You have been hired as an outside consultant for a large durable medical equipment and medical supply company. The company specializes in a wide range of medical supplies and equipment. Some of its most profitable offerings include hospital bed rental to private residents, wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, and other mobility equipment. However, the company has come to realize that competition is increasing and its market share is shrinking. The company noted that most of its customers are new customers, and very few are repeat customers. The company is concerned with customer loyalty. The medical supply company owner has asked you to develop a plan to improve customer loyalty.
Complete the following:
- Create a plan that includes the following:
- Describe and critically analyze at least 5 contemporary best practices to improve customer loyalty in a health care organization.
- Be sure to discuss the (multiple) benefits that loyal, repeat customers offer to health care organizations.
- Develop and defend at least 4 recommendations for the medical supply company based on your research on how to improve customer loyalty. Include a brief overview of how each recommendation would be implemented at the company.
- The use of APA Style and at least 3 scholarly references published within the last 5 years is required.
Expert Solution Preview
Introduction: In response to the request to develop a plan to improve customer loyalty for a durable medical equipment and medical supply company, this plan will critically analyze contemporary best practices to improve customer loyalty in healthcare organizations. Additionally, the benefits of loyal, repeat customers will be discussed, and four recommendations for the medical supply company will be developed and defended based on current research on how to improve customer loyalty.
Contemporary Best Practices to Improve Customer Loyalty:
1. Personalization: Personalization is a key factor in building customer loyalty in healthcare organizations. Personalizing interactions with patients by addressing them by name, taking a genuine interest in their health, and follow-up communication after treatment can improve patient satisfaction. Automated personalized communication through text messages, emails, and social media platforms enable healthcare organizations to engage with patients effectively.
2. Empowerment: Empowerment is important to patients, and it can play an important role in building loyalty. Empowering patients by providing convenient self-service tools, such as mobile apps, online portals, self-scheduling, and access to medical records, can significantly improve the perceived quality of care. Giving patients control over their health and treatment plans builds trust and confidence.
3. Improved Access and Convenience: Providing patients with access to healthcare by extending hours of operation, online scheduling, and telemedicine can make healthcare more convenient and accessible. Additionally, offering free home delivery of medical supplies and equipment can offer convenience and generate repeat business.
4. Reward Programs: Reward programs can offer patients incentives to choose one healthcare organization over another. Rewarding patients for completing surveys, referrals to friends and family, online reviews, and repeat business can increase patient loyalty.
5. Emotional Connection: Creating emotional connections with patients can significantly increase patient satisfaction and loyalty. Healthcare organizations that invest time in getting to know patients, taking a personal interest in their interests, hobbies, family, and history can generate loyalty from the personal connection.
Benefits of Loyal, Repeat Customers for Healthcare Organizations:
1. Repeat customers offer a stable and consistent revenue stream
2. Repeat customers are more likely to accept treatments and follow medical advice
3. Repeat customers are more likely to refer their friends and family
4. Repeat customers provide opportunities for upselling and cross-selling of additional products and services
Recommendations for the Medical Supply Company:
1. Personalization: Implement a system for personalized outreach to customers, such as automated personalized text messages and emails that address customer needs and interests.
2. Empowerment: Develop an online portal that offers self-service tools for customers to track their orders and medical equipment rentals, including access to order history and options to pay online.
3. Improved Access and Convenience: Offer extended customer service hours, 24-hour online ordering, and free home delivery of medical supplies and equipment.
4. Reward Programs: Develop a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat business, referrals, online reviews, and completing surveys.
Implementation of these recommendations at the medical supply company would involve investing in technology infrastructure, staff training, and process improvements. The company would need to develop policies and procedures to support the recommendations.
1. Jamal, A. (2018). Customer loyalty in healthcare services: A study of patients and providers. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 11(1), 296-301.
2. Rust, R. T., & Chung, T. S. (2012). Marketing service excellence: Lessons learned from the customer loyalty literature. Journal of Retailing, 88(1), 152-162.
3. Sullivan, L. (2017). Reinventing patient loyalty in healthcare. McKinsey & Company.