a competitor who can.

Working with Codehouse

We’ve worked with companies across the healthcare industry. Our expertise has helped them deliver personalised experiences, leading to better customer retention, increased acquisition, and improved revenue.

If you’d like to know more about how we could help your organisation get started and beat the competition, get in touch.