Caution! Extreme Expectations are the New Norm

I barely remember the moon landing, but I remember when and where I was when I saw the first iPod and importantly, the emotion I felt when I saw it. Iipodt was a jewel of design. Unlike the nasty looking Walkman, the iPod was sleek, stunning in its contrast of metal back and opaque white front, absent of the many buttons and words that littered the Walkman—a wheel that had a soft but sturdy click sound as it turned. I fell in love. The iPod was introduced about a year after the famous architect and designer Michael Graves designed a low-cost version of his high-end kettle at Target. These were seminal moments in the “expect more” world.

Target, Apple, uber, Amazon, Nike, Zappos, Virgin…they have all taught us and our customers to expect more. And guess what, these same customers/consumers are Healthcare Providers, patients, payers, health system managers, caregivers.

They will not accept the healthcare experience as it exists today. Who has the patience to wait for an appointment, schlep all their kids into a germ infested pediatrician’s office, wait while her healthy kids play with germ infested toys and then be seen for 10 minutes, diagnosed with an ear infection and leave with a script for an antibiotic? The alternative? Pull out her smartphone, attach the otoscope to the phone, email the video to her physician and then participates in a quick telemedicine call. The video conference takes a few minutes, diagnosis received, script “in hand.”

And that’s just the beginning. Will her antibiotic send her kid a get well soon card, a game with points every time they take their antibiotic with triple points when they complete the full course? Did the brand support global handwashing day and teach kids how to properly wash their hands and tally the number of bacteria they kill by doing so? Did it partner with a gaming company to execute? A hand soap? A cause that matters to parents?

You customer has learned extreme expectations. Are you delivering as elegantly as the new standard? Fix your brand experience. Now.

  • Janet Winkler

    Janet Winkler is Group President of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. Janet leads a team of inspired professionals who are motivated to drive growth for clients. More than ever that means disrupting the conventional and providing ideas and solutions that leverage technology, insights, data & analytics, and consulting services, and do so in an integrated way.


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