For Better Results, Undertake a Customer Intimacy Strategy to Truly Engage Consumers

November 1, 2013

by Sherry L. Stanislaw

Sherry L. StanislawAlthough this century is only 13 years old, we have already seen an interesting evolution in how the health care indus­try views its consumers.

It wasn’t that long ago when the popular term was “patient-centered care,” and although the words sounded nice, most hospitals had their share of chal­lenges in truly making the transition from physicians to patients as the center of their universe. That concept quickly gave way to today’s emphasis on “the patient experience,” which is intended to focus on and improve every touch point and every encounter a patient or cus­tomer has with an organization. But the shortfall of both of these notions is that they continue to view the customer as a homogenous group – trying to make the system work better as a whole.

Ironically, the best way to make it work better as a whole is to cut it up into little pieces and understand that each customer is unique – with different needs, wants, expectations, values, historical perspectives, and emotions. Once an organization understands that, it can move to the next level of engagement and achieve what is needed most of all: true customer intimacy.

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