Empathy in healthcare through compassionate customer care experience
Patients want to feel taken care of, so how a patient perceives a healthcare provider based on their in-person and online experiences can greatly affect the provider’s bottom line. In this digital era, patients are becoming more informed on healthcare services, patient rights and numerous alternatives. If hospitals and other healthcare services are able to showcase empathy and compassion towards their customers through their interactions, they will feel genuinely valued and would prefer to stick with that healthcare provider for all their healthcare needs.
One such hospital that has excelled in practicing empathy and offering a listening ear to their customers is Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital. The Hospital’s primary goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Eastern Africa by providing sustainable, quality healthcare. In order to achieve this, they intentionally listen to their stakeholders and customers. Gertrude’s hospital has done this by putting frameworks in place to improve their Customer Experience and ensure that they are being empathetic towards their customers. “We have taken the initiative to respond and act on feedback given by our customers in a personalized way. The real-time feedback has been critical in a bid to improve our service delivery as well as assure the highest clinical outcomes.” Stated Bernard Mpara, Chief Customer Officer, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital.
By initiating customer engagement, they are actively working on getting closer to their customers by gauging how they truly feel about their service delivery. “One of the platforms we have found to be of much help was the Ajua platform which offered us the opportunity to engage the client in real-time. With the platform, we can run short and quick surveys to our service users and collect as much feedback as possible.” Said Martin Mulwa, Digital Communications Lead, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital.
Some of the notable changes the hospital has been able to make after implementing their customer feedback include virtual bookings via phone call, creating a seamless and effortless customer journey as well as setting the tempo on where the focus should be on service delivery. This has propelled the hospital to be a market leader in the industry and position them as customer-centric. This has resulted in the hospital’s ability to delight their customers and offer consistent, quality pediatric healthcare services throughout its vast network of clinics.
The hospital’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Kenyans who ranked Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital as one of Kenya’s top three hospitals with regards to Customer Experience delivery according to Ajua’s Q2 2021, Customer Loyalty Benchmark report. The report also discussed emerging issues in healthcare such as the slow uptake of the of the COVID-19 vaccines due to the unsupported myths around them. Gertrude’s has partnered with the Government and the Kenya Private Sector to vaccinate their member employees, and this has seen a great uptake of the vaccine. There is a need for healthcare providers to complement the government’s efforts to educate the masses by taking on initiatives to educate their communities on vaccination.
In conclusion, healthcare providers and facilities need to have a fresh approach to customer experience and understanding their customer journeys. Showing the human side of your brand is a fundamental way to appeal to customers, especially now that we’re living in a digital era where consumers have more options.