What’s the Difference Between a Customer and a Patient?

The Answer: Loyalty

Customer loyalty is key in every industry, but recently healthcare patients are growing increasingly wise and have increased expectations of what they want out of their healthcare provider. A recent survey conducted by Accenture shows that nearly one in 10 patients say they would switch providers if service is poor. With that number likely to rise, gaining patient loyalty is going to be the name of the game.

Healthcare patients are more retail-savvy than ever- keep these strategies in mind when trying to gain their loyalty.

Create a Culture of Experience

Consumers are just as likely to switch doctors or clinics as hotels if the service they are receiving is not up to par. According to The Beryl Institute’s The State of Patient Experience 2017, 82 percent of healthcare organizations now have established patient experience efforts. Investments in these programs are increasing, as healthcare systems know they need to improve the experience to prevent patient attrition.

So what does that mean? It means you could stand to lose everything if you lack in service experiences, and conversely stand to gain if you excel in this area. According to Jake Poore of Integrated Loyalty Systems, “Bridging the gap between clinical quality and service quality is key to building loyalty.”


Above all, consumers want and need the experience to be as covenant as possible, which should really come as to no surprise. In fact, according to Accenture:

Percent of Consumers who say they would switch providers for…

  • 61% would switch for the ability to get an appointment quickly when needed
  • 52% would switch for the ability to get an appointment at a convenient location
  • 51% would switch for great customer service
  • 47% would switch for the ability to understand the cost upon scheduling and to easily understand and pay a bill using a preferred method

The Accenture survey also points out that money isn’t a determining factor. In fact, patients are willing to pay more for convenience. Half of them would pay more for weekend or after-hour appointments and one in five consumers would pay more for the ability to see a doctor virtually.

Patient Lifestyle

Health is a growing value in our modern-day culture. With that comes being proactive about living a healthy lifestyle. To achieve greater loyalty, providers should place a focus on what their patient’s passions are. “Providing programs and information about things that contribute to a high quality of life- such as: stress relief, energy maintenance and digestive health.” Providers should use this cultural shift to promote wellness as a lifestyle.

These are just a few strategies health providers can implement in attempt to increase their patient loyalty. The key thing to keep in mind is listen to your patents needs and wants and follow that lead.

At Extract we automate manual incoming document processes to deliver data to the EMR faster and more accurately. This allows doctors and nurses to spend more time taking care of patients and less time on clerical work and waiting for information aiding in patient satisfaction.

About the Author: Taylor Genter

Taylor is the Marketing Specialist at Extract with experience in data analytics, graphic design, and both digital and social media marketing.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Taylor enjoys analyzing people’s behaviors and attitudes to find out what motivates them, and then curating better ways to communicate with them.