Cosmetic procedures are no light decision, and patients want a healthcare clinic they can trust. In today’s market, delivering excellent CX is not an option but a necessity, and in a market on course to reach $66 billion by 2026, the pressure is on private clinics to deliver first-class service in pristine environments. Here, digital solutions can provide the perfect tonic, argues Andy Randall, Group COO at Halfords and Chairman at Avayler – the time to replace outdated legacy systems is ripe, and healthcare clinics should look to capitalize on all the modern supply chain and CRM technology available.
The cosmetics industry has recognized the need to change. It needs a CX digital facelift, with a focus on patient outcomes. With many doctors and practitioners accustomed to their own ‘tried and tested’ methods, the need to shift to processes with greater control and visibility is clearer than ever before. The solution lies in going digital, and there’s technology ready and waiting to help.
The CX standards are rising – can healthcare keep pace?
Patients seeking out private clinics for cosmetic procedures, such as laser hair removal and Botox, have the same service expectations as customers in any industry, yet there is currently a capability gap between both customer-facing and back-end private healthcare operations, and the service levels people have become accustomed to elsewhere.
For many private healthcare clinics today, there are three ways to build and consolidate a competitive advantage: deliver consistently high clinical care outcomes, offer a seamless end-to-end customer journey, and safeguard patients with high safety standards. Government-backed organizations such as the JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) register of practitioners have made some progress in addressing these pain-points, but it is technology that will offer a way to get clinics over the finish line.
Follow in the footsteps of other successful industries
Businesses in industries ranging from retail to automotive have shifted from simply providing a product, to a laser focus on CX, delivering smooth service and a seamless customer journey. The healthcare market is well-placed to take the lessons learned from this transition and apply them to its own push towards consistently delivering excellent customer outcomes.
Outcome and service focused industries put a greater emphasis on optimized scheduling and streamlined workflows. For private clinics, this means establishing methods to follow standardized, approved clinical processes to ensure consistent patient outcomes and excellent safety levels.
The checklist for taking healthcare away from the bowling alley
The current state of play in private clinics is very rudimentary; legacy systems that offer few if any dedicated features for the healthcare market. In fact, many clinics currently use a system originally designed for bowling alleys which were then partially customized for clinical use! However, booking a bowling lane is a far cry from undergoing laser hair removal, and there is little scope for the healthcare professional to focus on the treatment process or patient outcomes.
No wonder that scheduling with such systems is, naturally, very basic; there is no granular scheduling by doctor type or specialist qualifications, and no opportunity to charge variable rates per individual doctor. While many clinics may be up-to-date with standalone systems such as CRM, the benefits of this do not currently extend into transforming processes in the treatment room.
Some private clinic chains have begun to recognize the dangers of falling behind the pace of digital transformation and rising customer expectations, but many have attempted to develop their own in-house alternatives to replace existing legacy systems – a slow and costly alternative to opting for an off-the-shelf solution, extensively tailored for healthcare.
There’s no compromising when it comes to safety – tech can make sure of it
Patient safety is non-negotiable for all procedures, and cosmetic procedures are no exception. Yet there is often room for human error or inconsistency when relying on outdated systems or manual processes.
Take laser hair removal as a prime example. In a typical private clinic today, a nurse will estimate which type of kit to use for the procedure, such as laser strength and configuration, based on a patient’s skin type. Get this setting even slightly wrong in either direction and a patient could either suffer burns or receive no hair removal due to an underpowered laser; a potentially catastrophic outcome for the clinic and clinician.
Reap the benefits of modern technology – support is felt across the board
A dedicated service platform integrating the customer journey and clinician delivery represents a powerful addition to today’s private healthcare clinics, offering a wealth of support for both parties. It makes sense to look for a proven service platform that has all corners covered and the ability to ensure a cost-effective rollout with minimal disruption to business operations.
At the customer level, patients benefit from intuitive, online scheduling of appointments where there’s no longer any need to phone to check availability and book a timeslot. The patient will know in advance the professional they’ll be meeting with and their procedure record, as well as being guided through next steps of the process. They will also receive post-procedure evidence such as photographs and documentation.
Healthcare professionals, meanwhile, gain greater visibility into the booking and scheduling process, knowing in advance who is coming in for treatment and when, which type of treatment is planned, and relevant step-by-step routines on the device of their choice to deliver a guaranteed first-class outcome for the patient.
Deliver perfect CX for every customer with a customized service platform
For many industries, the notion of digital transformation is no breaking news story, but for an industry burdened with archaic legacy systems, private clinics are yet to feel the positive effects of a tried-and-tested platform, tailored to delivering flawless patient outcomes.
With CX undoubtedly set to play a major role for many years to come, private clinics have the perfect window of opportunity to majorly transform and enhance their service offerings, to deliver the best CX possible.