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What do Healthcare and Politics have in Common?

Health Care Provider

November 1 marked the first day of the open enrollment period for citizens to sign up for a government-backed healthcare plan – only a few days before the November 8 elections. What does health care and Public Policy have in common – consumers! Consumers of these services represent nearly all ages, demographics, and socio-economic levels.

Providers of these services are doing their best to address the needs of their customers and to provide good value. In both cases, the consumer benefits from active collaboration with the provider. It’s their feedback that helps set priorities and defines new services.

Seniors who have Medicare and supplemental plans and Medicaid recipients make up a significant portion of the spending on healthcare and related services.  Seniors are also the fastest growing demographic world-wide.

As more companies compete for a share of the market, the competition is giving seniors and low-income consumers greater choice and convenience. For instance, it’s now possible to get clinical services at local retail locations like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, as opposed to going to a doctor’s office that may be miles away. The providers that will profit the most will be those that can deliver the best customer experience. One of the keys to delivering a positive customer experience is getting representative, actionable feedback.

In many cases, healthcare serivces are delivered by contractors, and feedback is important from a quality control and improvement standpoint. The timing to get the feedback is important, especially if there is a quality issue so that it can be addressed quickly – before finding out that you lost a customer.

Internet adoption is low among senior and low-income households. However, all have either a home phone or mobile phone. Since the phone is a viable connection, we’re seeing increasing demand from healthcare providers for automated voice-based survey methods to engage with these important customer segments. With healthcare being of high importance to both demographics, they are very motivated to engage in the surveys, so response rates are high.

The same approach would also benefit public policy makers and government service providers. Many of their constituents also fall into the hard-to-reach category, yet too often the only engagement method is through the internet. Adding a phone based response method holds a lot of potential.

So we’d like to encourage more government agencies to learn about customer engagement from the competitive healthcare providers.

Mary McDougall

Survox President and CEO

Opinion Polling

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