Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019: Healthcare and pharmaceuticals

It's time for a consumer-centred metric: introducing 'return on experience'

PwC’s 10th annual Global Consumer Insights Survey (GCIS) — which gathers the sentiments of more than 21,000 online consumers in 27 territories — shows that in addition to the traditional return on investment (ROI) metrics used to determine a company’s success, we need to introduce another metric, one with a laser focus on customer experience: return on experience. This is as true for healthcare or pharmaceutical companies as it is for other industries. Delivering a superior experience will be what makes you a winner.



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Return on experience: PwC's Global Consumer Insights Survey

Introducing 'return on experience'

Measuring return on experience, or ROX, will help healthcare and pharma companies understand the return they’re getting on investments made into the parts of the organisation directly related to how customers interact with their brand. As this video illustrates, there are prerequisites that go into making a great customer experience.


Introducing three imperatives for improving your ROX

Putting the patient experience first

Across health systems, improving patient experience can change behaviour and lead to better outcomes. Consumers know what they want. Grasping the nuances of the kinds of experiences they value - and addressing them - can generate a return on investment. For example, PwC's Health Research Institute (HRI) surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers about the patient experience and found 12 highly valued features in five categories that are common to all consumer segments - including frail elderly, those with chronic disease to healthy families and adults - for a positive customer experience.

Case study: The importance of personalisation is reflected in how some companies offer a seamless experience, even if it means aligning themselves with nontraditional partners. Best Buy, an electronics and appliance retailer, has recently partnered with a health solutions company to deliver smart home devices and a monthly monitoring service for seniors. This, in addition to the free in-home design and consultation service it already extends to its customers, augments the company’s full-service customer delivery model.

Read more about putting the patient experience first in PwC’s recent reports: Global top health industry issues and Building a better patient experience through digital technology

Understanding the Healthcare Consumer

In the past few years, healthcare providers have embraced behavioural segmentation. Before then, physicians doled out one-size-fits-all care for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, based on basic demographic data. They had little understanding of the wants, needs and habits of individual patients. This caused providers to miss opportunities to engage with people through social media, for instance. Almost 30% of consumers in PwC’s survey -including 35% of consumers ages 55 to 64 and 39% of consumers ages 65 and older - say social media has influenced their purchases of health and wellness products and services.

With better segmentation, healthcare providers could now work into their approaches an understanding of things such as the social and environmental conditions in which patients live, work and play. More precise segmentation might help healthcare providers around the globe tailor treatment for local populations, producing a meaningful effect on outcomes and expenses.

Other industries benefit from different approaches. One consumer products company, for example, sometimes segments people by the type of benefits that products deliver so it can target customers seeking those specific advantages. “Some products deliver psychological benefits,” said the company’s e-commerce director in a January 2019 interview with PwC. “Others deliver physical benefits, like reducing sensitivity or protecting the gums. That’s probably the most meaningful way of segmenting for our oral care category.”

Read more about putting the patient experience first in PwC’s recent reports: Customer experience in the New Health Economy: The data cure and Understand your customers

Consumers reward companies that protect their data

PwC’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey shows that consumers are increasingly willing to engage in nontraditional activities online. This trend is especially noticeable in healthcare, where almost two-thirds of our global sample said they’re willing to access services through companies not typically associated with health, such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook. And why not? Consumers are already using their mobile phones for health information: Almost 75% of survey respondents who use health-related apps said they have as many as three fitness, healthcare or wellness apps on their mobile devices.

Health information is one of the most sensitive types of data consumers own, yet they seem willing to forgo privacy for convenience and personalisation. 74% of respondents said they’d be comfortable with a product that collates all of their healthcare information in one place, which would require distributing private information across provider networks. 

To help people feel more comfortable with sharing their information, take a lesson from startups. Entice consumers to make their data available to you by enlisting them as co-developers of pilot programs for products and services in which they have a vested interest. Customers’ participation and feedback will help to improve a product over time.

Case study: Patrick de Zeeuw, CEO and co-founder of Startupbootcamp, a network of startup and scale-up accelerators, talked with PwC in December 2018 about the role of data in creating better customer experiences. “What the good startups are really good at is running hundreds or thousands of experiments on- and offline to get the data so they can really understand different customers’ problems and expectations," he said. "They can then determine which customers to target with which messaging, at what moment, where and how.”

Read more about putting the patient experience first in PwC’s recent reports: Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 and Treat consumers’ data respectfully

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