You have been hired as an outside consultant for a large durable medical equipment and medical supply company. The company specializes in a wide range of medical supplies and equipment. Some of its most profitable offerings include hospital bed rental to private residents, wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, and other mobility equipment. However, the company has come to realize that competition is increasing and its market share is shrinking. The company noted that most of its customers are new customers, and very few are repeat customers. The company is concerned with customer loyalty. The medical supply company owner has asked you to develop a plan to improve customer loyalty.
Complete the following:
- Create a report that describes and critically analyzes at least 5 contemporary best practices to improve customer loyalty in a health care organization.
- Be sure to discuss the (multiple) benefits that loyal, repeat customers offer to health care organizations.
- Develop and defend at least 4 recommendations for the medical supply company based on your research on how to improve customer loyalty. Include a brief overview of how each recommendation would be implemented at the company.
Sample Answer – Customer Loyalty Improvement Plan
Modern Best Practices to Improve Customer Loyalty in a Health Care Organization
There are various modern strategies that the organization can employ to win customer loyalty. One of these strategies is building their brand. Healthcare organizations should focus on developing quality products which are well known for unmatched quality in the market. This will convince the customers to remain with the company even when its prices are slightly high. Building the company brand is one strategy to ensure that any customer who uses the company’s product comes back for more due to oneor more unmatched feature in the market. The provided sales services should also be of high quality to increase customers’ level of satisfaction. Strong brand increases customers’ satisfaction, making them to come back. It also earns the company new customers through referral from other loyal customers (Nasrabad, 2017).
Another strategy that healthcare organization employs to increase customers’ loyalty is by developing a patient-centered organization. In this case, the organization focuses more on addressing the need of the patient by providing services that best fits the patient’s needs. Health care organization in this case shouldfocus on providing services that surpass the patient expectations. Aspects that include ensuring patient safety should be highly considered by reducing medical errors, and increasing patient satisfaction. This provision of good services increases customers’satisfaction and trust on the organization services and hence making them to come back in the future (Nasrabad, 2017).
Another strategy being employed to build customer loyalty is improving the experience of the customer in health care organizations. Healthcare organizations are currently taking key initiatives that include responding to the customers’ feedback on various issues including quality of products and services. Other measures include acting as a unified organization to guarantee consistency, ensuring availability by being operational at all times, personalizing healthcare experiences and services, altering healthcare organization behavior and attitudes by hiring right individuals and offering them with the right training to ensure that customers are served with high standard of professionalism (Purcarea, Ratiu & Purcarea, 2008).
Another strategy that healthcare organizations are employing to enhance customer loyalty is by offering more information to the patients or customers. Transparency and information can enhance patient interaction in the healthcare organization. Patients tend to be distrustful when they realize that some information is being withheld. This may make them feel confused and doubtful of what they have been told; a situation that makes them to feel neglected and judges the healthcare organization harshly. Thus effective communication, information sharing and transparency can enhance building of trust and eventually customer loyalty.
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Another strategy that can be employed is the use of loyalty programs. This can include membership program, frequent buyer program, bundle goods, discount over time, and issue gift card. The healthcare organizations may consider offering discounted price to patients with certain conditions that makes them need regular checkups and clinics, or use certain medication for a long time period. In most cases, customers are given a card that they use to be identified in the future returns. This easy the implementation of loyalty programs in health care organizations (Singh & Khan, 2012).
Benefits of Loyalty
Customer loyalty assures an organization of returning customers after the first sale. This ensures the organization of repeated business and hence giving a constant amount of revenue that the company can make per year without incurring marketing cost. Reliable and good relation with the customers gives the organization a chance to sell more as loyal customers do not fear making huge and more purchases. Their trust in the organization varieties and quality provides a better chance to the organization in making large quantity sales.
Customer loyalty also reduces the organization competition impact (Singh& Khan, 2012). More products are sold to loyal customers who are not impacted by the aggressiveness of the market competition. The company thus becomes immune to this competition. Repeated customers also reduce the cost of customers’ acquisition. Obtaining new customers ‘needs more marketing effort which requires time and money. Customer loyalty ensures high level of customers retention which is highly manageable than acquiring new customers (Kandampully& Suhartanto, 2000).
The organization offers medical equipment and medical supplies, which seems to face high competition in the market. The company is facing competition since it does not focus on being exceptional in the market. Customers seem to get away after trying the company’s product for the first time. This can be interpreted that the company offers goods of the same quality as others at equal or high price, or goods of lower quality compared to other.
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I would therefore recommend the organization to consider building the quality of their products. This will push new customers into coming back and eventually in developing trust to the company’s product. The company should also try to improve its customer services. Customer loyalty is highly associated high customers satisfaction. In this case, the company should consider improving its customer services. The organization should ensure that it has the right employee for the tasks and that the employees are well training on effective provision of services. This includes quick services, and giving customers the attention they deserve. The company should also consider improving customers experience by providing them with a platform to offer their feedback and acting on the feedback to improve the quality of its products and services.
Developing a social media platform where they can post details of their products and expect customers commend will highly enhance the customers trust to the company’s products, as the company will be found to be more interested with satisfying customers’ needs. I would also recommend the company to implement one of the best loyalty programs to entice their customers. The use of loyalty card where one can earn points after purchase and get a discount after the points reach a certain level would encourage customers to come back and to make huge purchases from the company.