Beyond the patient journey: Designing for behaviour change

Anna Tamasi|26th February 2016

Journey mapping is the process of taking the insights from customer research and creating a visual representation from that data. It allows you to see how your customers interact with various touchpoints through different channels in their information or treatment journeys. More importantly, it highlights where the customers’ experiences don’t match up with their expectation, and therefore, the journey also highlights opportunities for improvement.

In healthcare, customer journey maps can be very complex due to the fact that healthcare systems are often convoluted and extensive. This creates a web of interconnected touchpoints and interdependent stakeholders that is too cluttered and difficult to use. It can also miss the mark in terms of developing solutions that drive a change in behaviour when new touchpoints and services are proposed.

In 2016, it’s time to update our model for the customer journey. Customer Experience Consultant Anna Tamasi talks us through the future of journey mapping.

 

Journey maps show us the full picture around customer behaviour

In order to develop a strategy for behaviour change, it’s critical to have a full understanding of the thoughts and emotions of the customer (who might be a patient, payer, or healthcare professional) at each point of the journey. By understanding their current pain points and triggers, the journey map should guide us on how to move customers to the desired behaviour. It should also bring customer needs into alignment with the client’s business objectives, offering a vision for an optimised design solution.

 

With constant behaviour change, we need to look at the transition process

When changing processes or introducing new products and services within the journey, it is critical that a customer-centric transition process is considered for each shift. For example, if we’re going to eliminate a telephone service and replace it with a digital portal, there needs to be a transition period that addresses the needs of existing customers so they are supported through the behaviour change process. It’s not just about changing the solution, it’s also about how to move customers from one behavioural pattern to a new one without losing them in the process.

 

It is not only possible, but important to prototype and test new services

Prototyping and testing a new service is the best way to adapt it and optimise it for customers’ needs as well as the business requirements. This can be done using a variety of methods - roleplaying scenarios, simulations, and pilot programmes are all great ways to run tests with real customers to understand if and how the new service moves them to the ideal journey.

Healthcare and pharma is going digital. This wasn’t news in 2015, and it isn't news in 2016. Patients can now book appointments with their GP online, Skype a specialist, and check their moles for cancer using apps; digital is charging forward. Brands are already thinking about digital channels, and how to improve their offerings by utilising digital more effectively. What brands need to consider in addition to digital innovation is the transition to digital from other channels. How the emotions and thoughts at each stage of the journey affect a patient’s behaviour is key to moving them to the new, ideal journey.

 

Brands need to shift their focus to behaviour change and how improving the journey map to include thoughts and feelings at each touchpoint can facilitate that goal.

 

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