Patient Experience as “Story,” Not Episode

Rod Butcher’s blog “Is your Customer Experience a Victorian penny dreadful or the greatest story ever told” uses a very creative metaphor to describe what it might be like for customers as they interact with companies.

I particularly enjoy the simplicity of the metaphor and Butcher’s implied definition of customer experience as the total accumulation of all experiences the customer has with a company that “builds and builds over time.”

Butcher’s description of the customer experience makes me think of the definition of patient experience from The Beryl Institute: “The sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions, across the continuum of care.”

Too often, companies — and I will shine the light on hospitals and healthcare organizations — still operate as if the customer (patient) experience is a series of isolated episodes and interactions instead of a carefully orchestrated and interwoven tale and story. Butcher invites the reader to be intentional and purposeful — to consider “how each interaction SHOULD add to the customer’s (patient’s) overall perception, and narrative.”

In the end, optimizing healing healthcare is a purposeful, integrated, and macro approach that “writes” an exceptional and healing experience in which the patient FEELS like (and is) the “star” — not a “victim.” And, when this occurs, both author (the healthcare organization) and protagonist (patient) applaud and await the next chapter in the story called “Healing.”

I hope you, too, enjoy Butcher’s blog!

Rod's Round Up

I remember reading a great paper from a few years ago in the Journal of Service Research, called “Service Design for Experience Centric Services” that talks about the

similarities between customer experience and plays, novels and films. The main point being to think about and design customer experience as ‘theatre’, and consider the dramatic flow and progression (the start, middle and end) of the customer journey as interactions occur.

This makes a lot of sense when you think about disciplines like customer journey mapping; the paper says we typically tend to remember the high and low points, and the ending, how you feel at the interaction’s conclusion. I would emphasise the word, ‘feel’ here, because it is our emotional response to customer experiences that will stay long with us after the mechanics – the nuts and bolts – of an interaction are long forgotten.

The sad fact is that doing…

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