Real talk: Healthcare customer experience needs to improve. For example, Forrester’s data shows that 56% of US online adults with health insurance feel that their health insurer should do more to help them understand what healthcare services cost. Over 40% say that their health insurer’s financial forms (such as bills and statements) are hard to understand, and nearly 40% say that they don’t understand what benefits and services are covered under their current health insurance plan. Looking more broadly, issues exist all over the healthcare ecosystem, such as physician shortages that make it hard to get care, surprise bills and billing errors that cause unnecessary stress, and equipment that makes even routine screenings anywhere from uncomfortable to outright painful.

Healthcare customer experience (CX) pros know that there’s still plenty of work to be done, but they often hit roadblocks when they try to get budget, resources, or general executive support for their initiatives. In fact, many of my client engagements often feature the same very big question: How do I show my C-suite the ROI of healthcare CX improvement? It was such a hot topic at CX North America that the “healthcare meetup” I hosted on this topic (for which I expected to have maybe 6–10 attendees) turned out to be a standing-room-only event for 50-plus folks.

Meeting with C-suiters and boards of directors, the disconnect is pretty clear. While CX pros (in many industries, not just healthcare) tend to talk about customer experience improvements in terms of better, CX-specific metrics, they fail to connect those changes to things that matter to the decision-makers and budget-holders. On the other hand, when we talk about the impact that better CX can have on key business goals — increased revenue, lower cost, and improved resilience — I see those business leaders lean in and say “Tell me more.”

With this in mind, I’m thrilled to announce the latest addition to our “Why CX” series: Why CX For Healthcare: Proof That Investing In Experience Improves Revenue, Cost, And Resilience. This report provides examples of CX improvements made by payers, providers, pharma firms, and others within the healthcare ecosystem and the results that each firm saw from those efforts. The report’s vignettes support two pieces of advice that we routinely give to our clients when they ask how to justify CX-related activities:

  • Draw the straight line from CX improvements to business outcomes. Comb your firm’s business strategy to look for the magic words and phrases that enable you to describe how the thing you want to do connects to the business’s goals. This gets you talking in the same language as executives, which makes it easier for them to understand how the improvement supports the things they’re already on the hook for doing. It also establishes CX as a supporter or facilitator of business goals rather than something that exists only for its own sake, disconnected from the firm’s strategic roadmap and priorities.
  • Keep it short and sweet. You don’t need to write a lengthy case study to make a point. Imagine that you have only 30 seconds (at most) before the executive you’re talking with exits the elevator, loses interest, or gets interrupted by something else that commands their immediate attention. What’s the story? We often recommend the one-sentence business case, and the examples in this report give an even shorter way to state value. If you find inspiration from a vignette that seems close to something on your roadmap, imagine yourself saying: “{A company} {did a thing} and saw {these results} … and we should {do something similar} to {reach a goal}.”

Use the report to help you along your journey to describe the ROI of your healthcare CX improvements. If you need more hands-on help, please schedule a guidance session or inquiry.

Many thanks to Kara Wilson for her contributions to this research.