By Chris Edwards

We’ve all heard about the importance of nonverbal communication, with some experts claiming that as much as 93% of communication is nonverbal in nature.

This idea of merging nonverbal communication with an excellent experience became real for me more than 20 years ago when I was selling shoes at Nordstrom to pay for college. The job required sharp attention to detail: thinking through how to approach a customer, thoughtfully suggesting shoes for them, and following through on their needs and wants. The experience went well beyond talking about a shoe—every interaction with the customer sent a message, positive or negative, to them.

Another current example of this is Disney, which goes to great lengths to create a truly magical experience. The careful design, layout and even cleanliness of its theme parks all serve a purpose, and each “cast member” knows the role they must play.

The notion that “everything speaks” becomes a mantra for these organizations. And it should be a mindset for all of us as we help our companies put the customer at the center of everything—and ensure a unified, consistent experience at every touch point.

So how does this apply to healthcare? In the healthcare industry, the patient is at the center. We see technology increasingly shifting the power to the patient’s control, giving them more options in choosing providers, setting online appointments, paying their bills and even learning healthcare information through conversational AI chatbots.

Here are three key questions for healthcare marketers to ensure that you’re conveying the desired message in an environment where “everything speaks.”

  1. Does your organization understand what your brand stands for and what you’re trying to communicate in the market? What messages are being “spoken” to your patients or audience throughout all your content and branded experiences—from call center scripts to client-facing proposals, and from collateral to your physical environment.
  2. Does the “cast” in your organization know what role they are playing in the story of your company’s brand, purpose and mission?
  3. When in company or client meetings, what messages are being spoken without exchanging words? What can you do to improve both company culture and the client experience?

Guest contributor Chris Edwards is chief client experience and marketing officer at Conversa Health. Follow him on Twitter @chrissedwards.

Image: Getty Images

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