A recent visit to my local GP surgery provided a fascinating insight to the adoption of communication technology in the NHS that has far-reaching consequences for all customer services businesses. The vast majority of consumers use the NHS in some way or another. And so, it is important to note that small, local GP practices are embracing mixed media communication channels to streamline their operations, enhance the patient experience and save costs. Many consumers will soon question why big businesses can’t do the same.
Just consider my GP journey of the last week to understand more. I book the appointment online via a mobile phone browser when waiting to go into a meeting. I receive email confirmation of the appointment, along with a text reminder – both by the time the meeting has finished – importantly both highlight the cost of missed appointments to the NHS and the easy way to cancel if required. On arrival at the surgery, I register my presence by answering 4 simple questions (sex, day of birth, month of birth, year of birth) and receive instant confirmation of my appointment time. Then watch amazed as 15 people aged 18 to 80 do exactly the same, without needing to speak to the receptionist.
To conclude matters, my appointment takes place on-time and I leave a virtually empty waiting room. With the NHS committed to treating patients as customers in the future – it’s clear they are already embracing communication technology in a way that many companies are yet to even contemplate. Take a look at the results of our blind testing research of 80 leading brands to understand more.
What is certainly clear is that mass market exposure to best practice in mixed media communication will soon heighten expectations for all consumers