Why Your Hospital Needs an Accessible Website

On a daily basis, we complete a variety of digital tasks in a matter of seconds or minutes without thinking twice about the complexity. Thoughtful design makes these experiences easy to navigate for the majority of the population. But, what about the 61 million Americans with disabilities? Do they have the same easy-to-use experiences for navigating digital? In this article, we’ll share why your hospital needs an accessible website as well as offer a complimentary, custom impact analysis of where your healthcare organization stands today.

What is accessibility for healthcare?

Digital accessibility is an inclusive act of removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from engaging with healthcare digital tools and technologies.

An accessible hospital website could include customer experience functions such as:

  • The ability for a website to offer the same functionality when on a mobile device and in a landscape mode
  • A well-designed customer experience that allows users to navigate through features by using only a keyboard.
  • Thoughtful colors and contrasts for all design elements and copy.

The goal of launching an accessible tool is to create thoughtful digital products for ALL. Ultimately, these digital experiences should allow users to navigate essential features and functions without obstacles.

A couple of questions for your team to think about: 

  • Did your team properly implement ARIA labels in your site’s HTML?
  • Do you use color throughout any part of your website or mobile app to convey any visual messaging?
  • Do all forms have clear visual label tags so that screen readers can process them?

Why should my hospital have an accessible website?

Simply put, it’s the right thing to do. 

1 in every 4 adults in the U.S. has some type of functional disability. 

“Disability” is an umbrella term that describes four main groups of impairments which can be broken down into:

  1. Motor
  2. Cognitive
  3. Hearing
  4. Visual

It’s important to remember that some disabilities develop throughout a lifespan while others are present at birth. There is no discrimination against age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Therefore, when designing a website we have to be prepared to tackle all.

In addition, there is a slew of other benefits that are worthwhile to note. 

Social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is a critical factor that ties into the brand perspective. If you treat your customers right and fair they will continue to support you, but the relationship has to start on mutual grounds.

You’ve probably heard plenty of horror stories about how hospitals have been sued for compliance issues. In addition, there was a big out-of-industry case where Domino’s Pizza was sued for its inaccessible website that did not allow for online ordering for those with vision impairments.

In 2020 alone, approximately 11,000 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in federal courts. While ADA Title III lawsuits have traditionally focused on physical accessibility elements (handicap parking, restroom accessibility, etc.), website and mobile applications are now a prime target for accessibility claims. 

Search engine optimization

This is a win-win! Not only does implementing superb search engine optimization practices help your customers with disabilities, but it also indirectly improves your quality score which will impact your ranking against competitors.

In short, by making your web pages more accessible you’re increasing your chances of being found on search engines.

Why is accessibility overlooked in healthcare?

For the majority of organizations, cost is the highest factor.

Surely, involving a separate quality assurance team to test all implementations takes time and possibly various iterations, but in the end, your team will save money by taking the necessary steps to ensure accessibility standards are met.

If your hospital is not preventative and checks accessibility prior to a new launch it could end up costing your team 2 to 3 times the original cost to fix the issues present.

In short, the time is now. Fix your issues before launching.

How does a hospital tackle website accessibility?

Thankfully there are standards that can help guide your hospital’s website or mobile app design and functionality. For example, our quality assurance team uses the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines provide criteria for content creators to help ensure all experiences are accessible.

*Tip: WCAG is updating to 2.2 guidelines which are launching in June of 2022!*

Is my hospital’s website accessible?

Is your team able to effectively describe in which ways your website offers a comparable experience to those with visual, auditory, or physical limitations? 

Are you able to answer any of the below?

  • Does my hospital’s mobile app allow for landscape orientation? 
  • Can a user navigate through features by using only the keyboard?
  • Does our team follow WCAG’s color contrast guidelines?

If you’re unable to answer one or any of these questions, it’s time your hospital revisits website accessibility.

Certainly, your team can run all the free accessibility “checkers” to get a pretty okay understanding of major red flags. But having a dedicated team to ensure that you’re covering all bases is much more reliable.

Have Modea complete a custom digital impact analysis to understand where your healthcare organization stands today and how to propel your customer experience for the future.

Google Analytics for Healthcare: 3 Helpful UX Reports

We work with a variety of healthcare clients who use a plethora of advanced tools to collect big data. Often times the goal is to get advanced analytics on their various digital platforms and campaigns. Hootsuite, Sprinkler, Google Campaign Manager, and of course, the big one: Google Analytics.

No tool is quite so ubiquitous, powerful, or anywhere near as intimidating as Google Analytics. But many users struggle to get as much out of this tool as it offers. In this article, we’ll share a few examples of how your healthcare organization can quickly get powerful insights out of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is tricky, especially for healthcare

Google Analytics is free and easy to install via a Content Management System interface. The tool collects so much out of the box and therefore you’ll begin collecting helpful data off from the start.

So it’s just easy and low-risk enough that often the marketing department sets up a Google Analytics account. And the installer then becomes the resident “Google Analytics expert”. This is, usually, not a position they have signed up for. However, while the initial setup and installation of this tool are low in difficulty, the learning curve is high

The initial dashboard you’re presented with is easy to navigate.

Google Analytics dashboard

But doing anything deeper and clicking around, let’s say for a custom report is anything but clear

Custom report in Google Analytics

This can feel very complicated. The data itself isn’t always the most welcoming. For example, check out this report in Google Analytics.

Landing page report in Google Analytics

What do all these fields mean? How do I tell the difference between a page and a landing page? What about bounce rate and exit %? Are any of these metrics good or bad? 

Google Analytics does not offer us context for any of these metrics and is therefore very difficult to interpret.

We often see healthcare teams start with the reporting infrastructure but get lost, or worse, overwhelmed, and simply stop.

Google Analytics is incredibly powerful and easy to set up but is hard to utilize without proper context. In practical terms, many hospitals have Google Analytics but can only get a fraction of the insight that they should be able to get from it.

So, here are a few real-world examples of how to get this UX information and how to use it.

Helpful UX Google Analytics reports to pull for your healthcare organization

There are a wealth of ways you can cut and slice this data. If you’re overwhelmed, I have good news for you: there are a bunch of very simple ways to access and view this data without a ton of effort. Small wins can make the tool less overwhelming!

Below are three common scenarios that will be meaningful to a healthcare system like yours. In addition to quick-and-dirty data, you can pull to have a meaningful, data-informed conversation.

Scenario 1: Our health system’s homepage is super important and we must add this feature to it!

There’s a consistent theme that we run into when designing a website: somebody important (usually a VP or equivalent) comes to a meeting with an idea-request-demand. 

“Hey, we just got a big grant for our excellent cardiology research,” they say. “We should promote this and make cardiology more prominent on our website’s homepage!”

Now, your initial thought may be “Okay how can we add this feature or content? But I don’t want to disrupt the homepage”. Or even “No, we can’t just redesign the homepage to account for your whims.”

But there’s a deeper issue we need to unpack first.

The homepage isn’t your patients’ front door

The assumption is that the homepage is the place where most people will see that information is not accurate.

Here’s what I mean. Go to your Google Analytics account right now and see how many people ENTER the site on the homepage. You can do in Universal Analytics via this report:

Landing page report in Google Analytics

And the report you’ll look at will look something like this:

Page path report in Google Analytics

What do we see here? First of all, yes, there are a ton of entrances on the homepage. If we look at the helpful percentage beside the homepage indicator, we can see that it’s still less than a quarter of the total entrances.

Keep that in mind: roughly 8 out of 10 people enter healthcare sites on a page other than the homepage

We find this is broadly true across basically every client we work with in the healthcare space. Most consumers enter the site on a ‘detail’ page (provider, location, or service-line specific pages on your website).

Why does this matter for your conversation with your C-Suite person? How could or should we better use our data? 

Well, people often think of homepages as the front doors of the website, however, that’s wrong.

Google is the “front door” of your website, and it dumps users into the interior of your site with regularity. These detail pages like “www.hospital.com/doctors/your-doctor-name-md” or “www.hospital.com/service-line/cardiology.”

What report can I pull Google Analytics?

Healthcare websites often have simple, easy-to-filter URL strings that can be used to parse out content types like “locations/” or “/providers/”. A filter for those strings can give you a long, inclusive list of these granular types of content pages. This will allow you to see a clearer picture of exactly where people are arriving on your website.

Page report in Google Analytics

Even with these simple queries, we’ve shifted the conversation to a more interesting place: 12,000 visits began on provider detail pages! If we really want to increase the visibility of our cardiology research then we should increase visibility on the provider pages.

And while we’re at it, how can we increase the connective tissue on those provider, location, and service-line pages so that people can more easily navigate the site?

Looking at entrances and specific groups of URLs, can often be an easy way to figure out the real “front doors”. If it’s not what you expect, that can be a helpful way to redirect either strategy (how do we adjust to this new reality?) or spending (should we invest in better SEO performance for these areas that are underperforming?).

*Our recommendation*

We suggest that rather than add a feature to the homepage highlighting cardiology, we could instead add some content to both highlight the awesome research and make those provider profiles or location pages even better and more appealing. 

Scenario 2: Our online appointment tools aren’t working and we should scrap them!

Here’s another common example:

Southeastern Hospital put a bunch of time, money, and effort into building out online scheduling tools to allow its users to digitally book appointments. That’s great! But so far, it seems like the result is a paltry trickle of actual people coming in for appointments.

The first thing we should recognize is that the big call-to-action button on our website that allows users to “schedule an appointment online” is not the end of the user journey. Rather it’s just one step along the way from deciding I need care” to “physically present in a doctor’s office“.

Here’s how we often think about our digital tools:

User visits site –> user clicks on CTA = Conversion!

And that is, unfortunately, an oversimplification.

An actual user flow

An actual user flow will look something more like this:

  • User Googles “Doctor near me”.
  • Visits site on doctor profile page.
  • Browses 1-5 other pages.
  • Returns to doctor profile page.
  • Clicks on a CTA.
  • Kicked out to internal form on separate site.
  • Fills out a form.
  • Submits request appointment form.
  • Gets to thank you page.

It’s a much more complicated and multistep process. At every step, a user can abandon the process. Often, a surface-level look will simply tell us the end result of our user journey. Rather we need to focus the whittling down what occurs throughout the process.

  • 1000 users google “doctor near me”.
  • 400 visit site on doctor profile page.
  • 320 click on CTA.
  • 315 start filling out the form.
  • 50 submit the request appointment form.
  • 45 actually show up to an appointment.

In this equation, where is the dropoff? Where is the pain point? Is it the design and placement of the button? Or is it in the form that individuals are required to fill out online?

This is an important UX feature.

What report can I pull Google Analytics?

An easy way to find this in Google Analytics is the creative use of custom segments. When logged in to Google Analytics, pull up the segment builder to create a new segment:

Custom segment in Google Analytics

If you hit the ‘preview’ button, you can see exactly what percentage of users accomplished this task. When you update that segment with a subsequent step, you can see the preview changes:

Custom segment in Google Analytics

That’s a quick-and-dirty way to get some identification as to where there’s a bigger-than-expected dropoff in sessions or users, and use that to direct your efforts. You still have to be able to accurately identify the steps and for this, you’re going to want to use either events + pageviews if you have them, or URL string fragments if you don’t. 

*Our recommendation*

Think through what we can do better about that particular stage in the journey? Can…

  • A form be shortened or simplified?
  • Load time be increased?
  • Move elements to more visual prominence to facilitate the user’s journey?

And, if this step is difficult, is it even necessary?

Scenario 3: Our internal search tools aren’t working at all

This is another common issue we run into with our hospital clients: somebody comes storming in and says…

Our internal site search stinks! I’ve been searching my name/specialty/location and no relevant results pop up! We’ve got to reassess how our search results are ranked, it’s all wrong.”

Before we fully revamp our search weighting, let’s figure out a quick way to use Google Analytics to get an answer to that question. 

What do we mean by “successful”?

The first thing you should ask in this situation is not “is our internal search successful?” but rather, “what do we mean bysuccessful?’’

Maybe this is “select a relevant search result from the list displayed.” Maybe you want this to be “clicks on a specific CTA” after that search result. Maybe you want them to end up in a specific location or URL on the website. 

Most of the time, the simplest way to ascertain “success” for an internal search tool is “did the user find a relevant search result?” The good news is that there is a straightforward way of getting that information.

Almost all the time, your search information will be pushed into the URL in the form of parameters. They’ll look something like this, and populate when a user executes a search:

Query string from Google Analytics

This process makes it easy to trace a user through the search journey. It also is why we like using URL parameters rather than or in addition to Google Analytics’s native site search features: this allows us to get information on the filters used as well as the queries used, and most healthcare providers have internal find-a-doc or find-a-location tools that feature filters very heavily.

What report can I pull Google Analytics?

So what do we do here? We look for the search pages with a query parameter attached. The easiest way to do this is by content categorization. We’re looking for two specific steps here: 

  • A user who entered a query into our search tool.
  • A user who subsequently clicked on a relevant result.

In order to do this, we need to run a very simple report: We need to go to the “All Pages” report, located here in the GA interface: 

All pages report in Google Analytics

Once there, we are going to add a secondary dimension called “Previous Page Path” to the report.

Previous page path report in Google Analytics

The last piece of this puzzle is to add a custom filter to this report, where we filter the previous page path to only include URLs that include an entered query (that’s the “?” piece of this puzzle. And yes, I have chosen an example that is particularly clear-cut, if you want to choose a messy example well then you should use that in the blog you write). We also filter the page paths to include only those pages with a provider profile page as the next page.

Filter in Google Analytics

*Our recommendation*

So what we have here, then, is a helpful little dataset: we know what queries are entered, as well as what pages they subsequently ended up on. 

You can adjust the filter that you use to be more or less specific or more inclusive and see what specific filters or queries led to, or what specific results were clicked on. You could even use either the Google Sheets integration via API or an API call from R or Python and get even more detail there as well, but even without that, these steps would give you a pretty good first look at the data and let you feel more confident and familiar with moving forward! 

An ending note

I hope this has provided you with some helpful first steps towards actually getting MORE out of your Google Analytics implementation in a real, practical, tactical sense. These are all really common, simple versions of analyses and data diving that we do for our clients regularly. 

However, I also want to make a note here: each of these scenarios involves some strategic thinking as a preamble to their execution.

Example #1

We have to redirect from a poorly formed directive to a better research direction and question.

Example #2

First, we have to better identify and layout our user funnel and identify the steps involved.

Example #3

We have to identify and align on how we’re defining “success.”  That part of the puzzle is, of course, every bit as important as the analysis itself (I argue it’s more important, but this is a blog post trying to give you tactical stuff to do and get some cool use out of a tool you probably already have!).

We hope these tactics can be used to get some real use out of your free tools! Good luck, and don’t be afraid to break things.

What You Need to Know: Digital Front Door

The buzzword “digital front door” has been used in healthcare circles since 2017. The concept itself is by no means “new” and is actually the reason why Modea exists.

In this article, we will explain what a digital front door is, why it’s crucial for the future success of your healthcare organization, and 3 principles to get your team started.

What is a “digital front door”?

Over the years, we’ve seen retail giants pave the way for what user experience should look and feel like. As e-commerce grows and competition is at an all-time high, organizations must craft and launch award-winning, omnichannel experiences for consumers. Often with a goal of allowing the user to seamlessly engage with the brand through connected experiences

Healthcare should be no different. And good news! We’ve seen a huge shift in how healthcare providers are prioritizing digital investments over the past few years.

These investments are providing impactful forward movement. Unfortunately, much of this work in healthcare is siloed and can still create pain points for the consumer. If providers want to win more customers in today’s digital landscape, they need to stop seeing digital as a collection of features. Rather, see digital as the way to build a better and more connected customer experience.

“Digital front door” is a strategy that guides healthcare providers to do just this.

“Digital front door is a strategy that leverages the use of technology to create a better and more connected customer experience.”

Often, a digitally connected customer experience in healthcare will include tools such as:

  • Public websites that provide clear information, search tools, and easy access to scheduling.
  • Mobile apps that allow for easy access to the patient portal and provide tools such as symptom checkers or wayfinding.
  • A well-integrated patient portal that provides broad account management.
  • Well-designed and transparent appointment scheduling.
  • Access to scheduled or on-demand telehealth visits.
  • Digital service channels via live and AI-based chat.

To be clear, this strategy is not about spinning up new and confusing technologies. Instead, it’s taking the time to truly understand what your customers need most. Remember, you should be making it easier to interact with your brand on a daily basis across platforms. If that means creating something new, then great! Remember, having the right plan and roadmap is the next critical step you would need to take to be successful.

Why should my organization care?

It’s simple. If your healthcare organization doesn’t provide an easy-to-use omnichannel experience, from initial appointment scheduling through the final bill, your patients might go elsewhere, even if the care isn’t as good.

It’s never been easier for a consumer to:

If you don’t invest in the future of your healthcare system now and use your connected digital experiences as a differentiator, not only will your regional competition take away your customers, but so will disruptive new entrants.

3 principles for creating a strong digital front door

So, how should your healthcare system get started? Our team suggests following these 3 simple principles in order to create a strong digital front door.

#1 Connect your customer data and use it well

Every healthcare system has a lot of data, whether or not they are analyzing and consuming that data. A common issue is that data is inherently messy and often housed in silos. This makes it difficult to connect and use it to inform better personalization and digital optimization strategies.

Think about how your local grocery store chain uses your consumer data. They provide relevant and timely coupons based on previous purchases.

Healthcare should be no different

If a customer receives a CRM-generated email and clicks through to a website, the health system could already know plenty of marketing data about the patient. Such as recent searches, what appointments they’ve had, which vaccinations they’ve recently received, etc. If this type of data is being joined and consumed, then the customer can have a more rich, personalized experience.

If your healthcare system is not doing this yet, answering these questions can help your team understand where to start. 

  • Where and how are we capturing customer data?
  • Where and how are we connecting this data?
  • Is our team analyzing and consuming this data to drive initiatives?
  • Do we make data-based decisions?

Free resources:

#2 Create an omnichannel customer experience that works well across all touchpoints

Today you can book a room through Marriott’s mobile app in ways you never could before. When a guest walks into Marriott’s hotel the mobile app will prompt the guest to digitally check in. The guest can now use their phone as a digital key to get into their room and enjoy their stay. All is done without interacting with a single person or waiting in long lines. The experience is simple, easy to use, and leaves the guest happy. Overall, guests engage with the brand in the manner that is most comfortable for them. The key is that they have a unified, on-brand experience throughout each touchpoint.

This example provides inspiration for healthcare by showing how a digital front door strategy can infuse digital tools into an experience to provide frictionless access and thoughtful touchpoints.

The goal is to ensure that your organization creates experiences that make your customers’ lives easier and more convenient.

What does this look like for healthcare?

For healthcare, this could start with having a patient book an appointment online. When the patient arrives at the physical building the system’s mobile app sends a notification to check-in at a kiosk. The patient does so and is then prompted to sit and wait to be called by the physician. This would provide an experience that minimizes friction and maximizes convenience.

The problem is that historically healthcare has not been at the forefront of creating these beautiful, seamless experiences. We’ve seen healthcare systems spin up mobile apps without a purposeful strategy time and time again. The reasoning, more often than not is, “but our competitors have a mobile app”. 

This thought of “but they have it” is dangerous. Your organization needs to be focused on digitizing healthcare but it is critical to do so with purpose. Don’t fall into the trap of creating and building a bunch of products that are not integrated into your brand’s experience at large. This can even cause more frustration and confusion for your customers.

We suggest starting with a customer journey mapping exercise to find clarity on what’s most important. A journey map is an in-depth process that shows you and your organization how consumers are interacting with your brand. A journey map identifies gaps and opportunities and ultimately gives you a holistic view of what your organization needs.

#3 Honor your brand in the digital front door

With each touchpoint, your customer needs to know that the continuous experience is that of your brand. If your messaging is not consistent with your brand, mission, and values then you’ll be missing the opportunity to create meaningful brand loyalty with customers.

This suggestion may seem obvious, however, it’s essential to the success of your customer experience. All touchpoints need to have consistent messaging across the board. Whether that’s your mobile app, website, paid advertising, a kiosk, print mailers, etc. Moreso, your digital tools should reflect what makes you special as an organization.

Patagonia is the ideal example of this. The company’s mission statement is “we’re in business to save our home planet”. This statement is blatantly obvious to see, feel, hear whenever a consumer engages with their online content. Sees an ad (famously known for their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign) or buys clothing from a retailer. Even their product pages reinforce that as a brand, Patagonia isn’t just trying to sell you stuff.  

Tip: Your organization should have a brand voice and kit to help guide consistency across all platforms.

Next Steps 

In summary, the time is now.  Start today by strategically improving every touchpoint along your customer experience. If you don’t, you could lose business to another hospital system. Or even worse one of the many non-traditional competitors out there who are now providing healthcare services.

If your team feels overwhelmed by the size of the initiative, start small. Complete a customer journey mapping exercise to learn more about your patients and what they need.

Interested in learning what your organization should be thinking about and planning for? 

We’re here to help

Contact us and we’ll set up a time to chat. We’re happy to share how our clients are connecting their patient experiences at large.

Why Customer Journey Mapping is Critical for Healthcare

Imagine that you have the power to authorize and create anything you want for your organization’s digital front door. Nothing will stand in your way. Enthusiastically you put your plan into action. And, just like that, you have a newly designed website accompanied by a nice mobile app. All that’s left to do now is sit back and watch consumers and patients engage with all of the new content and features you thought they wanted.

Except they don’t. 

Engagement does not increase and traffic even shows a slight decline. Time on page goes down and the number of appointments booked stays where it was prior to all of your work. 

You’re stumped because the site matches exactly what you felt was needed. To make matters worse, now you have to explain to your stakeholders and the entire organization what went wrong and why that investment is not paying off.

You can see where this is going. 

The issue started because your initial direction came from inside the organization, not from the end-user. Your team didn’t base designs and functionality on real research and data. Instead, you made assumptions about what your customers want and need.

In short, you didn’t create a proper customer journey map. A proper journey map would have provided insights to guide pragmatic decision-making and put your team in a better place.

So, where do you start with healthcare customer journey mapping, and what exactly is it? 

A customer journey map is a very in-depth and detailed process that will show you and your organization how consumers’ are interacting with your brand. It will also identify gaps and opportunities you probably are not aware of. The end result is a visual and holistic view of what your organization needs to know. This includes topics your team should think about, from all angles and recommendations on how to implement them.

Journey maps are also a great tool for getting stakeholders and every decision-maker on board to understand what really drives consumers to become your patients. It should also serve as the foundation that will guide every major digital initiative moving forward. 

Why do you need a proper customer journey map? 

Healthcare is being challenged in all the right ways, and while it may seem like many are now trying to disrupt the industry, it’s actually been a long time coming. Organizations like CitiBank, Marriott, and American Airlines, were traditional companies that saw a need to adapt to the changing digital consumer landscape and they capitalized. You can pay your bill online, book a hotel in a few swipes, book a flight with the click of your finger, and buy a car completely online. We can guarantee that each of these companies had a detailed customer journey map created before they made any changes.

The new way of interacting with top brands has quickly set expectations for the digital experience consumers expect to find with any organization. Healthcare is no different and your consumers and patients want the same experience they get everywhere else

How do you create the right customer journey map?

It is critical that your journey map is created by the right team to ensure ROI and meaningful next steps. Customer journey maps come in all shapes and sizes and therefore, you should partner with an organization that thoroughly understands the ins and outs of healthcare.

Our UX team members at Modea are not only experts with research and journey mapping development, but also can help your team strategically implement our findings. As well as, use the results to help drive the growth of your consumer base.

We are 100% focused on healthcare and have implemented results for numerous clients like Carilion Clinic, Keck Medicine of USC, and more.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into Modea’s customer journey mapping process.

Our approach and important tips.

Competitive Landscape

1.) We begin the process by examining the competitive landscape. This should include physical location visits to your competitors’ hospitals (COVID permitting), combined with an evaluation of their digital presence.  Overall, we look at healthcare organizations in your region and nationally to identify potential opportunities and any threats your competitors might pose to patient acquisition.

Complete a Heuristic Review

2.) Next, we schedule in-person site visits to your location(s). We’d walk through as a customer would and look at your existing digital properties to complete a heuristic review. Both of these deliverables help us align on the current state, as well as identify challenges and strengths you have.

Stakeholder Interviews

3.) Thirdly, we carry out stakeholder interviews. This is where we complete a series of one-on-one or group interviews with stakeholders, the champions of your patients’ experience. We will also interview stakeholders at the strategic level, to ensure we’re considering organizational as well as consumer goals. This stage is the most “eye-opening” phase. You and your team will be shocked to see how your various departments differ in opinion, necessity, and overall goals.

Personas

4.) We then create user archetypes known as personas to help frame discussions and guide recruitment for customer research. These patient personas will align with the demographics in your market and include information related to their motivations, needs, and barriers within the healthcare industry.

Hypothetical Maps

5.) The above items could take several weeks, or longer. It all depends on a variety of factors, especially how long lead times are to get interviews and meetings scheduled.  But once completed, we start creating hypothetical maps that lay the groundwork for a larger journey map to come. In order to create these maps, we will facilitate in-person sessions with internal stakeholders. During, the goal is to build out the different user journey scenarios that would have surfaced in steps 1-3 above.  Again, uncovering additional pain points for the customer as well as helping guide our planning process for customer research.

Customer Research

6.) Next, customer research begins; a combination of web-based surveys and one-on-one or group interviews with customers from your key demographics.  At this point, we will be testing any hypotheses we’ve made so far and digging deeper into any key consumer actions and behaviors.

Customer Journey Map

7.) The last and final task is to complete the customer journey map! This will be created by facilitating mapping sessions with actual customers. You can expect to have a variety of audiences produced as a final artifact similar to the below.

Artifacts and presentation

8.) The finished product goes well beyond any documentation or presentation we would provide along the way.  When all is said and done, you will be equipped with core audience research, a prioritized list of immediate opportunities and improvements, as well as areas for further exploration. These artifacts will ultimately help support an audience-centric, research-driven approach to the customer experience.

You can see that a proper customer journey is complex. It’s so much more than just writing down what a prospective customer may do or what they are looking for. When we talk about how it’s the foundation for what you build upon, we couldn’t be more serious. If you’re designing a new website, a mobile app, or looking to create a better digital road mapping strategy, an accurate and thorough customer journey map needs to be in place before any of that work begins. Our design team is all trained using the Nielsen Norman Group methodology so you know it will be done right. 

Next steps

Has your organization completed a recent (within the past 3 years) consumer journey mapping exercise? If so, are you able to answer the below questions about your consumers?

  • What are your customer groups and what traits do they possess?
  • Can you provide a quick list of what your customers appreciate about your organization and/or what makes a loyal customer?
  • Do you know of the top 5 customer digital pain points?
  • Are the findings from your last exercise completely implemented?

Unable to answer all of these questions? It could be time to refresh your journey map or start creating one.

Interested in discussing how customer journey mapping can benefit your organization? Contact us to set up a time to chat.