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Customer Experience in Healthcare Means Understanding the Obstacles and Disruptions Facing your Customers

Daily, one-fourth of healthcare customers are stuck in their customer journey.

“The people that I’ve dealt with have all been pleasant and helpful. It just seems like there have been times where between you and other organizations and all the back and forth that the ball dropped.  And I think the pharmacy had no idea what we were talking about when we contacted them, and that led to all kinds of problems.

Shared from Authenticx data

This highlights the complicated factors of U.S. healthcare that ultimately impact the customer. Healthcare sits at an intersection of three major verticals: Healthcare providers, insurance, and pharmaceuticals.  While there are nuances, regulatory differences, different roles each of these play, they share one common interface: interactions with consumers. These interdependent components of healthcare make for a complex, and often disruptive, customer journey.  

At Authenticx we have coined these customer disruptions as the Eddy Effect. The Eddy Effect occurs when a customer’s desired or expected experience is disrupted by an obstacle that causes the customer to feel “stuck” in a problem. Just like a river eddy interrupts the main water current and pulls objects into an ever-spinning whirlpool, customers are getting stuck and being forced to return to your company over and over again in order to overcome the obstacle. Eddies generate waste and tremendous frustration.

When organizations find customer journey disruptions, they face:

  • A strong leading indicator of customer attrition and churn
  • Low customer satisfaction in service and care
  • A huge detractor that negatively impacts sentiment, customer retention, and loyalty
  • Gaps in patient care and confusion around treatment

Understanding the raw, unsolicited frustrations your customers are facing is a critical way to prompt meaningful change and a frictionless customer journey. Last year, Authenticx shared a trends report derived from millions of customer interactions analyzed in 2021 to share insights in the annual Customer Voices Report (which you can download here ).

Common Roadblocks in Healthcare

Unfortunately, it’s not just individual customers who get stuck in an ‘Eddy,’ but whole segments of the healthcare industry from hospitals to insurance providers to pharmaceuticals and everywhere in-between. We feel the giant swirl both patients and providers face when trying to navigate next steps in patient care. While there are different nuances, regulations, and roles each of these segments play, they are also interdependent and interface with the consumer, which only adds to the swirl of confusion.

Consider these common roadblocks that lead to disruptions across the industry to identify where and how your organization can begin to identify and monitor areas for improvement:

The industry presumes that consumers are educated about the business of healthcare.

But they’re not. Consumers don’t understand the ‘business’ language and at times have a hard time understanding how the care plan for their health interacts with their coverage plan, prescription tiers, or other administrative needs. It’s not an inherent connection in their day to day health.

Top identified Eddy Effect themes causing customer confusion on the complexity of the business of healthcare:

  • How deductibles work
  • Understanding ‘tiers’ definitions
  • Policy language and wording
  • Explanation of benefits
  • Billing and payment status
  • Confusion on sources of assistance

Gaps in healthcare are unfortunately tied to administrative business needs.

How scary it is to suddenly be faced with unexpected exorbitant costs while simultaneously handling a new health diagnosis. Patients often face shock and dismay that money is standing in the way of them and their health. Seemingly simple, administrative tasks stand in the way of getting patients the care they need.

Some of the themes identified by patients that lead to gaps in healthcare due to the need for repeated phone calls or feeling ‘stuck’:

  • Unclear information shared during status checks on overall health treatment, claims, and prior authorizations which leads to re-doing tasks or needing to wait for updates
  • Confusion about billing and insurance coverage
  • No knowledge on eligibility or availability of programs for additional support or financial aid
  • Overwhelmed emotions pared with the complexity of healthcare leads to frustration and uncertainty of next steps

Are you listening?

When customers feel ill-equipped, stuck, or unable to navigate the complex rules between the three main healthcare verticals, it can become numbing and lead many people to give up, switch providers, and ultimately negatively impact their health. Organizations that actively listen are able to identify where disruptions are occurring and from there align strategy to better improve their customer experience in healthcare. Your customers are already sharing hidden barriers, motivators, and frustrations in their daily interactions with your brand and your team. These insights provide organizations transformational approaches to strategically improve their service and care.


About Authenticx

Authenticx was founded to analyze and activate customer interaction data at scale. Why? We wanted to reveal transformational opportunities in healthcare. We are on a mission to help humans understand humans. With a combined 100+ years of leadership experience in pharma, payer, and healthcare organizations, we know first-hand the challenges and opportunities that our clients face because we’ve been in your shoes.

Want to learn more? Contact us!

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