The march towards consumer-driven choices in health care and the retailization of the industry shows little sign of abating. This means brands take on an increasingly important role; and brands are ultimately defined by the experience they deliver. It’s never been better for health care marketers and strategists to play a leading role in driving the connection between the promise your organization makes and how that comes to life through the patient experience.
Customer journey mapping is a technique that has long been applied by best-in-class marketing organizations across many industries, from consumer goods to business services. At the heart of this approach is placing the customer at the center of the experience and understanding all of the steps along the journey. Throughout this journey, the individual is a patient for only a small amount of time.
Customer Journey in Practice
Having established a brand promise built on high-quality and complete care, one of the country’s largest health care systems was faced with a major challenge: how to deliver an ownable, unique, and consistent experience across a disparate national network.
Sample Journey Map
A series of customer journey workshops brought in representatives from across the network for three different service lines where heads of service lines, physicians, administrators, and care deliverers mapped out the experience by putting themselves in the customer’s shoes (see sample journey map). Groups assessed the current experience and compared it to what an ideal journey would look like.
By understanding the customer goals and key touchpoints at each stage, the group aligned around common definitions and put together a series of tactics and measurement tools incorporated into a phased, long-term plan for re-engineering processes around the customer.
As a direct result of the exercise, a baseline standard has been established that describes the minimum level of experience that each facility is expected to deliver. Since then, leaders have spent time communicating and training their staff in their respective regions and facilities.
As health care systems and organizations wrestle with the shift to a model of coordinated care delivery, internal teams need access to new tools and resources that can help bring different groups and functions together to align around the customer experience.
A group of diverse, cross-functional teams work together to build different stages of a journey map
Click here to download a free worksheet to create your own experience map.