Bill Swanston

How COVID-19 has helped create a more human healthcare experience.

For all of us, it seems the past 1.5 years have changed everything. COVID-19 devastated and disrupted our lives – causing chaos, confusion and fear at home and worldwide. If one thing is certain moving forward, it’s that we are not going “back” to normal. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. COVID-19 created a catalyst for change in healthcare – one that was much needed and a long time coming.

Human beings caring for human beings
While consumers may engage in new ways of connecting with healthcare providers moving forward, they still want access to high-quality care – delivered with trust and respect. Even amidst the uncertainty and fear of the pandemic, consumers put more faith in healthcare organizations. Even though individuals’ engagement in their own health and wellness declined, they are now listening more than ever. Brands can continue to build on this trust through consistency and clear communications over time.

The importance of choice
Consumers crave a sense of control and choice when it comes to their healthcare, and they trust healthcare providers that consider alternative methods (think second opinions or holistic solutions). In addition, consumers want to be involved in their healthcare decisions. They want to have a voice at the table. Brands can leverage this desire in messaging, promoting individualized care and treatment options.

Being there for those we serve
One of the things we quickly learned is that COVID-19 forced us to communicate very transparently and authentically to patients, families and communities. Here are a few strategies to continue in the future:

  1. Actively reach out and listen. Consumers are looking to us to start a dialogue. Find ways and reasons to connect, follow up and follow through. Reassure them that they are valued and their health is top of mind.
  2. Be transparent. Healthcare decisions can be overwhelming and confusing for consumers. The more transparent, clear and informative healthcare providers can be, the more consumers will trust their word and actions.
  3. Answer every question. Responsiveness is key to reassurance. Never let a question go unanswered and always close outpatient interactions with an opportunity for any final questions or conversations.

While devastating on a global scale, COVID-19 has also driven shifts with a positive impact on communication, empathy and personalization throughout the healthcare industry. Today’s world requires brands to go deeper, connecting with consumers on a core human level. A brand’s purpose needs to be both inspirational and empowering. But it also needs to establish salience in a societal context, so the brand can simultaneously serve the needs of the individual and deliver the benefits of the organization.

Let Frederick Swanston help create a marketing strategy that connects with your customers and adds value to your brand experience. Contact us here.