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Communication Breakdown is Destroying Customer Experience

20% of healthcare customers are stuck in their customer journey.

Just like a river eddy interrupts the main water current and pulls objects into an ever-spinning whirlpool, customers are getting stuck and being forced to return to your company over and over again in order to overcome the obstacle. We call this phenomenon the Eddy Effect.

The Eddy Effect

According to our findings in the 2020 Customer Voice Report, the most common reason (or Eddy) healthcare customers reach out today is to check on the status of their case because an open issue hasn’t been resolved. Due to a communication breakdown, either the message isn’t getting to the right stakeholders internally so they can take action, or the action is occurring and the customer isn’t being informed. During a customer conversation, this type of Eddy sound like:

  • “This is the third time I’ve had to call about this.” 
  • “Two days ago I was told I’d get a callback and I haven’t yet.” 
  • “I haven’t heard back yet.”
  • “I never got a response”
  • “But nobody called me back to let me know if it’s acceptable.”

Implications

Eddies generate waste. They create the need for company resources to be spent resolving problems that never should have occurred in the first place. They also create a tremendous amount of frustration for your customers, who are burdened to seek out information that should have been provided to them. To make matters worse, customers consider being stuck in an Eddy one of the most negative brand experiences possible. When customers get stuck in an Eddy, it negatively impacts brand perception, customer retention, and ultimately revenue.

For agents, measuring Eddies is the antithesis of First Call Resolution. In other words, if you measure the percentage of customers who have hit an Eddy, it should hold you honest to your First Call Resolution metric.

And finally, leaders need to be mindful of ways to create better systems for communicating case status to customers and managing expectations about follow-up communication. Initiating follow-up with customers is a powerful tactic that customers value greatly and reduces inbound calls.

It’s essential to identify and take action on Eddies in your organization. If you aren’t actively measuring them, you should. 

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Healthcare leaders can no longer afford to ignore the clues customers are dropping throughout their day-to-day conversations. Learn what matters most to healthcare consumers so you can take action within your own organization.

eddy effect communication breakdown
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