Ann Arbor, MI – In service based industries loyalty cards are table stakes nowadays. Companies like Starbucks offer music, apps, free drinks, and special offers to every customer that takes part. And its a company that has many fans.

Recently three University of Michigan doctors published a paper suggesting that hospitals capitalize on this tactic. Health care facilities, like hospitals, are essentially service-based entities, and marketing in the form of loyalty programs could be a practical solution to address the choice patients now have in choosing their providers. There are three big pluses that this type of tactic might produce:

  • Customer retention. It costs more to attract new customers than it does to hold onto existing ones.
  • Customer goodwill. Receiving perks tends to lessen the sting of a bungled order or slow service.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising. People who take part in a loyalty program are more likely to say good things about the company and spread the word about it.

 

Why it matters:

As marketers we need to recognize that patients have a choice in who to go to when receiving health care. In a system where patients are looking for a value in a crowded health care system, companies will be looking for ways to differentiate one provider from another and a loyalty program might provide just that. People like to feel like they are being rewarded and something that could be a way to gain preference.

Want to take a closer look at the full writeup from Fast Company or a closer look at the study from these three doctors? You’ll find them both here.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.