The healthcare industry is transitioning from a patient-provided relationship to one that must also consider patients as customers. However, in the eyes of many patients and their families, healthcare providers and the typical healthcare experience are not known for their redeeming qualities. So how did Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest and most complex of the integrated health care systems, become such a market leader? With Service Innovation.
With a growth strategy built around service utility, service quality and service agility, Kaiser Permanente has consistently set itself apart. Through this commitment to innovation, Kaiser Permanente has built a brand reputation predicated on delivering service excellence across the patient continuum. As a core differentiator, Kaiser has created customer-centric culture, employee engagement programs, world-class talent management systems and HR processes that develop customer-centric leaders and frontline staff that are empowered to own and address customer/patient issues.
Central to this strategy is a self-service platform that uses advanced technology to provide patients with online tools, and easy, immediate access to healthcare services anywhere and anytime. This service philosophy allows Kaiser Permanente members to conveniently connect with doctors, access benefits, make appointments and stay abreast of their treatments.
The utility, quality and agility provided by Kaiser’s self-services platform strengthens the company’s relationship with its patients, and reinforces its commitment to continuous patient engagement and wellness.
In the emerging competitive context of the modern healthcare industry, these attributes are designed to create deeper emotional connections that lead to higher levels of retention and brand advocacy.
With this innovative service delivery approach, Kaiser has created extremely high barriers to competitive entry and high emotional switching costs for patients that culminate in sustained growth for Kaiser and an improved healthcare experience for its members.
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As co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Opptiv, Wayne Simmons was previously the Global Head of Delivery for The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center. As a thought leader, change agent and an expert experience strategy consultant, he led a team dedicated to delivering the legendary ethos, practices and systems of the Ritz-Carlton brand for client organizations across industries. Wayne leverages the principles of Horst Schulze, Cofounder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and creator of that brand’s legendary reputation for service excellence and customer-centric culture. As a Trusted Advisor working at the intersection of HR, CX and C-Suite leaders, Wayne coaches, trains and consults with businesses and brands on their journeys to maximize customer growth, loyalty and attain competitive advantage through service excellence and customer experience culture, leadership and operations.
Opptiv is the Service Excellence Consultancy. We help businesses and brands win through service excellence culture, customer-centricity and exceptional customer experience. Unique in the industry, we take a playbook approach to help clients achieve business outcomes at enterprise scale. We start by applying Design Thinking to activate leaders and engage frontline talent in the co-creation of purposeful culture platforms and unique service propositions that all levels can understand, embrace and hold each other accountable for. We then create brand-aligned playbooks to document the underlying elements of the culture as actionable guidance, practices and function-specific “plays”. Finally, we use these playbooks to inform the internal communications and tailored training needed to align, integrate, reinforce and sustain service excellence across all parts of the business.
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