As the largest generation currently in the United States, Millennials are having a major impact on just about every industry. Healthcare is no exception.
With the current healthcare delivery model in the United States, the roles between patients and providers are clear-cut and leave little room for flexibility or innovation. But the mindsets and habits of Millennials don’t align with this traditional model of delivery – and healthcare brands must either adapt or run the risk of getting left behind.
A Deeper Look at Millennials
Unlike any generation before, Millennials grew up with new technologies, computers, and access to the world through the internet right from the start. This has had a dramatic impact on their lifestyle choices, behaviors, influences, and engrained methods of communication. Social media, constant connectivity, and on-demand entertainment and communication are innovations Millennials see and expect as the norm. This world of countless choices and hyper-connectivity has created the most empowered and educated consumer ever.
When it comes to healthcare, Millennials are, first and foremost, looking for a more efficient, faster way to get treatment. Building a relationship with a physician is of far less concern to them than previous generations. In fact, a recent survey found that 34% of Millennials prefer retail clinics over traditional practices, and 25% prefer acute care clinics – double that of Boomers and Seniors. Why? Convenience.
A Different Customer Experience
Millennials are also looking for a different type of customer experience – one that not only values their time, but is responsive to their needs, and whose customer service demonstrates they truly care. In their world, the overall buying experience is king (thanks Amazon!) They will not hesitate to walk away from your practice should your inefficiencies not align with their values and expectations of delivery.
With such incredibly high hopes, Millennials are making a conscious choice about whether or not to continue doing business with you at every interaction. Where your practice is concerned, instant gratification, customer service, and convenience are “must haves.” Millennials are seeking out providers that integrate with their technological lives and social media platforms.
Millennials want the relationship with their healthcare provider to reflect the same relationships they experience with other trusted businesses. This means offering the flexibility to look up their medical records with a simple login, schedule appointments online, IM chat with advice nurses through Facebook or WhatsApp, and get discounts or rewards points for every check-up they do. Every day is an opportunity to earn – or lose – a Millennials’ business based on something as simple as the friendliness of your staff, or as complex as getting an appointment.
In this brave new world of healthcare consumerism, brands must start thinking of patients more like retail consumers. This will mean evolving both your delivery of care model and the way you communicate with consumers. It will mean prioritizing their convenience, embracing their consumer technology, and finding new ways to deliver value in this “Millennial-friendly” manner. Doctors must begin to fit the way they practice medicine into a Millennial’s online, interactive, social world. And those providers that capture these customers early and build loyalty with exemplary service, will enjoy a competitive advantage over others in the market.
Are you interested in making your practice thrive instead of merely survive? You’ve come to the right place! Contact the Marbury team today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on what we can do for you.