Is your hospital or healthcare organization talking about “Touchpoints”? Maybe you’ve even been asked to measure Touchpoints – and admittedly felt a little caught off guard? The first step to analyzing Touchpoints is understanding what a Touchpoint is. Wikipedia defines a Touchpoint as “any encounter where customers and business engage to exchange information, provide service or handle transactions.”
Many Touchpoints are within your control — things like your website, ads, texts, letters, sales force, and call center. Unfortunately, many are outside of your control — things like WOM, bloggers, media, reviews, and marketing “partners” who sell under your good name. Simply put, effective Touchpoints move people closer to your company and ineffective Touchpoints move people away. Your brand equals the sum of all customer experience with your Touchpoints.
Easy math, huh? Not so much. “Analyzing Touchpoints can descend into paralyzing complexity,” says Michael Hinshaw, Managing Director of MCorp Consulting. That’s because every Touch counts. And there can be hundreds, even thousands of them. But how the heck do you track and make sense of it all? Questions arise such as: How do you know the degree to which one Touchpoint influences desired behavior over another? How do different Touchpoints encountered in different ways influence one target more effectively than another?
Touchpoint Mapping is part of the answer. Many proprietary companies offer this service, which I recommend exploring to help simplify your data collection and analysis. Basically, you start by creating a dashboard of Touchpoints with a customer journey map. You validate the Touchpoints and map with your customers, analyzing to filter to those that matter, then chart the trends. Measure and review Touchpoints by cost and effort, probing “What are the needs of my most profitable segments?” “What impact can I deliver in the short and long term?”
Taken to the healthcare space, we create a “Patient Touchpoint Optimization Strategy”. Entwine Digital claims that “patient touchpoints, or interactions with the healthcare facility and professionals, define patient-centered care…they are places where our brand constituents come in contact with our brand…a Touchpoint Optimization Strategy will increase the quality of the total patient experience.”
To get there, first, Create a Patient Touchpoint Map, by interviewing a sample of patients to determine which Touchpoints relate to the healthcare experience. Secondly, Evaluate Patient Touchpoint Effectiveness to determine which of these Touchpoints each patient values at each stage of medical intervention (discovery, treatment, discharge, aftercare – the patient life cycle). Compare in generating conversations and patient relationships, increasing patient satisfaction and comfort level and effecting outcomes. Next, Design a Patient Touchpoint Optimization Strategy, which uses a select cost-effective mix of marketing tools that target your demographic and stage of intervention to increase Touchpoints and conversations and improve patient experience. Finally, Assess the Patient Optimization Strategy, evaluating the effect of the strategy in terms of increasing the quality and satisfaction of the total patient experience. (Your HCAHPS will thank you!)
Ideally, all of your Touchpoint tracking is recorded in a common location (e.g. your CRM or marketing automation tool). Many organizations do not have a clear picture of their Touchpoints. Often, this is due to a lack of cross-functional commitment within the organization. Sound familiar? While it can take a lot of effort to get everyone on the same page, your fortitude and diligence can be worth the payoff. In the end, Touchpoint analysis is like looking in an organizational mirror. The face you see may not be what your customers see, and the invaluable insights serve as a catalyst for much needed change to increase customer value.
For information on online healthcare Touchpoints, check out our blog, 5 things your hospital should be doing online.