By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I have been struck in a few recent conversations by the idea of how “warm” and “cold” healthcare can be in terms of engaging us as customers. I was talking to someone whose wife has been undergoing cancer treatments and has a 20-minute meeting once a month with the doctor. In those 20 minutes, she feels exceptionally cared for. It’s a warm experience.

Then the door shuts after that appointment and it’s a month of wondering, and conversations about the conversation. There is a lot of fear. The “cold” settles in quickly as they write down all their questions for the next 20-minute appointment.

Care is delivered so episodically. The customer experience could be warmer all along the journey, but usually we think of a cold, impersonal experience when calling about insurance or precertification or making an appointment before care is delivered. And then, we sometimes are left with cold fear between care episodes because we don’t have someone walking through it with us.

It doesn’t have to be that way. What if care was more continuous? From the time you received your membership ID card for insurance to a concierge who helps you navigate the choices prior to care, all the way through treatment, then follow-ups from a care team and check-ins or answers to your questions. That could be a warmer experience for customers.

It’s not so far-fetched, and some plans even offer it, but customers aren’t aware they are entitled to be treated so warmly. They don’t expect it because they haven’t been conditioned to expect that from healthcare. Isn’t that sad?

What about you? Is your consumer-facing experience—including all the marketing along the way—warm, or is it cold?

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.