When I first started to draft my research plan, there were no signs of a global pandemic. During my studies at the university, I used to work at customer service in a private healthcare sector provider. I noticed that little things, like a smile, empathic small talk and an attitude of a listener really make a difference in a good customer experience. When thinking of it, it is no wonder. I recall reading that 70% of customer experience is about feelings and emotions, and only 30% of technical functionalities of the process or service.
During our research on customer experience a few years back, I also noticed, that there is not much research related to customer experience in the health care sector. In addition, I realised that patients are considered as customers in that field of studies. In the private healthcare sector in Finland, there are other stakeholders as well, that can be seen as customers.
Physicians usually have their own company, through which they work for the health care companies, relatives of the elderly who take care of their parents, parents of the children etc. All of these stakeholders have very different kind of needs and point-of-views, but what makes sense for all of them, is well-working, easy to use digital channels and platforms.
Usually, the first step is to match a suitable expert for patients’ needs, then find the slot for an appointment, meet virtually or face-to-face, then the actual encounter, occasionally further examinations like MRI, X-ray or laboratory tests, then analysing the results as real-time as possible and the aftercare.
Customer experience – customer stories on their experience in different channels or through different touchpoints with the company, reveal their satisfaction – do they complain, will the story be positive and do they recommend the company. Understanding their stories makes it possible to build excellent services and engage them in this very sensitive and competitive industry. Nevertheless, it all needs to be in the company strategy and led from the top. If the management is not 100% behind the digital strategy putting the customer and stakeholders in the center, how could it work?
Due to the pandemic, I bet many companies are designing services for remote healthcare services from patients to clinical workers and pharmaceutical companies. In my thesis I will try to research customer experience from the point of view of the different stakeholder groups, customers’ real needs, and write case studies on experiences where services are designed and implemented by using peer-to-peer design, utilizing real and up-to-date feedback. And of course, keeping in mind my very first thought of facing people with empathy.
PhD student at
Strategic Business Development