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Now or never: Time-tested strategies that will drive patient loyalty

July 30, 2021
Business Affairs

Given that holistic approach, health systems are best served by a full-blown loyalty strategy rather than a loyalty program. Loyalty programs meet the needs of companies focused on expanding transactions. Loyalty strategies are the best approach for organizations with a broader impact on several aspects of customers’ lives.

In both cases—loyalty program or loyalty strategy—data is essential. Knowing your customers’ preferences, needs, and preferred channels allows you to deliver customer-centric engagement, and create relevant, personalized experiences.

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Loyalty has long been considered a retention strategy, but as you continue to leverage your data to better understand your healthcare consumers, loyalty becomes a powerful acquisition tool as well. The better you know your core communities, the more likely you can build look-a-like audiences with similar needs, wants, and requirements to drive targeted acquisition campaigns.

Address health care consumers’ needs
Loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. It builds and evolves over time. And in health care, the core of loyalty will be a deep and panoramic understanding of your patients.

The Affordable Care Act—which prompted a shift from volume-based to value-based care—transformed consumer expectations. Today’s health care consumers are looking for a streamlined experience. We shop around for providers and read patient reviews. We want cost transparency and convenience. (In fact, convenience is our second-most-important decision driver.) We expect a digitally connected health care experience, and we want our private data to be safe.

Every health care consumer deserves to feel like more than a number. Creating an experience in which each patient feels heard, understood, and valued is more possible today than ever before. Today’s medical advances—for example, genomic-driven prevention and treatment—can be combined with the delivery of curated content in hyper-personalized communications.

Start incrementally and build
Here are five initiatives your health system can implement now to create more meaningful, loyal patient relationships.

Know your patients:
• Analyze existing data to learn about your customers’ needs.
• Conduct post-visit surveys to glean important insights about what your organization has done right and what you can improve.
• Account for changing perspectives: The COVID-19 pandemic caused many patients to defer care. How can you make them feel comfortable reengaging in their health?

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