Each touchpoint in a client’s buying journey has its own significance from a marketing perspective. This is equally true for dermatology marketing. However, some touchpoints are more important than others.
Over the years, client engagement and experience have evolved with the advent of digital technologies. Every client interaction now presents a moment of truth. An increasing body of evidence suggests the existence of a strong link between client engagement/experience and marketing success.
You can enhance the engagement and experience of your dermatology clients by recognizing and measuring the value of every touchpoint.
What is Client Experience?
High-quality client experiences comprise high-quality interactions. Client experience is not restricted to just a particular transaction, discussion with a service rep, or a visit to your dermatology office. It is a process that initiates the moment a client gains awareness of your practice, and it includes all transactions, interactions, and contacts in their journey.
Author of Everything They’ve Told You about Marketing Is Wrong, Ron Shevlin defines client engagement as follows: “Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological, or physical investment a customer has in a brand.” The repeated interactions are, in fact, the touchpoints.
What does a Touchpoint mean?
A touchpoint refers to any client experience or interaction that influences their perception of your dermatology services, products, or practice brand. Touchpoints may be intentional (such as an email sent out to clients) or unintentional (such as a digital review of your practice on a third-party review site).
Clients will experience touchpoints way before they have made an actual transaction and continue to do so long after their initial purchase. Smart dermatology marketers today strive to use client experience to enhance their competitive edge to develop a consistent and affirmative experience at each touchpoint.
Client experience is complex to measure, considering the large number of touchpoints that a client encounters. But not every “touch” is the same. Certain interactions are more significant than others. This makes it vital for a dermatology practice marketer to assess how every touchpoint affects the overall client experience.
Measuring every touchpoint independently can help you understand how it contributes to the general effectiveness of your professional services and measure the overall client experience more efficiently.
Today, metrics such as “client lifetime value” have rapidly become a standard measurement parameter. However, trying to measure client experience with a sole metric can be a risky proposition as well as an overly simplistic approach.
Managing the client experience accurately entails the management and measurement of a wide range of metrics to attain an understanding of the touchpoints that are effective and those that are not.
Measurement of Touchpoint Effectiveness
The successful measurement of touchpoint effectiveness requires that you view your practice through the eyes of the client.
Step 1: Inventory the Touchpoints. In order to effectively measure the touchpoints, your dermatology practice must first inventory every touchpoint that clients encounter during their life cycle. List each of these touchpoints.
The touchpoints must include each encounter in the processes of attraction (such as your practice website, published material, press coverage, ads, and social media), sales (such as patient testimonials, whitepapers, presentations to prospective clients, samples, and product literature), delivery and service (such as appointments, insurance, and billing), and, lastly, retention (such as referral programs). The list of touchpoints may be fairly long.
Step 2: Ensure Each Touch Has a Purpose. Identify and indicate the operational purpose and role of every touchpoint in the client experience. Touchpoints on the operational side may be geared toward identifying a prospective client, resolving an issue, accelerating conversion, or supporting the execution of a transaction.
Similarly, touchpoints on the client experience side may be developed for influencing perception, building preference, or creating loyalty. The purpose of each touchpoint is best identified in a working session that includes individuals from functions that “touch” the client and some clients themselves.
The touchpoints can be put on Post-it notes and mounted on a wall in the order that they are likely to be experienced by the client. The objective is to create groups of all touchpoints that are associated with a particular phase in the client lifecycle.
Step 3: Determine Ownership. Once the touchpoints and their respective purposes are identified, it is vital to determine touchpoint ownership. The primary owner of each touchpoint should be established.
Step 4: Rate the Impact of the Touchpoint. As all touches are not equally significant, it is essential to gauge the individual effect of every interaction.
Some touches may seem similar across industries, but do not carry the same importance. For instance, a problem in a coffee delivery may be irksome but not detrimental if corrected rapidly. However, a problem in the delivery of medicines may lead to losing the client.
The impact of every touchpoint can be scored on the experience via a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 signifying “does not have a high effect on the experience” and 10 signifying “has a very strong effect on the experience.”
Step 5: Evaluate the Effectiveness of Important Touchpoints. You can use the scale of 1 to 10, with 1 signifying “extremely ineffective” and 10 signifying “extremely effective.” This can help the practice assess every touchpoint that garners an 8 or higher on its ability to affect the operational effectiveness and client experience in a positive manner.
Step 6: Assess What is Working and What’s Not. Every touchpoint will be able to fit into one of the following four quadrants:
• high operational effectiveness/high client experience
• low operational effectiveness /low client experience
• high operational effectiveness /low client experience
• low operational effectiveness /high client experience
This mapping technique enables your dermatology practice to understand if and where there are weak links in the overall process.
Each client interaction is important. However, to enhance the overall client experience, your dermatology practice needs a starting point. From that starting point onward, you can determine the touchpoints that have the most significant impact on delivering an excellent client experience as well as improving your client retention and referral rates.