A few weeks ago, as I was watching television, a hospital ad caught my eye. The ad was a heartwarming story that culminated with the hospital tagline that promised compassion and patient-centered care. (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t want to reveal the hospital.) The ad was moving and engaging but left me rolling my eyes. The problem was that I had just had an experience with the organization, and it was anything but compassionate and patient-centered. Their communication was awful, the scheduler was rude, and the lack of follow-through eroded trust. But the advertising was wonderful. Too bad, it was nothing but empty promises.
Here is What I Know
Here what I know for sure: Even the most beautiful and captivating advertising in the world will not make up for rude staff; dirty restrooms; long, unexplained wait times; and poor follow up. Neither will a beautiful building make up for an arrogant, disinterested provider.
In healthcare, consumers expect providers to have medical competence and deliver timely, appropriate treatment. The differentiator, then, is the patient experience surrounding the delivery of medical treatment.
Marketers listen to the voice of the consumers. They are responsible for growing the business and, yet, when marketers want to address patient experience issues with the people in charge of operations, they are often held at arm’s length. We need to make sure the patient experience lives up to the promises made in advertising.
There is often a disconnect between what marketing promises and what patients actually experience. What if everyone in your organization lived up to the brand promise? You’d never have to worry about online reviews again. If marketing and operations aren’t working in unison, the advertising is just lipstick on a pig.