How many times did you pick up your smartphone today? Recent research suggests that the average person swipes, taps, and pinches their phone screen 2,617 times per day (or about a million times per year)! Mobile devices and apps have become so ingrained into our day-to-day activities that people expect the same kind of instant access to information across all aspects of their lives, including healthcare facilities and general healthcare information. And Millennials have even higher expectations not just for access to information, but also immediacy (such as paying bills instantly), simplicity (completing tasks with the fewest amount of steps), and context (customized experience based on past behavior).
So if you’re wondering where the new battleground is for patients and healthcare consumers, it rests in the palm of your hand. As a healthcare facility, healthcare system, or hospital, how do you craft a mobile customer experience strategy that will satisfy the needs of your mobile-minded patients? Measuring the patient experience on mobile devices is more important now than ever before. I won’t lie, it’s a large undertaking, but it can be done.
Here are three key aspects to consider…
It’s not the desktop
First, your mobile presence needs to be viewed as a distinct channel. Mobile cannot be treated like a desktop experience. Many healthcare systems, as well as other industries, use the “shrink” technique. They merely take their current website and squeeze it to fit a mobile platform. This strategy leaves the mobile visitor frustrated because they cannot find what they need or accomplish the task that brought them to the mobile site. And while building a website with a responsive design makes both desktop and mobile channels functional regardless of device, there can be different expectations from customers.
A well-defined plan
Secondly, a mobile strategy needs to be well defined. A mobile website or app will not and can not be all things to all people. If the mobile site is primarily for a specific task, such as bill pay or making an appointment, keep those functions front and center. If you want your organization’s mobile presence to be about content, ensure that content is extremely easy to access and use. Remember, this is all about the customer experience, not what you want.
Stock your ‘tool chest’
Your mobile site may very well be your new front door, so making a good impression with a stellar mobile channel is crucial. And the only way to know, with certainty, that the mobile experience is satisfactory is to measure it. That’s why you need an investment in the right tools to measure customer experience — specifically one that employs a rigorous methodology for determining CX success and identifying areas for improvement. Just as you invest in ensuring your organization’s facilities are functioning properly and effectively for your patients, you need to use that same diligence for your mobile site.
Mobile strategies are transforming the way health information is being disseminated, and quickly becoming one of the first ways people interact with an organization. That said, every organization — healthcare-related and otherwise — have budgetary constraints and a constant obligation to focus resources where they’re needed most. It’s imperative to develop a strategy that can show you, with certainty, the best way to invest those resources into your mobile site to ensure visitors have the best experience possible.
By making sure your mobile presence stands on its own and focuses on areas that are important to mobile visitors, you can delight and retain your patients and grow your overall patient base.