Patient Disloyalty: 3 Factors That Diminish Trust in Your Online Support | SYKES Digital Skip to main content
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With technology and health increasingly intertwined, MedTech companies are at the forefront of many medical journeys. But with heightened competition, both from new market entrants and established tech giants, the battle for (patient) retention is intensifying. Those who adopt a patient-centric approach, starting now, will have the upper hand.

In our previous article, we explored the MedTech device adoption journey, along with the key concerns voiced by patients. Based on these insights, we’ve identified three critical moments in the support journey where MedTechs risk losing patient trust, and an actionable roadmap to counteract this.

Keep reading to discover how MedTechs can actively support patients and distinguish themselves from the competition.

Trust is a key driver of patient loyalty

Research confirms that trust is one of the most crucial factors impacting patient loyalty. The onboarding stage, in particular, has proven to be a defining moment for establishing trust. Remember, patients are not consumers by choice. A proper onboarding process that generates patient confidence can help patients accept a diagnosis or even feel a sense of ease and relief about a non-desirable situation.

With this in mind, read on to discover the key moments that can make or break your support journey – and what steps to take to improve.

1. Not knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your channels

The key to enhancing MedTech support is to identify the best-suited channel for each step in the support journey. To achieve this, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every channel, as well as which ones are preferred by the patient.

But how does one determine which channels your patients prefer? This is not always so straight forward. The most-used channel, for instance, does not necessarily translate to the most preferred channel. It is important in cases like these not to assume anything: A channel might be most frequently used because patients cannot easily find alternative support options. For this reason, it’s crucial to properly assess your entire customer journey and the data gathered from it to investigate “why” certain channels are under- or over-utilized.

Then, how do you determine which content is ‘best’? Research shows that most patients favor interactive self-service journeys, supplemented with easy-to-navigate, step-by-step guides. Yet, printed guides seem to inspire the most trust. This means they have equal weight in the support journey.

At the same time, while print is the strongest generator of trust, what is ‘written in stone’ is difficult to change and maintain. So, when software updates occur, your printed guide is no longer entirely relevant. Digital assets are much easier to edit, but with multiple channels, message inconsistency quickly becomes an issue. In the end, there is no silver bullet – each channel has pros and cons and needs to be thoughtfully incorporated into the patient journey.

In this table, we have mapped out the strengths and weaknesses of frequent support channels used by MedTechs:

2. Failing to transfer trust between channels

Meeting patients where they are, on the channel they choose, is a critical element of enhancing trust in the support journey. MedTech companies can bring this to the next level by strategically transferring trust between channels.

For example, as printed material typically generates the most trust, by connecting printed and online manuals, trust can be transferred from a physical to a digital channel. For instance, scanning a QR code can take a patient directly to the respective support page or interactive tutorial. By leveraging this method, you are capturing patients’ trust but releasing them from the heavy booklet they hold in their hands.

Being able to shift seamlessly between channels creates a positive experience but being able to transfer seamlessly – and directly – between support assets can be even more impactful.

Understand your user experience from a patients’ perspective. Get the key insights encouraging device adoption and long-term loyalty from modern-day MedTech consumers.

3. Not speaking your patients’ language

An issue within the tech (not just MedTech) space is that we become so accustomed to the jargon associated with our products or services that we lose touch with how our customers speak. But to support patients in need, MedTechs must understand – and use – their patient’s language. Cumbersome jargon will not help patients, nor Googles’ search engines.

Our own user research confirmed that when looking for online support, patients frequently used terms such as ‘troubleshooting’ or ‘problem’. But these terms were not mirrored by brands. The disconnect led to poor support findability. In medical situations, poor visibility can at best be an inconvenience; at worse, a potentially dangerous situation.

In our previous Consumer MedTech Report, you can learn more about speaking your patient’s language and how to embed SEO into your MedTech support strategy.

Conclusion

MedTechs are well-positioned to shape the future of health – if they carefully plan the support journey, keeping patients at the forefront of every decision. Those who understand patients’ concerns and take calculated steps to ease them will enhance patient trust, drive loyalty, and outpace the competition.

Would you like to learn more? Download the entire eBook or request a free strategy session with one of our MedTech and CX experts.

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