TOUCHPOINT STRATEGIES

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1 TOUCHPOINT STRATEGIES MAXIMIZING THE POTENTIAL OF EVERY CONSUMER INTERACTION Executive Summary Those of us in the healthcare industry know the environment is constantly changing. One of the more recent changes we ve seen is that patients are becoming more active in their healthcare decisions. They are using technology to gain information, and they are voicing their opinions and preferences. In a recent healthcare Informatics article, author Charlene Marietti states, Healthcare organizations are being challenged to improve consumer/provider relationships and one way to accomplish that is by targeting the right information directly to consumers. In order to accomplish such a task, healthcare organizations must first recognize the need to evolve current marketing strategies to include programs that provide every customer that touches the organization the opportunity to learn more about specific programs. This white paper discusses Creative Marketing Programs (CMPkc s) TouchPoint Database System. It is an innovative product that provides the framework to capture and store customer information and household demographics. One of the features of this system is the ability to generate customizable forms, both paper and online. These forms encourage customers to inquire about their specific interests. From the marketer s perspective, these forms facilitate the creation of automated, tailored follow-up communications. In today s environment, this powerful tool can lead to interactive relationships with patients as well as prospective patients. Introduction The healthcare industry is continuing to face numerous challenges. Some prime examples of the ever-changing atmosphere we live in and do business in include diminishing reimbursements of healthcare charges and a greater demand for capital investments. A major impact of these challenges, of course, is tighter budgets; and, more specifically, tighter marketing budgets. However, in spite of these obstacles, healthcare providers still have major marketing goals and objectives they need to meet. Some of those objectives include: Building/maintaining customer loyalty Cost effectively acquiring new patients Providing customers with proactive information regarding their health Maintaining relationships with patients and prospective patients until services are needed 1

2 As a result, healthcare executives are constantly asking themselves How can we improve our marketing, receive more information regarding our target audiences, and stay within a reasonable budget? Sound, strategic planning coupled with a dynamic database platform can put you on the path to achieving this goal. An organization s ultimate goal is to establish long-term customer relationships and profitability, which is the root of all marketing. Knowing the right products/services to offer and what message to send to your customers goes a long way towards increasing those customers and profits. Many healthcare organizations are now using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data solutions to help meet and exceed their marketing objectives. One such solution is CMPkc s TouchPoint Database System. This simple, yet comprehensive data-gathering structure allows every customer who touches your healthcare organization the opportunity to learn more about your specific programs and services as it directly relates to them. At the same time, you, the healthcare organization, are capturing detailed information and household demographics. By utilizing this information, you can dramatically increase your marketing successes. Attaining customer information at the individual level gives you the ability to educate your customers and to direct specific information to them. With this knowledge, and the appropriate applications, you can generate one to one communications. You also gain the additional benefit of tracking, measuring, and quantifying the impact of your marketing tools and communication efforts. According to Peppers and Rogers, the only true advantage comes from the understanding you have of your customers that your competitors do not. Purchasing data that everyone has access to does not give you the competitive advantage; it s the information supplied directly by your customers and prospects that gives you the upper hand. Simply put, you need a systematic approach that encourages customers to tell you about themselves and the ability to capture and use this valuable information. TouchPoint Strategy Customers who initiate the relationship by calling or logging on to your website should be encouraged to learn more about your organization, as well as provide you with the necessary information to promote a continued dialogue. A recent analysis of one client s call center found that a staggering 76% of all callers only called once during a two-year period. Similar results have been collected regarding new website visitors. As a result, it becomes extremely important to capitalize on every interaction. You may not get another chance! To increase the effectiveness of your marketing, you need an easily accessible tool that lets you know exactly what your customer s questions and interests are. The information you collect, paired with the ability to store, track and analyze this data using a TouchPoint Database, provides the detailed analytics that measure the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. In addition, follow-up communications can be automated and tailored to each household based on the information consumers provide. These types of communications are extremely effective at creating a long-term preference for your organization. The majority of healthcare organizations already have numerous marketing initiatives in place. It just makes sense to implement strategies to take advantage of these existing touch points. These touch points can include: Call centers Websites Classes Direct promotions Physician offices Health fairs Wellness screenings Waiting room kiosks Special events 2

3 These initiatives utilize both inbound and outbound marketing channels. Studies have shown that traditional outbound channels have become less effective and more regulated. According to Jon Miller and Jackie Horowitz, authors of Marketing Transformation, inbound marketing capitalizes on customer-initiated interactions, which includes three important elements that are usually missing during outbound communications: the customer s time, permission, and attention. Miller and Horowitz estimate that inbound channels have response rates ten times higher than outbound channels. Still, many inbound opportunities are falling short of the goal. These shortcomings are typically due to ineffective data collection methods and the absence of any strategies and/or applications designed to maximize customer interactions. So, how can these constraints be remedied? It s very easy when smart marketing strategies in conjunction with the appropriate information technology solutions are implemented. One of the first steps is to initiate a standardized data collection form, which will be presented to customers at each touch point. While the presentation format may vary by touch point, it is imperative that the demographic-based questions are posed exactly the same way on each form. If not, mining the data can become cumbersome or nearly impossible. The data that is extracted from the form is then utilized to generate automated follow-up communications. Standardized data collection makes the task of scanning the database for qualified prospects very easy. For instance, scanning every two weeks for new respondent households that have one or more children ages zero to five so you can send a Family Fun Pack from a neighborhood pediatrician becomes a straightforward routine. However, if you change the age range from one form to the next, such as zero to seven on one or zero to 10 on another, selecting the desired audience becomes quite difficult. From a tactical standpoint, the Health Information Request Form (HIRF) can be used to cover several touch points. For example, it s not reasonable to keep a call center customer on the phone long enough to list the 20 different healthcare topics that might interest them. In this case, the HIRF is best utilized as an insert contained in the outbound mailing sent as a result of the phone conversation. HIRF s can also be distributed at classes, events, and health fairs. All outbound direct mail, including newsletters, should include a reply form that uses the same standard data collection format. Online Response Forms (ORF s) are used as an alternative to mail-in reply forms or phone calls to the call center, and can be accessed as a hyperlink from your web site. ORF s are dynamically built the instant they are displayed to the viewer. This allows the program to use the client s web page template and navigational buttons that are in use at that specific time. Since the system can recognize the origin of the click through, the ORF can display the appropriate header or offer at the top of the page. For example, the cardiology web page can contain a button for a Healthy Heart Kit, which would be displayed at the top of the ORF, while the cancer web page would have a button for a Cancer Prevention Kit, which would be displayed as the offer at the top of that ORF. Now that you ve captured this valuable customer information, what can you do with it? Through the self-reported data you have collected from each customer, you know what specific healthcare issues are relevant to each household. All you need now is a systematic way of delivering future communications. This can be accomplished with a One to One (1:1) Communications Module. This program automates the process for audience selection and is typically executed monthly. Based upon predetermined criteria, an audience will be selected out of the database to receive one or more 1:1 letters and/or s. One of the major goals of this type of communication is to create a connection between the recipient and one or more of the employees at your organization, which ultimately creates a bond between the consumer and your facility. With the help of our clients, through the use of testing and control groups, we continue to refine 1:1 communication strategies in order to maximize their impact. A series of CRM communications can be added to this communication stream to help maintain long-term relationships. 3

4 Campaign & Media Source Coding Implementing standard source coding at each touch point will provide the necessary data elements for tracking, analysis, and ROI measurements. The source code is laser printed on each HIRF at the time of distribution. For example, the 250 HIRF s scheduled to be distributed at a health fair would contain a source code representing that particular event. The source code is captured during data entry along with the respondent information, thereby ensuring that this first customer interaction is tied to the appropriate touch point and date for future analysis. The date stamp and touch point channel are also captured when ORF s are used as the response mechanism. Whether this tracks back to a unique URL provided in outbound direct mail or print advertisements, or by tracking each web page click through, your online interactions are easy to categorize and measure. Since knowing which marketing campaign or media vehicle motivated the customer to touch your organization is so important, it is imperative to have tracking mechanisms in place in order to be able to capture this information. All direct mail response cards should be coded when mailed, and print advertisements should incorporate unique URL s or phone numbers that can be used to associate the respondent with that particular campaign, without having to rely on self-reported information. Further, you can use more than one URL or phone number within the same campaign for clarification purposes. For example, if three newspapers are running the same ad, use a different URL in each one so you will know which paper provided the most respondents. By associating the actions of the respondent with a specific campaign/media, you can accurately calculate the cost per response for each category. In addition, once a utilization analysis is completed, an actual ROI is provided. Often the how heard question posed by the call center or another touch point contains useful information. However, since this is self-reported information, it s more qualitative in nature. As a result, hard-coded and softcoded source data should be reported separately due to their varying degrees of reliability. After implementing your source code strategy, tests can be conducted to refine your communications process. In our opinion, testing is extremely underutilized in healthcare marketing. Conducting even a single test can provide valuable insight into how your customer thinks. By analyzing the knowledge gained across multiple tests, you now have a much clearer vision of the behavioral patterns of your customer. Understanding and using this information will allow you to refine your campaign, resulting in an enhanced ROI. One reason some marketers don t test is the misconception that conducting tests is expensive. With respect to our product, all internal database structures and applications were designed to facilitate testing scenarios with minimum effort. Segmenting outbound communications, coding records into test cells, and then reporting the outcomes, only impacts the overall campaign costs by a few hundred dollars. This investment is considered small when compared to the knowledge gained and the ability to apply this knowledge in the future. Some of the benefits of using the TouchPoint Database System include: Providing a wide variety of audiences the opportunity to learn more about your health system Increasing the number of respondents who provide valuable self-reported information Consolidating data through multiple touch points to provide a single view of respondent households Sending automated 1:1 communications to all respondents Clearly defining opt-out/opt-in audiences Identifying future relevant healthcare communication channels ( and direct mail) Applying standardized source code methodologies facilitates detailed response analysis Providing ROI for each touch point on utilization reports Evaluating mass media successes by implementing sound source coding strategies Providing an online suppression module that allows all authorized personnel secure access to opt individuals out of future communications 4

5 Above and beyond these benefits, the construction of a TouchPoint Database provides the groundwork for future expansion. It lets you access and use your data right now, but it also serves as the foundation for building a complete CRM integrated marketing database. Taking this approach allows you to spread the cost of building a fully integrated marketing database across an extended period of time, while reaping the benefits of the TouchPoint today. Conclusion When your organization captures the household demographics and healthcare preferences of your qualified prospects, you have the power to manage and maximize customer interactions and communications. Our TouchPoint Database System, in conjunction with an HIRF and CMPkc s proven strategies enable you to do just that. Developing standardized data structures in a centralized repository, along with our proven strategic recommendations, empower you to initiate seamless communications with qualified consumers, capitalize on each communication, and quantify your successes. Your organization, as well as the respondent, wins with the correct marketing strategies and tools in place. The benefits a TouchPoint Database System brings to your organization are invaluable. Our program helps you capture and analyze customer information and demographics. Also, through the incorporation of customizable online and printed forms that encourage customers to supply their interests and concerns, you can automate tailored, follow-up communications. Utilizing CMPkc s strategies and programs increases valuable customer interactions, which in turn builds and maintains loyalty, cost-effectively provides new patients, and supplies customers with proactive healthcare information. About CMPkc CMPkc is a full-service marketing firm specializing in successful relationship management strategies for the healthcare industry. Based in the historic River Market district of Kansas City, Missouri, CMPkc designs, implements and analyzes comprehensive marketing programs geared toward increasing utilization of healthcare services. Our relentless focus on improving our clients return on investment is manifested in the astounding results our programs generate. Our capabilities run the gamut of the marketing spectrum from strategic program development to creative development, and from database management through fulfillment, testing and analysis. With a full service lettershop and fulfillment center located within our 28,000 square-foot facility, we re able to complete your entire program in-house. This study is not intended for general distribution beyond your organization. Creative Marketing Programs considers this proprietary information For more information, please contact us. Creative Marketing Programs 412 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO (800)

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