Obtaining and retaining customers is critical, especially in highly competitive markets like the healthcare industry. But, differentiating your organization with an exceptional customer experience can help you stay ahead in the $3.4 trillion industry.
According to McKinsey, 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they’re being treated. Now more than ever the customer’s satisfaction needs to be at the top of focus for companies looking to exceed in the healthcare industry.
In order to help healthcare marketers, I’ve outlined four steps to creating a customer-centric marketing strategy to help grow their businesses.
Determine who your customers really are.
First, start by learning the basics about your customers. The data you gather will ensure that you’ll employ the right tactics to reach your audience with a powerful marketing strategy. Analyze who is buying your product by demographics — job title, location, number of years the customer has been in the business, education level, etc.
After gathering the basics, dig deeper. Inspect purchase drivers, how they discovered your company and whey they continue to buy. In what ways do they interact with your company’s website? Are they frequently looking for resources? What makes them choose you?
Creating buyer personas from this data will also help align your marketing and sales teams to create effective strategies for maximum impact.
Discover how your company fits into the competitive landscape.
Getting to know who your customers are is just the first step in creating an effective customer-centric marketing strategy. To chip away at a competitor’s share in the market, healthcare companies need to have an objective look at where they stand versus competitors. To do this, turn the tables on your customers. Survey them to find out where they see your company fitting into the competitive landscape. Yes, you might have an idea of where your strengths lie, but your customers may have an entirely different idea.
With a survey, you also have the opportunity to discover attributes that are most important to a customer when purchasing. You might think a certain factor like price is a purchase driver, when your customers would say that positive outcomes are the number one choice factor.
Once you analyze survey results, you will understand how your company is perceived in the marketplace and where your company needs to focus efforts to grow market share. Using data and the key metrics gathered from this data will address areas for opportunity to differentiate your healthcare product.
Create powerful messaging with your results.
With deeper customer insights on your organization’s strengths, your next step is to act on those results and create a compelling message for your brand based on top purchase drivers. Then look at areas of opportunity for your organization beyond messaging, whether they be improvement in current offerings, new offerings or a combination of both.
With the right marketing messaging, there are a plethora of ways to address top product features as named by customers (in your survey). Trust in the results of your survey to guide your marketing messaging, honing in on the top differentiators to guide your content.
Keep the customer engaged.
Updated marketing materials and messaging to reach your customer can lead to a positive impact on inquiries and sales. That said, your job doesn’t stop once you get the sale. You must work to keep your consumer engaged.
Ensure your customers’ success by providing them with educational materials, guiding their use of your product. Tips and best practices for their jobs. Don’t let your communication with them stop – stay in touch. See how your product is working out for them. They rewarded you by choosing your business, now it’s your job to make their lives easier and loyal to your brand.
It sounds simple but keeping customers at the heart of your business is a full-time job. But, by truly learning about and listening to your customers and by applying their needs to your marketing strategy, your company will cut through the noise and resonate with customers.
Rachel Mele is general manager at Vennli.