Introduction to Patient Experience

Introduction to Patient Experience


by Agata Piekut


Under the patronage of

ScanBalt® fmba

Northern Europe’s Leading Accelerator for Inter-regional Cooperation envisioning the region as a Global Hotspot for Health and Bio Economy




In partnership with

FRUCT Association

One of world’s oldest communities that implements the Open Innovations principle. FRUCT develops, productizes and delivers innovative IoT-enabled solutions for e-Healthcare, Location Based Services and Smart Services as well as provides consulting in these fields.


Introduction to Patient Experience is published on Creative Commons license:

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Introduction: the Biggest Transformation in Medicine since Stone Age

I. What is Patient Experience[+?+]

1. PX in Digital Transformation

II. Before the Journey Begins

2. Market Analysis

3. Influencers Comparison

4. Identifying Community Trendsetters

III. Building Patient Experience

5. Journey

6. Channels

7. Model

8. Touchpoints

Summary: the Challenges in front of the Health Industry

Introduction: the Biggest Transformation in Medicine since Stone Age

Digital transformation in healthcare is going mainstream, promising higher quality of care at a lower cost for all. And right on time, as only two years ago World Health Organization calculated the cost of not taking action to address the spread of noncommunicable diseases – 7 trillion dollars in 20 years.

Telemedicine allows for a cheaper infrastructure of medical consultations, connected hardware means remote monitoring 24/7 and big data helps researchers find patterns in the spread of diseases and better target preventive activities.


But the biggest change happened in relation to the model of patient relations. The biggest transformation in medicine since Stone Age is happening right now. The model of patient relations has changed irreversibly as the digital transformation of healthcare turned patients from passive beneficiaries into active decision makers. Internet brought with it the emancipation of patients who gained a much wider access to information, which led to the raise in decisiveness. Companies in healthcare are no longer primarily in B2B communication with other medical entities and public administration, but in B2C for the first time having to work this hard to gain their trust. With the noncommunicable diseases epidemics that no one seems to know how to contain the more engaged they are, the better for early prevention. But there’s also the dark side to this transformation, when extreme emotions come into play and they don’t know who to trust, Dr Google has the answer. And the field bubble only strengthens the message. On a public policy level, it is crucial to regain control over quality of communication in outside environment. Building Patient Experience is no longer just an option, it’s an essential element of the business strategy.


I. What is Patient Experience?

Like in case of Customer Experience it’s best described by the Cambridge dictionary definition: “the way someone feels at all stages of doing business with a company or organization”. What differentiates Patient Experience are the emotions that come into play and the legal restrictions in communication. In no other industry one has to deal with such a wide spectrum of emotions, from indifference to preventive activities to the most extreme when fear kicks in. On the other hand the restrictions in advertising and marketing make it harder to combat medical lies (like antivacciners movement) as it’s health professionals & companies who face charges, not those who misinform society.

Like it or not, the necessity of including Patient Experience into your business strategy will mean that X you need to change how your company functions. As Adam Richardson for Harvard Business Review: “Crafting a great customer experience requires enormous amounts of collaboration across groups in a company that often work independently and at different stages of product development. In many cases marketing, product design, customer services, sales, advertising agency, retail partners must all be working in concert to create even a single touchpoint.”


1. PX in Digital Transformation

Patient experience before digital transformation happened in 99 % of the cases only in two channels: medical facilities or pharmacies. So the Patient Journey was mostly linear, controlled and top-down.


Patient experience after digital transformation became multichannel, nonlinear, happening 24/7, interdependent and collaborative.



Healthcare not only have to deal with the multiplication of available channels – from doctors’ offices and pharmacies to retail, online and mobile platforms and social media. They also need to address different trust levels from meritorical point of view (doctor vs friend), as well as emotional – when in doubt we tend to trust in those who are valued members of our social circles.

p<>{color:#000;}. McKinsey’s research of the consumer decision journey found out that “two-thirds of the touch points during the active-evaluation phase involve consumer-driven activities such as Internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.“(1)

p<>{color:#000;}. Eurobarometer on European Citizens’ Digital Health Literacy shows that they’re looking for health related information: in medical programs and documentaries on TV (48 %), newspapers and magazines (44 %), books (29 %), medical programs in radio (21 %) or ask friends and relatives (41 %).(2)

p<>{color:#000;}. Experts admit that social media play a big role in the creation of support structures between patients.(3)



With the abundance of channels, companies need to accept that each stage of the journey may take place in every channel – customers may base their decision on the quality of post-sale service or turn to social media platforms for customer support. Shopping trends apply also to health tech – when customers go to stores to test devices and then look for the cheaper offer on the same product online.(4)



Be it on social media or more traditionally infolines, emergencies often happen late at night or on weekends. And as these are the most easily accessible channels of communication, those responsible need to address problems quick, meritorical and, most important, emphatic way.

p<>{color:#000;}. “Moms and Health Technology Survey” shows that what mothers need most is round the clock access to a doctor.(5)

p<>{color:#000;}. Doctors also see the advantages of participating in social media, especially when it comes to the implementation of lifestyle changes that need constant reinforcement.(6)

p<>{color:#000;}. PwC’s Social Media “likes” healthcare report confirms that patients trust health related information posted on social media (61 %) and use it to choose medical facilities and doctors (41 %).(7)



Patients are often looking for the second opinion, not only by visiting another professional but also in various health related sources. This means that businesses and professionals need to concentrate as much on the channels of communication that they control as on those where they’re only guests.

p<>{color:#000;}. Eurobarometer on digital Health Literacy confirmed that those who look for general health information online report better health, contrary to those who search for disease-specific information.(2)

p<>{color:#000;}. Experts warn that social media health trends promote unhealthy behavioral addictions like orthorexia nervosa, the clean-eating disorder.(8)



Patients are active decision makers so companies and professionals need to win their trust. They’re no longer beneficiaries coming for top-down recommendations. They’re equal partners looking for explanation and conversation. After all it’s their health and life that’s at stake here.

Involving patients in decision making process may lead to more rational implementation of medical services and as a result lower the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.(9)

Many patient organizations are working not only on guarding patients rights but also to bridge the communication gap between healthcare providers and patients.(10)

Underage patients also have right to express their views regarding their healthcare. As they play an active role in lifestyle changes (you can’t make a child eat vegetables or exercise if she doesn’t want to), businesses and medical professionals need to make sure they understand what is happening.(11)


II. Before the Journey Begins

This analysis is focused on teaching health care industry to understand how the culture of health is created – from observing market leaders and influencers to understanding the trendsetters in a target group.


This kind of research, as the base of Customer Experience planning, can be performed at any stage of business processes. However it’s advisable to include it from the very beginning – product development. Product and environment are integral parts of Patient Experience although it’s often forgotten as most customer journeys are designed from pre-sale (promotion) to post-sale (customer service) stages. Product or service design is usually forgotten due to the fact that customer experience tends to be treated as part of marketing that’s undervalued in this phase.


The report can be used as a framework for market and customer analysis for your own services and products or as a source of information on building the culture of health and addressing its biggest enemy – stress.


Side note – stress in modern world:

1. Number of people with depression has been on a steep rise from 416 mln in 1990 to 615 mln 2013 (WHO).

2. More than 25 % of EU workers admit to suffering from stress and burnout (EU Labour Force Survey).

3. 83 % of us will suffer a mental disorder during our life (Duke University).


We decided to focus on addressing stress issues as prevention is often based on forming new habits and it’s biggest obstacle is the fight or flight response, known also as “acute stress response”.


The next two chapters will be dedicated to learning from market leaders in stress prevention – organizations specialized in happiness research, fitness movements and digital influencers.

The third chapter will analyze the trendsetters of stress prevention activities connected to the offer from previous parts.


Pro tip: when doing the research on your own you might prefer to use charts instead of plain text as it’s more convenient for patterns’ spotting.


2. Market Analysis

Whether you’ve just started to design your product or service or already plan a market entry strategy, running market analysis is always a good idea. Below you’ll find an example of  a structured competitive analysis that you can use as a framework in your field. The main focus of this research is digital offer and presence of market leaders: scope of activities, main target group, digital offer, digital communication as well as sharing & connecting opportunities. When you’re running it as a competitive comparison it’s also a good idea to add one more indicator – conclusion with a summary of threats and opportunities in comparison to your own proposition.


For the stress prevention field we decided to look at two types of markets: happiness research and fitness movements as positive attitude and regular exercise play a big role in combating low mood.


Scope: a summary of most important activities in the chosen field.


Global Happiness Organization is a scientifically-based, nonprofit organization that aims to promote happiness and reduce suffering worldwide.


Happiness Research Institute is an independent think tank focusing on life satisfaction, happiness and quality of life.


Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. They’re backed by leading experts from diverse fields including psychology, education, economics and social Innovation. Dalai Lama is their patron.


The Happiness Foundation specializes in coaching in happiness & mental health.


Zumba is a combination of aerobic and dance (cardio). It’s goal is to show that fitness is fun.


CrossFit is all about building strength and conditioning.


Insanity also specializes in strength. The difference with CrossFit is that Insanity is a 2-month program.


SoulCycle combines cycling and mindfulness


Nike Training Club is a functional training program promoted by many fitness influencers and celebrities


Target Group: in well-being sector it’s usually quite wide so it’s best to concentrate on the primary group that will become ambassadors for the brand.


Global Happiness Organization: general public and animal rights proponents


Happiness Research Institute: policy makers, experts and business leaders


Action for Happiness:  individuals who want to engage in promoting mental health; educators/public administration who want to introduce mental health to schools


The Happiness Foundation: individuals in need of coaching


Zumba: mainly women, tries to get men interested


CrossFit: hardcore fitness fans and professionals (police, military, firemen etc.)


Insanity: hardcore fitness fans who want to build their muscles


SoulCycle: focused on strengthening local (affluent) community through fitness


Nike Training Club: women, built as a ‘social club’


Digital Offer: a list of available resources


Global Happiness Organization offers news related to happiness and introduction to happiness on their website.


Happiness Research Institute publishes various publications on happiness: ebooks, whitepapers, reports.


Action for Happiness website contains materials on happiness, call for taking action, books on happiness for sale, whitepapers & ebooks for download.


The Happiness Foundation provides paid courses,  free inspirational videos.


Zumba online environment consists of dance app, directory of instructors and shop with DVDs & training gear.


CrossFit created a platform with demo of exercises, lifestyle tips and CrossFit Journal (online).


Insanity website is focused on promoting DVDs and nutrition program.


SoulCycle offers a mobile app.


Nike Training Club is centered on a free app.


Digital Communication: this part is mainly about social media, where can you talk to them, how they engage with their followers. List their chosen channels and main activities or topics mentioned.


Global Happiness Organization is on Facebook where they share links to interesting articles and photos with motivational quotes.


Happiness Research Institute also chose Facebook for promotion of CEO’s book on hygge and links to articles and research on happiness.


Action for Happiness is both on Facebook and Twitter. The first platform is dedicated mostly to graphics with motivational quotes and links to articles on boosting happiness, the second additionally promotes AFH events.


The Happiness Foundation is on FB sharing photos with inspirational quotes.

Zumba runs a Zumba Life Blog with fitness & nutrition tips and stories – from the social, individual & medical angles. They’re also on Facebook (links to blog posts, shop offer, own videos), Instagram (mostly photos from events and classes), Twitter (links to new music and promoting weight loss) and YouTube (music videos, movement tutorials, special events promotions).


CrossFit write a CrossFit Journal dedicated to promoting the lifestyle. They’re also on Facebook promoting the lifestyle through photos and videos of routines and links to articles regarding CrossFit, as well as YouTube (videos from events and tutorials).


Insanity is all about transformations: YouTube videos from events and testimonials of transformations, Facebook photos of transformations and links to blog articles about healthy lifestyle and Twitter visuals of transformations and motivational quotes from the founder.


SoulCycle uses Facebook to link to own blog posts.


Nike Training Club is on YouTube (as Nike Women) with short exercise tutorials and Facebook (as Nike Women) presenting lifestyle photos promoting Nike collections and short inspirational videos.


Sharing & Connecting Opportunities: it’s also about how they build their following, the difference with digital communication is that it’s about enabling creation of connections between followers.


Global Happiness Organization runs a Happiness Conference for members.


Happiness Research Institute provides consulting and workshops.


Action for Happiness coordinates local groups and events.


The Happiness Foundation runs courses in various locations.


Zumba provides classes in most of the cities and a community for instructors.


CrossFit cooperates with affiliated gyms and organizes CrossFit Games (like CF olympics).

Insanity doesn’t provide opportunities for connecting.


SoulCycle provides classes with inspirational/mindfulness agenda apart from fitness.


Nike Training Club regularly organizes workshops and runs Nike portal for connecting.


Summary of findings

Digital Offer is mostly built on passive resources (ebooks, whitepapers, reports), active resources (tutorials & tips, leadership guide, action kit, various forms of forums, mobile apps).


Digital Communication is centered on the main inspiration – fit life (blogs promoting lifestyle, testimonials – incl. YT videos), the channel of choice is Facebook.


Sharing & Connecting is enabled through mostly workshops, classes, own conferences; branded fitness classes; sometimes volunteering


3. Influencers Comparison

Prevention in health for years has been the domain of public administration. Yet due to low investment majority of campaigns that were supposed to impact unhealthy behaviors has been boring and unsuccessful.


However in the early 2000’s a new trend started. Development of blogging platforms and social media enabled a new wave of digital influencers focused on health and fitness. They knew how to cater to their target groups’ needs and in the past few years have built prosperous careers around fit lifestyle.


Influencers can help promote positive behavioral shifts but leaving promotion of prevention only to a group of mainly self-taught influencers comes with a risk. As healthy life became a booming business, marketing activities can blur the line between health and popular trends that may be dangerous to unsuspecting followers (e.g. the development of orthorexia – pathological obsession of eating only healthy food).


The new business of prevention should concentrate on providing the quality of information like public health administration but packed in the entertainment marketing inspired by influencers.


The below analysis can also serve as a competitive comparison of public figures representing companies or brands (CEOs or celebrity ambassadors). We’ll run a similar analysis to the previous one with an addition of the Unique Selling Point. You can also add one more indicator – conclusion with a summary of threats and opportunities in comparison to your own proposition.


Scope & Unique Selling Point: a summary of the chosen field of well-being and approach to building personal brand


Tara Stiles’ field of expertise is yoga and she is the inventor of Strala Yoga practice, she   promotes herself as the coolest yoga instructor ever.


Cassey Ho based her career on pilates, just like Tara she developed a new type of practice – POP Pilates. All her activities are centered on her blog Blogilates.


Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric promote fitness and created The November Project – to motivate people to keep exercising during winter.


Gretchen Rubin focuses on motivation and happiness. She’s the author of The Happiness Project and various other books on this topic.


Neghar Fonooni chose another approach to fitness, she sees it as a way of empowering women.


Tom Venuto is a strength training expert and built his image on his own success story of transformation from chubby student to bodybuilder.


Jenny Hadfield’s chosen field is running. She designs trainings for people who aren’t in good shape in which she concentrates on pleasure rather than transformation goals.


Target Group: In well-being sector it’s usually quite wide so it’s best to concentrate on the primary group that will become ambassadors for the brand


Tara Stiles: women in their 20’s and 30’s, mostly living in big cities, yoga instructors, fitness clubs


Cassey Ho: young women working on perfect body


Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric: people who need motivation to exercise and want to train in a group


Gretchen Rubin:  people looking for ways to fight stress and improve quality of their life in non monetary aspects


Neghar Fonooni: young women


Tom Venuto: people who want to lose weight


Jenny Hadfield: people serious about their running trainings


Digital Offer: a list of available resources


Tara Stiles’ personal page offers recipes and a shop. On the Strala website there are Strala guides, free downloadable class and a shop.


Cassey Ho offers on her blog workout calendar, meal plans & recipes, as well as printable posters with exercises.


Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric built their digital offer around The November Project: information about how to join or start a November Project group, list of November Project groups, “we missed you” motivation list and a shop.


Gretchen Rubin’s website is centered on happiness coaching through her podcast, tips & quizzes and other resources: building habits, happiness.


Neghar Fonooni runs a motivational blog and a shop.


Tom Venuto provides a free fat-loss course and a blog on fat burning.


Jenny Hadfield’s website key element is a new challenge for 2017. She also offers various free training plans and a podcast.


Digital Communication: this part is mainly about social media, where can you talk to them, how do they engage with their followers. List their chosen channels and main activities or topics mentioned.


Tara Stiles is on various social media channels. On her YouTube she shares different types of Strala workouts in playlists, Facebook is mainly a platform for sharing links to her other publications (blog posts, YouTube videos) and some photos, her Instagram is more concentrated on lifestyle and motivational quotes. Strala Facebook and Instagram accounts are dedicated to promoting her workshops and classes.


Cassey Ho’s most important channel is YouTube with workouts videos for each part of the body and healthy diet. On her Instagram she mainly promotes her new fitness clothes line and majority of her Facebook posts are funny videos about fitness and diet.


Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric publish on their Facebook and Twitter photos and videos from The November Project events; on their YouTube we’ll find invitations and recaps from trainings. November Project’s Instagram is also dedicated to their events.


Gretchen Rubin publishes on her Facebook a mix of inspiring articles from the web, her own blog posts and photos with snippets of her private life (reading lists, dog etc.) and dedicates her Instagram to her reading list, dog and some handwritten motivational quotes. She’s very active on Pinterest where she creates collections with motivational quotes, home decor and happiness.


Neghar Fonooni built her social media presence mainly on YouTube where she posts videos in various fitness-related collections, her Facebook page consists mostly of opinion posts, stories from her life and discussion openers, the visuals are left for Instagram (fitness poses, her dogs and some motivational quotes). She uses her Twitter for more serious topics like feminism, access to health care and other current issues.


Tom Venuto publishes on his Facebook links to own blog, and motivational tips and dedicates his Instagram to body transformation photos and promoting his products. His Twitter is a collection of motivational texts.


Jenny Hadfield’s Facebook links to her articles on various websites and motivational quotes, Instagram is a mix of her lifestyle and running events, on YouTube she promotes her 2017 Challenge and Twitter is for reposting other people’s photos and tweets about her events.


Sharing & Connecting Opportunities: it’s also about how they build their following, the difference with digital communication is that it’s about enabling creation of connections between followers.


Tara Stiles conducts classes and workshops.


Cassey Ho’s POP Pilates classes are available in various gyms as a franchise.


November Project enables you to join a local group or start a new one.


Gretchen Rubin encourages bottom-up actions of her followers – building or joining a happiness group (although she doesn’t offer any directory on her website).


Neghar Fonooni sits on the advisory board of Girls Gone strong community.


Tom Venuto runs The Inner Circle members only online community focused on trainings and nutrition.


Jenny Hadfield organizes running vacations in various locations around the world.


Summary of findings

The digital offer of influencers usually consists of a combination of blog and free training resources. Their digital communication is most often run through three channels: YouTube (video tutorials of trainings), Facebook (for sharing resources from various sources, most often articles and blog posts) and Instagram (for motivational quotes, lifestyle photoshoots and photos from events). Sharing and connecting happens mostly during their workshops or classes, some also run online communities or meetups. It’s usually one way, top-down communication process but catering exactly to their following needs.


4. Identifying Community Trendsetters

It’s best to start a Buyer Personas research with an analysis of core target group according to the Diffusion of Innovations Theory. This way we can divide our audience into five groups: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. The three first groups are the best choice when it comes to building Buyer Persona profiles. As innovators are enthusiasts that desire to be the first to use the latest technology, they’re much more adventurous than any other group. It’s good to include this tiny percentage of the market but it’s more advisable to concentrate on the next two groups. Early adopters enjoy new innovations and are comfortable taking social risk, they’re largely motivated by its potential to drive their success and are very influential in the marketplace, acting as trendsetters. Early majority are pragmatists who adopt new innovations only after it is proven, they need to feel comfortable that it won’t put them at risk. However, they’re the largest segment of the market.


Some aspects which are most useful in such research are: demographics, psycho-graphics, tech literacy, behaviours, goals, impact, communication and sales barriers, where the persona seeks information and decision making process.


The best source of information are your company’s sales and customer service departments. What if you’re just starting? You can take inspiration from the below analysis which is based on research of popular hashtags on social media, blogs and other available sources. For European Union customers it’s always a good idea to have a look at Eurostat or Google Trends and Consumer Barometer.



Basic information on geographic range, gender, age and professional status (type of work).

In this research we’ll look at two buyer personas Wonder Woman and Superman. Both live in European Union are 28-35 years old and work either as freelancers or in corporate mid-level positions.



Professional aspirations

Wonder Woman wants to ensure financial stability and have more time for private life. As a freelancer she would like to have a stable pool of clients. In a corporate position she’d want to get promoted to a more responsible position.

Superman Freelancer is concentrated on finding stable, big clients (revenue or brand) and gaining esteem in his industry. Corporate Superman is focused on getting to the C-level position and stable financial situation to be able to afford lifestyle he craves. His professional image is very important to him, he wants to win recognition from his bosses and gain esteem in his industry.


Personal aspirations

Wonder Woman would like to develop new hobbies or have more time for current ones.

Superman is still defining himself between concentrating on ambition (money), passion (expert) or mission (changing the world).


One working day

Wonder Woman Freelancer works mostly at home in front of computer or on the road between different places of contracts. Sometimes she goes to fitness club in the morning or meets with friends for lunch. Corporate Wonder Woman is in the office from 9 to 5 (or later). After work sometimes she goes to fitness club or meets with friends.

Superman is working long hours (10-12 per day). He starts a day in a gym or running and goes to business or networking meetings in the afternoons and evenings.


Typical weekend

She starts her day at a food market for breakfast or lunch. When it’s warm she might go on a cycling trip with friends or start preparations for a girls’ night out. The Freelancer might feel more lonely but feels more free to do what she wants with her life. The Corporate usually has more money and is more careless with her spending.

Superman likes to work hard and play hard. He might have started golf because that’s where you meet for power talks or might have chosen some extreme sports because it’s a way of distinguishing himself from his peers and a way to challenge himself. For the Corporate it’s more about his image than challenging himself.


Tech Literacy

Computer literacy (desktop applications) – high/medium/low: high for both.

Internet literacy (online applications/solutions, advanced search) – high/medium/low: high for both.

Mobile literacy (e.g. email, apps) – high/medium/low: high for both.


Behaviors – stress impact analysis

Main factor of stress in professional life

For Wonder Woman Freelancer it’s keeping a stable flow of clients and financial safety. She’s focused on keeping ahead of competition by developing new skills and finding partners whom she can trust for bigger projects. Corporate Wonder Woman is stressed about getting promoted to the next level or keeping a good, independent position and financial safety, esp. as she likes to spend. Sometimes she struggles to find meaning in her work and sometimes she thinks about starting her own company to be her own boss, do something meaningful in her life but usually the feeling of stability and strong tights within the industry thanks to her position win.

Superman Freelancer usually worries about clients that don’t pay on time or getting new clients. In the longer term it’s more about the direction of development of his (career to outrun competition and new sources of financing. For Corporate Superman it’s competing for the C-level position and internal power games. In the longer term he’s worried about choosing right course of career development (what steps to take next, in which industry).


Main factor of stress in private life

For Wonder Woman often it’s loneliness due to long working hours or fear of missing out on life while wanting to have everything at the same time.

For Superman a day is always too short, there’s not enough time for all private issues.

He’s also competing with his friends who is the most successful.


When are they most stressed? (time of week/day)

For Wonder Woman it’s usually evening before she goes to sleep and has time to ruminate.

For Superman a day is always too short, there’s not enough time for all private issues. He’s also competing with his friends who is the most successful.


Who else is involved? (are inside or outside factors more relevant, which ones)

For Freelancers clients not paying on time and for Corporates disrespectful boss and peers focused on gossips or playing power games. In private life Wonder Woman dreads family and friends who like to compare their lives or give advice (esp. when they feel hers is worse).


What kind of stress relieving activities did they try before

Wonder Woman starts with talking to friends and when it’s not enough she turns to physical activity: fitness, cycling or running. When she’s a more spiritual type she’ll choose motivational books or yoga. She might have been interested in meditation but doesn’t have patience to follow the practice. Extroverts will party hard or turn to extreme sports.

Superman is all about physical activity- it’s either gym or extreme sports. But he’s also at risk of getting lost in too many parties (lack of sleep) and too much alcohol.


Behaviors – physical activity analysis

When do they move most? (time of week/day)

Wonder Woman Freelancer: in the morning, on weekends with friends (cycling or walking trips). Corporate Wonder Woman: in the afternoon or evening for group fitness or in the morning for a quick gym session; on weekends with friends, she chooses group sports (having something to boast about at work on Monday).

Superman: gym or running in the morning, active weekends (golf or extreme sport).


Why they decide to start exercising? What’s the trigger?

Wonder Woman Freelancer: to work on her figure or meet new people (yoga, dance).

Corporate Wonder Woman: to work on her figure or because everybody else (who’s important) at work is exercising.

Superman: because a person that looks good is viewed as more successful. He chooses extreme sports to build an image of a leader, golf or other expensive sports for connections. It’s also about productivity – when he feels better and is healthier, he can work more.


Typical environment/circumstances

Wonder Woman Freelancer: outdoors or yoga

Corporate Wonder Woman: fitness club

Superman: gym for bodybuilding, golf club or outside for extreme sports


What kind of activities did they try before (based on market analysis)

Wonder Woman Freelancer chooses individual sports: cycling, running,  yoga or dance.

Corporate Wonder Woman chooses sports where she can compete with peers: fitness classes, working out in gym. She’s also trying a lot of new stuff: sailing, kayaking, volleyball, basketball, indoor climbing (to have something to talk about but she’s not that into any sport with some exceptions).

Superman chooses types of physical activity that improve his image: body building, weight lifting, long distance running or cycling, golf or extreme sports – in general: things that rather strain his body.



Persona’s primary goal regarding [here: healthy culture]

Wonder Women Freelancer above all wants to feel good, esp. when she’s working nights on short deadlines, she also cares about working on her figure.

Corporate Wonder Woman is concentrated on looking good (ambition to be perfect) or binge less tired working long hours in the office.


Superman is focused on good looks (ego & professional benefits), raising productivity and connecting with right people who can advance his career.


Persona’s secondary goal regarding [here: healthy culture]

Wonder Woman wants to live according to the trendy slow (natural) lifestyle and to be more relaxed.

Superman will try anything that can help build his image.


Digital offer: why persona is visiting website, what type of information is the persona searching for

Cassey Ho would say that Wonder Woman is coming for easy to implement tutorials and lifestyle materials.

Tom Venuto would say that Superman comes for ideas for productivity hacks – better outcomes & better adapted to very intensive lifestyle or new trend – an additional benefit of being trendsetter (but it has to be already a strong trend e.g. on important markets like US so that he doesn’t look like a fool).



How can we addresses these goals

Content based on lifestyle – according to their needs and interests.


Which aspects of [here: healthy culture] will be most relevant for the persona (Which product/service best responds to persona’s profile)

For Wonder Woman it’s healthy food (and connecting around it), physical activity with visible effects (feeling better) and basic (quick) meditation or mindfulness for stress control (and because it’s trendy).

Superman cares most about visible effects and productivity hacks. It has to be cool and trendy so that it builds his high profile as a trendsetter in work and among friends.

What features are most relevant to the persona

Wonder Woman prefers it to be easy and fast to implement.

Superman chooses what’s useful and trendy, premium quality is also welcome as it builds his image.


The products and services that are most often used – generally (based on market analysis)

Wonder Woman Freelancer: outside physical activity and yoga.

Corporate Wonder Woman: fitness.

Superman: bodybuilding, including healthy diet.


The products and services that are most important for you – your offering

For Cassey Ho it’s participation in POP Pilates classes as high numbers help her with building the franchise.

For Tom Venuto it’s The Inner Circle paid membership club.


Communication and Sales Barriers

Mannerisms (the behaviors, beliefs, style of work and life that impact the decision making process)

Wonder Woman is very independent and  financially self sustainable (although the corporate is more scared of losing it as the Freelancer has more sources of income). She’s working long hours, the Corporate identifies with her job more on a prestige level, the Freelancer feels lonely sometimes. She’s rather keeping to her female friends and recently has been developing stronger interest in self-development.

Superman above anything else wants to prove that he is better than others. Usually he likes to work hard and prefers extreme workouts (or none at all). He is always connected but has a very short attention span. He seeks new trends but only in his sphere of interests and with the right amount of difficulty – if it’s too easy he won’t be admired but if it’s too hard he won’t get into it publicly because he doesn’t want to look like a fool.


What words the persona uses when talking about your industry/branch

Tip: use Google Keyword Planner to see current trends.


Communication barriers – all internal circumstances (regarding persona’s own role and organization’s internal processes) and external ones (related to current situation on your market) that make it difficult to reach the persona or get interested in your offering

Wonder Woman is cautious not to be fooled by advertisements, believes she knows better, she needs a concrete confirmation and is certain about the lifestyle she chose, doesn’t see much need for adaptations. She’s working long hours so this has to be taken into account (e.g. hard to go to farmer’s market on a weekday).

Superman is very busy, he has short attention span so a message has to suit his lifestyle, show clear benefits and quick effects. It also has to impress in some way his environment. When he has a set lifestyle, he doesn’t like to try new things (unless it’s something exotic during travel or a new productivity hack).


What are the objections typical for this persona regarding involvement / actively addressing the problems

Wonder Woman might get tired with new trends coming all the time and decide to wait till she can obtain a serious scientific confirmation. She won’t engage if it’s too much fuss and it’s not cool enough.

For Superman most of new trends are a waste of time, when it comes to physical activity it’s extremes with very visible effects or nothing.


To what type of presenting information is the persona most accustomed (data, text, visualization) – what type of materials the sales team is asked to provide

Wonder Woman cares a lot about the visual side, she likes minimalist,  glossy and exclusive content but also easy to consume and mobile friendly.

Superman likes it too be a quick read, focused on proof, no frills.


The best way to contact them

Wonder Woman engages most in visual social media and lifestyle blogs. She cares about opinions of influencers.

Superman is always connected, mostly uses email. He doesn’t have much time for social media but you might find him on Twitter exchanging political opinions or on LinkedIn as he’s there for business relations.


Experience they want

Wonder Woman craves less stressful and more meaningful life with work-life balance.

Superman wants to strengthen his image as a leader and improve productivity.


What should be the order of providing information

For Wonder Woman it’s lifestyle first and then easy to use step-by-step guide.

For Superman it has to be useful (focused on proof), it’s a bonus if it addresses current trends.


Where the Persona seeks Information

Where the persona usually finds information about [here: healthy culture]

Wonder Woman turns to social media, bloggers she trusts and lifestyle portals, as well as specialized magazines and proof-based materials: whitepapers, ebooks. She cares a lot about visual side of communication.

Superman chooses online business or industry media, top opinion pieces for his industry and what his idols post/write/recommend. When he has time he reads top business or lifestyle magazines.


What information related to [here: healthy culture] is the persona usually searching online

Wonder Woman: healthy food (what’s really good for you), new fashionable trainings and mindfulness. The Corporate is more concerned with appearances.

Superman: looks: bodybuilding and diet, productivity hacks.


Decision Making Process

How much is the persona affected by the problem you solve [here: introducing healthy culture to their lives]

Cassey Ho – Wonder Woman is probably already doing this as healthy lifestyle has been trendy for a while.

Tom Venuto – For Superman it’s a means to a goal when he’s aware of the benefits, otherwise he knows it’s important but seems to him like a waste of time.


Priority status: how important is this solution for them

Cassey Ho – important for Wonder Woman but as she’s already working out, she might not feel the need to add a new routine without proof that it’ll enhance her life.

Tom Venuto – important for Superman, when the benefits are clear and measureable.


Key decision criteria

For Wonder Woman it’s the lifestyle.

For Superman quick, visible effects and image enhancement.


What else does the persona need to know to make the decision to get involved

Wonder Woman would like to know if she can adapt it to her current lifestyle without changing it significantly.

Superman requires proof of working and positive impact on his image, if it’s a big, global trend it has a bigger chance.


III. Building Patient Experience


According to the European Society of Preventive Medicine ESPREVMED we can distinguish three stages of prevention. Primary focused on health promotion, specific protection and primal prevention before the disease occurs. Secondary dedicated to treatment of a risk factor and screenings. Tertiary providing rehabilitation to get back in form after the disease.


This analysis is focused on teaching health care industry to understand how the patient experience in prevention can be built according to lifestyle product launches best practices. This approach is usually linked to the primary prevention but it can also be implemented for driving behavioural shifts in the later stages.


Patient Experience planning should be a continuous operation rather than one time act. As the environment changes and the offer evolves so do customers’ wants and needs.


Unlike simple Customer Journey Maps that can be found online, the real process is much more complicated. This is why we divided planning into four stages:

1. Journey

2. Channels

3. Model

4. Touchpoints


In the case study that will accompany us throughout the strategy development we’ll present a popular approach to primary prevention. As an example of combining healthy diet and moderate exercise we will present the work of Cassey Ho – founder of POP Pilates fitness practice and Blogilates lifestyle blog.


Pro tip: when doing the research on your own you might prefer to use charts instead of plain text as it’s more convenient for patterns’ spotting. We suggest using a table with journey stages in the top horizontal header and channels in the left column. To get a grasp of a full experience you might want to include full touchpoint information for each stage in a given channel.

5. Journey

Let’s walk together through all stages of a relationship with patient, no sugarcoating.



This is the first stage, a sort of a B2C blind date. How to prepare best to avoid being swiped left by a demanding consumer? There are three possible scenarios. Customers might be:

1. Searching by a problem

They have no idea what may be a possible solution, they just try to describe what’s going on in a most exact manner. See how Cassey implements the right keywords, e.g. new routine on blog and youtube called “Goodbye Muffintop Workout”.


2. Looking for a certain type of solution

They know what’s the problem and best type of solution so they want to get a second opinion or learn more regarding this solution. Again notice the right keywords – “10 quick healthy snacks” or “Ultimate Daily Stretching Routine for Flexibility and Relaxation”.


3. Looking for lifestyle inspiration

This approach is crucial when it comes to preventing noncommunicable diseases. For those customers better health is just a side-effect. They’re mainly interested in becoming part of a fashionable group or copying influencers in a given field. So Cassey provides full-scope of lifestyle support from healthy diet and fitness regime to fashion inspiration. She’s embracing the core elements of healthy living trend (food, physical activity plus image building) in a moderate way which makes it easy to follow. Notice how it differs from many other fitness stars whose perfect figures, extreme workouts (for an average office worker) and diets (for anyone who’s not a bunny) promote unattainable and often unhealthy goals.


Tip: It might be useful to create buyer personas together with sales and customer service departments – not just leave it to the marketing team, also check your direct competition’s FAQ section (for general type of enquiries) and search titles of youtube videos (go to destination for advice on anything). Don’t forget about main keywords monitoring – what your target groups are talking about? See Part 1 of the report to learn how to run this analysis.



This is the second stage. Most often customers have already decided on a type of solution they want to implement and right now they’re comparing different providers. You need to ask yourself:

1. What kind of information and indicators are important to your target group?

From market and influencer analysis: holistic approach to healthy living (combining diet and exercise) that is easy to implement either by following video tutorials at home or fitness instructor in a gym.


2. Who do they trust most (you or independent influencer)?

In this case as Cassey is herself an influencer it’s easy to conclude that her target group is interested not only in obtaining recommendations according to their preferences but also in identifying with a person they admire.


Tip: to prepare for this stage run a competition comparison – both of the offers and communication around them. See Part 1 of the report to learn how to run this analysis.



Although it might seem that once the decision was made, it’s down the hill. But all that counts for customers is trust and frictionless process: easy registration, safe payment method, instant access to their purchase (we’re all in it for instant gratification). When it comes to any exchange of money simple refundation policy is as important for your image as the payment platform you choose. Otherwise this is the moment when they might prefer to turn to your direct competitor and settling with a slightly worse offer in exchange for feeling safer.

This is why Cassey Ho, like most other online shops, provides us with various reliable payment methods.


For your own good remember that not only volume counts. You need to monitor two metrics:

1. margins (social impact): is your most popular offer also most valuable. Or if you’re in a freemium model, does your premium accounts cover the cost of providing free services?

2. best channels to sell this product/solution: should you invest more in the channels that provide you visibility but you barely make any money due to low margins or should you concentrate on more niche channels that sell your high margin solutions?


In Cassey’s case the YouTube vlog is the core source of income (she’s a YouTube Partner) and is a sales funnel for her other products (DVDs and fitness fashion line) selling directly to the faithful fans. She is providing free, high quality content to keep the trust of the Blogilates Community. But although the majority of materials is free, it’s crucial as marketing channel (and unique selling point) for other ventures.



In case of services the use stage starts from an interaction with a professional (e.g. doctor in telemedicine) but also covers the implementation of recommendations afterwards. Go back to Patient Experience in Digital Transformation to learn more about building these relations and the role social media play there.


When you sell a product be prepared that the first use happens when patients are by themselves and you can’t help them to start. That’s why the product needs to be easy to use (for basic features it should be enough to turn it on), control the changes and share data with doctors. Cassey provides a full-month exercise calendar based on her video tutorials on YouTube. Notice how the sets of exercises are slightly different each week to avoid boredom. It’s a big bonus as most training programs forget about it.


Tip: if you’re providing service through third party, check with doctors how easy it’s for them to analyze data you provide and provide useful recommendations for their patients.



I have yet to meet a client who agrees that service is a part of use stage. When something goes wrong:

1. Provide frictionless service that interferes with use as little as possible

2. Monitor type of problems: can you provide a solution automatically (e.g. as an additional “how to” manual/video) or update your solution to get rid of it for good?

3. Most important: address their emotional distress: show compassion and respect, sometimes 50 % of the problem is that they had a bad day.


In both POPFLEX Active and POP Pilates services we’ll find FAQ sections addressing most common problems and enquiries in a FAQ solves half of the problems and can lead to significant reduction in repetitive enquiries sent to the service team. When it comes to the visual culture of social media and how it impacts our purchase patterns one of the most common problems is shop the look from Instagram. Her shop solves it in an interesting way by linking sets of clothes to Instagram photos from the platform. Another good solution are the gift cards from 25 to 500 dollars. The only bad solution here (from UX point of view) is that they’re not available directly in the top menu, you need to search for the link in the bottom menu (the place where you usually expect only terms and conditions and privacy policy). There is also a well prepared page on shipping, including worldwide services.


As to the direct customer support, Cassey allows only contact through a message form but working hours of the team are given (important as only in the US there are six time zones). One of the fails in modern communication is not enabling messages through Facebook but her team is probably too small to handle filtering customer service messages through fan mail.


Please note that we don’t have access to any internal documentation on customers’ level of content with troubleshooting but a majority of 5 star opinions for her Amazon products (75 to 85 %) should confirm that her offer is well adjusted to her target group’s needs.


Tip: Customers whose problems were addressed well really DO turn into advocates of your brand.



There are three types of opinion: positive, negative and word-of-mouth marketing.


Positive opinions are most often shared privately among friends and family. It’s function is to gain more respect, we want to be seen as smart and worthy by those we care about. Some customers will also share their positive opinion in public, most often when they see themselves as influencers or desire wider respect. Please note: some health topic might seem too sensitive to talk about them publicly. You might want to think over how you can help them share trustworthy opinions without any risk to their anonymity.


On the contrary, negative opinions are most often shared in public, to feel better, as a revenge or feeling of responsibility towards fellow patients. You can’t run from it: what matters most is not the opinion but your reaction to it. Be compassionate and don’t let the history repeat itself.


Last but most tiring, the word-of-mouth marketing. Whether it’s in form of fake negative opinion produced by competition or you’d like to try it to boost your product – beware. It might seem easy to create (after all you’ve run a competition comparison and know their weak spots) but it’s really easy to spot, both linguistically and by IP address.


In case of Cassey she introduced her first product already when she had a significant following on her YouTube vlog – she had time to learn what sells best to her target group and gain trust of enough followers to spread a positive message through real through word of mouth of her fans.


6. Channels

It’s not enough to understand the journey, you also need to adapt to the channels that your clients and prospects are most willing to use. It’s easy to get lost among so many available possibilities so you might want to follow a couple of simple rules. First, categorize your channels according to the purchase process into pre-service (sale), point-of-service (sale) and post-service (sale). Then divide them according to the location into digital and physical. Next comes the crucial distinction, we can divide the channels in two groups according to the control over the communication process. Own channels are those where you control the conversation and your messages. Guest channels are those where you’re either written/spoken about by the owners or invited as a guest. You have no control over final message so you need to build good relationships to be treated as a partner and be represented well. Also it’s worth monitoring those channels so that you can react to what’s going on there.


Let’s have a look at how Cassey Ho runs her channels.


In the pre-service (sale) stage her digital activities are centered on her own channels. The website blogilates.com which is also her main blog, popflexactive.com for gym wear and poppilateslife.com for pilates trainings, classes and workshops. She’s also very active in social media (Facebook, Instagram and the most important channel – YouTube). Although she’s not investing that much energy in the guest channels you’ll find 467 000 Google hits for Cassey Ho and 4 340 000 for blogilates, she’s also featured in mainstream media, including business-oriented like Forbes. When you create a lifestyle project it’s good to cooperate with independent digital influencers but she doesn’t need to as she is already the most influential in the field of pilates.


When it comes to own physical channels in Cassey’s case there are none – it’s all online. For your own project you could run your own support groups and meetings (e.g. mummy clubs).

As to the guest ones she’s been featured regularly in traditional media, including on various covers of health and fitness magazines, even the most popular like Women’s Health and Health Magazine. You could also try to partner with independent support groups and meetings.


At the point of service or sale Cassey’s well prepared to cater to all needs. Her own digital channels include an e-shop for fashion and e-service platform (think of it as a lifestyle answer to telemedicine) the official blogilates app for Android and iOS. The majority of her guest sales comes through Amazon. But you shouldn’t engage only with big market leaders. Independent e-shops or e-service platforms can also bring good revenue in addition to more partner-friendly cooperation agreement.


In case of providing services and products in physical locations Cassey runs her own trainings for instructors and workshops. Most typical channels in health care include a clinic, individual doctor’s office or a shop. But don’t hesitate to start collaborations with less typical locations. For example a physiotherapist might find she has quite a lot of work when she opens her business in a local gym

As to the guest POS channels for Cassey we can distinguish two groups, fitness clubs for branded pilates classes and retail for her DVDs and books. You might also want to consider trade shows & conferences, independent vendors, as well as chains of specialized boutiques.


Last but not least the post service and sale channels. These might still be considered by some rather as a cost than investment but don’t let them fool you. Sometimes they are even more important for your image then the marketing-oriented pre-sale ones.


In her own digital channels, Cassey focused on the easiest and most useful at the same time, solution – online FAQ for each group of products and services. When you know that you’ll be getting a lot of varied questions, you can also develop it into a help page on website or your own forum for clients. Cassey doesn’t participate in the guest ones, probably because her team is not big enough to cover all enquiries. But she has a huge following so her fans turn into ambassadors. Tip: monitor independent forums, just because you think it would be best for clients to come for information directly to you, it doesn’t mean that they won’t prefer to stay in their natural habitat and seek their peers’ help.


As to the physical post-service channels, these are entities that provide support to troubled users – a call center, service or independent service provider. Cassey provides only e-mail contact (again, probably due to her team’s size), but for POPFLEX Active line she gives the exact working hours on her website. This is important as there are 6 time zones only in US (and she ships worldwide). Also she doesn’t provide any physical products that would need repair (clothes are rather exchanged or returned).


7. Model

At this point we’ve covered the journey process and choice of channels. It’s easy to notice that when combined there can be an infinite number of different journeys your customers can take. How do you prepare for this?


The good news is that we can distinguish three journey zones by asking “what patients want” and that they coincide with pre-service (sale), point-of-service (sale) and post-service(sale) phases and channels. You can think of them as three brand personas. The pre-sale INFLUENCER is all about creating the coveted lifestyle in a way that customers want to see themselves, as well as taking risk out of  it by testing new solutions. The POS CONCIERGE connects with those customers who want to be pampered, taken care of, with as little to do by themselves as possible. You might want to look for inspirations in posh hotels and spas.

Last but not least, the post-sale SUPPORTER. This is the relation where quality of connections matters most. Customers come to the rescue so prepare to be a firefighter and therapist at the same time.


Let’s have a look at the Patient journey from these three perspectives. Again as an example we’ll use Cassey Ho’s brands. With no access to internal data and feedback from physical locations this analysis will be based mostly on publicly available online sources.



The pre-service (sale) encounter is all about the prestige and participating in a hip trend. When it comes to our own channels, customers are interested in the image our brand shares with them. This is where Cassey shows that the products she sells are part of her lifestyle. Guest channels serve as a confirmation of the social status you’re sharing with them. Cassey’s presence in big media outlets is a further establishment of her position as a healthy lifestyle influencer, especially as she doesn’t shy from talking about her own health problems (orthorexia) which builds trust.


When it comes to the point of service or sale, the attitude of customers shifts to looking for a private concierge. They want to be presented with an overview of solutions currently available on the market. This is why “Our Beautiful Customers” section on the main page of Popflex Active online shop works so well. It’s a collage of Instagram photos with young women doing sports in Popflex attire and when you click on one of them you can see the original story posted by one of the girls and shop the look directly – you know you’re part of an active community.


Customer who come at this early stage to post-service channels are usually looking for a solution to a problem and want to be assured that they’ll be happy with you answer. In Popflex Active’s case it’s how to dress for a workout. We need to remember that such channels as blog can also work as support,not only encouraging to buy but creating a lifestyle around these products. You might be wondering how does it work in the very first stage, sounds more like the decision, right? The answer is online search engines and right copywriting. Cassey writes posts like “100 years of Workout Style”, “an Activewear Collection dedicated to YOU” or “Cute, Cheap and Affordable Workout Clothes for Under $25? YES!”. The last post presents clothes from other shops, she builds trust by presenting not only her line, she’s here to lead you, not sell at any price.



When a prospect is making a decision based on what she has learnt in pre-sale channels, she’s looking for outside confirmation: expert advice or influencer opinion that will help to decide what the best choice is. Cassey is both the producer and influencer in this case so it’s worth your time to observe how she’s combining these two roles. The most important element is that she’s wearing the clothes herself in the YouTube tutorials. She doesn’t have to repeat regularly how amazing her clothes are – we can observe them in action and how they lay in various pilates positions.


Customers who make their decision in the point of service or sale are not the most independent ones. They want to be provided with the best solution to the problem without having to do the search by themselves. They’re also the most trusting ones. Don’t be tempted to lie to them, they’re not silly, just busy and they won’t appreciate any funny business. Here “Our Beautiful Customers” is such a versatile solution. Each photo also connects to the clothes in the shop that were presented on a photo. So a prospect can see how the clothes look on different figures and for which sports they work. And then the sale’s just a click away.


In contrast prospects that make up their minds on the basis of post-service or sale channels are the least trusting. They’re looking for the proof and compare services. They’re interested in seeing how it really works, not perfect marketing materials full of promises. We’d say that next to the video tutorials presenting the behavior of fabric in various uncomfortable positions, the FAQ (esp. concerning delivery) plays the biggest role in the decision process.



When it comes to the pre-sale and post-sale channels in the purchase stage they need to offer one thing – a frictionless connection to purchase. It can be as easy as a link or a list of locations with opening hours. For her fitness attire which is sold predominantly online Cassey links from her main blog to the clothes from the look of the day. In case of the POP Pilates franchise she set a class locator on the main website for this fitness movement. The locator consists of a map, list of addresses and timetable of POP Pilates classes in each fitness club. In case of guest presence invest in affiliate links, not only visibility.


When it comes to the POS purchase customers expect the best quality of frictionless service. POPFLEX Active shop provides her clients with the shop Insta department and a variety of popular, safe ways of payment. It’s a good combination of convenience with trustworthiness. It’s hard to evaluate the experience during her franchised classes, although a high number of locations can be a valuable indicator. For sure licensing instructors helps as she can teach them not only the moves but also her approach to fitness. On the other hand, their job might be quite hard as everyone can easily compare their local instructor with the original online.



Now that a prospect became a customer, they’re going back to pre-sale channels looking for expert advice on using the product or service (e.g. tests – and nothing works better than a short instructional video). In Cassey’s case again it’s easy as she regularly provides new videos with exercises and all her products are built around this free service. To make it easier to find motivation, she provides free of charge full-month exercise calendar. The key to her success if fostering long-term engagement, also by supporting the development of a community – when one becomes part of a group, it’s much harder to leave.


Easiest choice when they are not sure what to do is just after the purchase. Especially when it concerns any technical devices it’s good to be prepared to answer “what do I do now?” the moment they have their new purchase in hands. But of course those a little more patient will wait till they get home… and then go running to your customer support team looking for help available 24/7. How Cassey solved this? By boosting her fans creativity when it comes to wearing the fitness attire, for example by providing styling tips on the shop’s blog – ideas for Halloween costumes or how to style activewear outside of the gym.



Nowadays when something goes wrong we tend to turn to experts to see what do they say about it. That’s why it’s important to encourage independent tests. Although they might not always be 100 % positive, they’ll be real and provide valuable information that’ll ease some of customers’ frustrations. It might be challenging to accept for your PR team but it’s often this or a never ending stream of public complaints. When it comes to your own social media, they’ve ceased to be simply a marketing platform long ago. Currently most customers would rather go there to get an answer quickly. It’s a customer service channel just like the traditional ones. The only difference being that it’s public, everyone can see what you wrote or didn’t so don’t leave it just to your junior intern.


Some customers will prefer to go back to the place of purchase. They feel they already bonded with the sales clerk and that he’s responsible for the whole service around the product. It’s the easiest choice – going back to the person they trust or believe is responsible for putting them in this situation. You can use it as an opportunity to build a network of partners among independent resellers – you give them an advantage when they cannot compete in the game of lowering margins with the chains. Traditional customer service still plays a big role. They simply expect high quality of service provided as soon as possible (though it’s never soon enough).



Unless you’re absolutely sure that certain opinions are planted by your competition to undermine your products, you should never try to delete any independent comment. Your role is to meet your customers in the place they want to share their experiences, both positive and negative, and answer them. Remember that unless your marketing campaign was based on a lie and you’ve got busted, other prospects reading this comment will be mostly interested in how you handled the situation, not the problem itself.


In the pre-sale channels expect your customers take on should anyone else also choose that offer. This is the way they’re bonding with a community around the brand or topic. Be kind to them, they’re seeing themselves as influencers whose opinion counts and they won’t be happy if you question their self-imposed position in the group. Similar type of comments will appear in the POS channels. Bonus: others will also learn if this is the best place to get it – price significantly higher than the average on the market, bad manners, if it happened everyone will know it soon enough. You can also borrow the approach of indie software developers who can’t afford running full customer service (esp. For free software) and create forums where their customers can share they knowledge if their peers are looking for help.

8. Touchpoints

After designing the journey it’s time to have a closer look at the touchpoints inside each stage. Note down each situation in which a customer or prospect connects with your brand – when they glimpse through FAQ, enter your office or call infoline. No matter the stage or channel the best brands provide a coherent, positive experience. And any disruption is a potential deal breaker. There never is a one right template for building a long-term relationship with a customer, however there are some elements worth taking into account: type of action needed from the customer, their emotions and expectations, how you answer them, social impact, their satisfaction with what you provide, future opportunities and responsibility (important in larger organizational structures).


Again we’re back with Cassey Ho to talk over each element. Please note that we’ll be concentrating on general impression from available source material. It makes no sense to run a more detailed analysis as we lack key data regarding sales figures, margins and clients’ enquiries. When you have access to your internal data on customer relationships (for example things that we can’t address here due to lack of data like  or app downloads vs. regular use) it’s best to run this analysis for all touchpoints in each channel (blog, website, Facebook, online shop etc.) in every stage of journey.


Type of action

There are two types of action, a connection can be either passive or active. In the first scenario a customer just reads or listens to provided material, there is no interaction with a company’s representative. So you need to focus on providing adequate information: is there enough information, are all potential questions addressed, Is it easy to find/search for keywords?


In the second case customers interact with your company. What’s most important is the availability of consultants, preferably through various channels: chat, social media, infoline, point of information. The key metric is how long it takes to wait for getting the right answer. Focus on answering as quick as possible and apart from training provide your employees with easily searchable databases for more nuanced enquiries.


What can you do if you don’t have a big customer service team but still want to provide a frictionless experience for your clients? Follow the example of Cassey Ho who focuses on providing all materials and FAQ in a way that doesn’t require much additional engagement from her or her team. She complements it with two services that answer popular problems, although aren’t yet a crucial part of typical fitness fashion businesses – shop the look from Instagram and gift cards. And as she’s building a culture she can always count on active engagement of fans between each other.



In health business we can meet a whole range of emotions from disinterested to panic attacks. The first one usually appears when it’s about prevention and lifestyle changes. The biggest fail of modern prevention in health is it’s focus on recommendations rather than building experiences. You need to build interest and attractive lifestyle. And then when something happens you need a good panic management procedure. When it’s a sudden emergency you need to answer as soon as possible. Your role is to calm down the patient, make sure your consultants are ready to work with extreme emotions. Often there are also many trust issues to be addressed. When someone is curing a long-term illness or the solution is expensive they’re looking for new or better solutions. Easy implementation and trustworthy confirmation is key.


Cassey Ho sells the coveted lifestyle and as a side effect interest in preventive activities that being quite moderate have bigger chance to turn into new habits. The key to her success is an easy point of entry and maintenance of behaviours. When designing any physical activity programs for preventive purposes it’s good to plan for low chance of injuries usually leading to abandonment of all exercises. We tend to bond over common struggles and personal stories. Cassey didn’t hide her problems with orthorexia, publically told a story of overcoming it and accepting a fuller figure (note: she is still very slim just not bordering on unhealthily skinny).



First ask yourself what is the type of information or action your customers and prospects expect. In Cassey’s case a happy presenter who joins them in a struggle and turns it into fun and a pleasurable activity. She’s real and shows if she too has problems with some of the more difficult routines (or plays it well), she’s connecting over imperfections.


Another important issue is what are their emotional needs regarding treatment and relation with your company. Blogilates is led by a real person who treats fans like friends, although it’s a one way communication through videos. She juggles the relation well, talking as she’s conversing with a friend but doesn’t engage in any further conversations. It might change during live workshops and instructor trainings but these are available only for the few.


When it comes to expectations is good to remember that most often people will come to you with a lot of  negative feelings caused by being tired, feeling underappreciated or lonely. When in doubt try to cater to them.



The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, as Stephen Covey once said. And the main thing is did they find what they were looking for. Let’s move to Amazon to check opinions about Cassey’s pilates DVDs. As there are mostly five star opinions we can assume that the answer is yes. But if no, then why? Even Cassey has some problems. Often the absolute beginners have found exercises too tough although the copywriting led them to believe that it’s a right fit for them. Some have also found her personality tiring and criticized her for talking too much – when someone treats pilates as a relaxation, a very energetic instructor might be a little too much. The third step is to ask yourself can any element be improved. Lessons learned: check your promotional texts twice and adapt your behavior to the situation. But do note that here it’s a margin of error, potential clients can learn enough about her offer from the free content she provides.


Social impact

It’s not only about what you provide but also about the activities of of third parties in the same field, inside and outside your circle. Think about who else can provide vital information – from brand fans, through your target group’s friends, experts, to black word-of-mouth marketing run by a competitor. For Blogilates it’s a well developed network of ambassadors – the most faithful fans. Then go through types of messages available – what is the most popular answer in this case? Run an online search, look through popular blogs. When it comes to popularizing physical activity among young women the most common solutions are running, tough functional trainings (both with a higher chance of ending with an injury) or yoga (much tougher to learn).


Now consider how it may impact the decision. The blogilates ambassadors have a very strong impact. We tend to trust opinions of average people more than those of experts (when it comes to lifestyle issues) as they speak their minds and are not paid to promote any solution. Here as a bonus one can feel that she’s becoming part of a group.



We’ve talked over the emotions with which your customers and prospects approach a touchpoint, now it’s time to look at the level of satisfaction with which they leave. How do they feel about this step, are they content, angry or scared? We can see that the Amazon clients are most often very happy, as it’s the next step after obtaining a lot of free, useful and easy to implement content. They’re already immersed in her world.


When the feelings are negative, analyze why. We can see two types of unhappy clients. An outsider that didn’t know what to expect and didn’t spend enough time to check her offer. And  a hardcore fan used to things happening in a given way, not accepting changes – an hour long video of one set of routines instead of mixing your own practice from hundreds of YouTube videos or following different routine everyday from her calendar.


Now that you know what’s not working you can focus on possible improvements. Cassey could (and in fact did) issue an app instead of DVD. It enables a similar approach to the YouTube videos, allowing for more differentiation of trainings to avoid boredom. We need to remember that since Jane Fonda popularized at-home fitness our way of consuming on demand fitness workouts has changed.


It’s important to note down the prevailing feeling – do they understand this situation? In Cassey’s case it seems so but often clients are not so forgiving.


Please remember that when medical treatment is involved it might get more serious due to legal restrictions. For example, if a doctor informs their patients during an online chat that they need to go to a clinic anyway, they won’t be happy. There’s not much you can do about it apart from showing compassion and providing easy to understand explanation.


Remember: you’re working in the legal zones they’re buying according to their comfort zones.


You need to find a way to accommodate to their expectations without getting on the wrong side of the law. And no, they’ll probably not understand – after all you’ll be putting your own good before theirs and from a client’s position it’s unacceptable.



Even if the touchpoint works perfectly fine do not hesitate to ask yourself what further actions can you take to improve the process (e.g. regarding ease of use or cost for the company). For example the gift cards in POPFLEX Active shop which are typically not available in small, boutique shops. It’s a simple solution that might have been implemented in reaction to most often enquiries.



Always name the department or person who is responsible for this stage (as a contact person, not the one to blame). The bigger the organization, the more important that it’s defined from the very beginning, also to avoid overlapping activities and confusing your customers and prospects.

Summary: the Challenges in front of the Health Industry


Functionalities are no longer the unique selling point of health services. The accessibility of technology on one hand made it possible for everyone to have their share in the digital transformation of health care, no matter the budget. But one of the most significant side effects is the acceptance of copying solutions between services. The most public case comes from social media – Snapchat vs Instagram Stories where Facebook-owned platform copied the key function of their competitor to the applause of their market.


Modern health service design should rather focus on building unique patient experiences. The good news for anyone interested in high retention of users is that the most valuable competitive advantage lies in the ability to partner with patients. It’s also worth noticing that patients’ needs go hand in hand with public health’s.  


Chronic diseases in European Union have already become an epidemy:

- more than forty per cent of the population above the age of 15 has a chronic disease;

- over 86 % of deaths in EU are caused by chronic diseases (Chronic Disease Alliance);

- current cost of treating noncommunicable diseases consumes 70 – 80 % of health budget and it’s only rising with the aging population;

- current investment in prevention is up to3 % of health budget.


Leading health organizations (WHO) and think tanks (OECD) agree that raising the effectiveness of preventive activities is crucial to regain control over skyrocketing costs of health care and worsening state of health of our ageing societies.


We need to admit that right now preventive medicine is stuck in a vicious circle: low investment doesn’t encourage development of preventive offer. It’s much more profitable to be in the treatment business. And as a consequence there’s little budget left for prevention. Plus no one’s really hot on prevention as long as they can avoid it.


Nevertheless the pressure to stop this self-imposed epidemic of noncommunicable diseases will be only growing with each year and the market leaders of tomorrow will be those that find a way to implement prevention.


To do that they will need to engineer long-term shifts in patients’ behaviors. As tough as it sounds, it’s really about crafting message around the choice we want them to make. Designing Patient Experience around prevention allows focusing on creating long-term partnerships with patients.


Introduction to Patient Experience

Digital transformation in healthcare is going mainstream, promising higher quality of care at a lower cost for all. And right on time, as only two years ago World Health Organization calculated the cost of not taking action to address the spread of noncommunicable diseases - 7 trillion dollars in 20 years. Telemedicine allows for a cheaper infrastructure of medical consultations, connected hardware means remote monitoring 24/7 and big data helps researchers find patterns in the spread of diseases and better target preventive activities. But the biggest change happened in relation to the model of patient relations. The biggest transformation in medicine since Stone Age is happening right now. The model of patient relations has changed irreversibly as the digital transformation of healthcare turned patients from passive beneficiaries into active decision makers. Internet brought with it the emancipation of patients who gained a much wider access to information, which led to the raise in decisiveness. Companies in healthcare are no longer primarily in B2B communication with other medical entities and public administration, but in B2C for the first time having to work this hard to gain their trust.

  • ISBN: 9781370205837
  • Author: Agata Piekut
  • Published: 2017-03-08 01:20:10
  • Words: 13130
Introduction to Patient Experience Introduction to Patient Experience