Just to ensure you come away with something worthwhile from the piece, did you know there is only one number whose value is the same as the number of digits used to spell the number?
I did not like chocolate ice cream until I ate it the first time. I think customer experience is like that. You don’t know what a good experience is until you’ve had one. And once you have, you have a great barometer from which to measure all other experiences.
Sometimes the quality of the experience you have can all be traced back to the effectiveness of the tool you used. Spoons, for example. With a spoon, I can stir my coffee, eat soup, dig a hole, or get it to stick to my chin. It’s a highly functional tool.
Take smart phones. With one I can talk to someone, text them, take pictures and listen to music. Oh, and I can also do all of my banking, buy airline tickets, track my Amazon order, cancel my cable service, and order my groceries. A formidable tool. (It may or may not be useful for eating soup.)
Smart phones can also be used in healthcare. You can use it to call your payer or provider provided you do so between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday. In healthcare, a smart phone is neither functional nor formidable.
Today at most health systems the ability of a person to interact with the organization is functional, at best. The effort required, however, is often quite formidable. Functional means that some of the time people can get their needs met as long as they are willing to walk over hot coals while juggling hamsters. Usually, nothing the person needs to accomplish during that interaction is easy, certainly not from their perspective.
To patients and consumers, easy is important. In fact, it is critical. There are many different reasons a patient or a prospective patient or a caregiver or a family member or a referring physician needs to interact with your system.
Before we continue, take a minute and see if you can find your personal fax machine, and then take another minute to warm it up, read the manual, and try to remember how to use it. Using it is complicated.
So, we have all kinds of different people who need to interact with your system every day—this also applies to payers and retail pharmacies. And most of those interactions, nearly one hundred percent of them happen in one of three ways; by phone, by fax, and by snail mail. Now, check with whoever runs your call center, and ask how many faxes and pieces of mail they receive each day. Now here is a really fun fact. The number of faxes your organization receives each day is probably about equal to the number of phone calls it receives.
If you were to ask someone why they send your organization a fax or why they write a letter instead of calling, they will tell you they do so because it is easier than calling. Can you imagine how poor an experience people must be getting from your call center to have concluded that faxing is easier than calling?
For those consumers who are interested in improving your health, do this.
- Download the data from your health apps and wearable devices to your laptop.
- Print the data
- Fax the printout to your provider
If they reply to you please let me know. We may have just created the world’s first interactive, cognitive wellness model.