Currently, CX professionals rely heavily on survey data to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions. However, amidst the growing pressure, there’s been a demand for more context and clarity. This clarity comes from a deep, emotion-driven understanding of the interactions between customers and brands.  

What’s the missing component needed to understand the scope of CX disruption and opportunity? The power of empathy. Neural science shows us that humans primarily make decisions from their gut, emotion, and instinct. Empathy connects to this part of the brain. It prompts not only customer behaviours, but also those of our colleagues who utilise customer feedback to drive process and experience improvements.    

Listening directly to authentic and unsolicited customer interactions reveals the larger picture. By telling individual customer stories at scale, you create empathy at scale. Empathy at scale leads to real change.  

Empathy speaks to the head and heart

Healthcare companies position themselves as “customer-focused”. But they commonly rely on Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) in assessing customer experience and perception. These insights provide a high-level, but often incomplete, overview of customer satisfaction. Customers who do not respond to a survey remain out of sight and out of mind.   

There’s a need to balance speaking to the head and the heart. Voice of customer (VOC) data can share trends and insights that connect to our head. Drilling down further into the conversation activates the voice of the customer. The story is filled with emotion and context surrounding the situation.  

Data-backed storytelling helps identify the root of the problem and establishes opportunities for solutions. Empathy brings the story to life and forges a connection directly between the organisation and customer.   

Empathy amplifies customer voices

Every day, customers share unprompted feedback directly to healthcare organisations. Many of their shared stories are heart-breaking, traumatic, or unrelated to the direct reason for the call. Perhaps they’ve recently lost a loved one. Maybe they’ve waited weeks for an unemployment check to pay for life-saving medication. Or they have been given a recent diagnosis that is leading to additional questions on insurance coverage. Customers sharing these stories want to feel seen and understood.  

Gathering actionable and honest customer insights offers valuable feedback. It directly reflects what’s a priority for every customer, in their own words. This unsolicited feedback lives in:  

  • Recorded call centre conversations  
  • Customer support chat transcripts
  • Customer video calls  
  • Email communications 

Consciously listening to these interactions facilitates a more complete immersion on who their customers are. This enables an organisation to expand its knowledge, understanding and appreciation for customer needs.    

Leveraging conversational analytics in healthcare

Technologies like machine learning, AI, and conversational intelligence are changing the way healthcare listens. Current innovation allows healthcare leaders to analyse and activate conversational data with quantitative and qualitative insights. These essential insights consider emotional context. It can be leveraged in employee trainings, strategic growth initiatives, and building a robust customer experience.   

For example, to prepare for a product launch, one pharmaceutical company intentionally listened to customer conversations. This was to develop more effective messaging to address points of friction. From this analysis, they heard frustration, concerns about cost, and barriers to access. The team was able to adapt their messaging and develop a digital locator tool to help customers easily access the product.    

Companies who leverage conversational analysis benefit from speed to action. Relying solely on survey data, CX professionals find themselves defending the data or understanding why certain results are emerging. Whereas, with conversational analysis, they find themselves actioning the data. Directly listening to the voice of the customer triggers an emotional and empathetic connection. When this connection happens, leaders are more likely to act.  

These conversations become drivers of change for leadership. This is tasked with finding actionable process improvements to serve customers with empathy.   

For too long, the healthcare industry has relied on surveys as the data cornerstone for CX insights and priorities. Conversations between customers and the brand contain rich insights into customer thoughts, challenges, and suggestions for improvement. Conversational intelligence technologies empower organisations to identify disruptions, empathise with customers, and take actionable steps in improving a complex industry.  

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