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Conversational Marketing in Healthcare Industries

Conversational Marketing in Healthcare Industries

The healthcare sector in the Middle East is thriving. It’s currently worth 0.75 billion USD and is projected to reach 1.78 Billion by as soon as 2027. In an industry that covers not only hospitals but clinics, labs, pharmaceuticals, wellness, and life sciences too, there is huge scope for the use of new forms of communication and new strategies to improve patient experience and encourage loyalty in a market filled with competitors.

Conversational marketing is a big term that means something quite simple: That a customer (or in the case of the healthcare industry, a patient) can interact with a service provider at a time of their choosing, on multiple platforms, and can get useful information about their individual situation quickly and easily. That interaction can be through a one-on-one conversation with an agent on web chat, via Whatsapp, or through a well-designed rule-based chatbot that can be personalized and equipped to provide the information that they need. 

Used wisely, conversational marketing can boost patient acquisition, improve retention, provide a great customer service solution, and give precious time back to customer service teams. It can give patients greater control over their healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it

Chatbots in Healthcare

A chatbot customer service solution to handle routine customer queries and provide information to patients can be an important part of a conversational marketing strategy and can be used across webchat, social media messaging or instant messaging platforms. Straight-forward, Rule-based chatbots can be built to answer FAQs, facilitate appointment bookings and rescheduling, and complete payments.

For a more natural conversational experience, companies are now turning to AI chatbots and NLP chatbots, they can offer a more human-like customer experience and are becoming more sophisticated all the time. 

Combining both (Rule-based chatbots and AI chatbots/NLP chatbots) enables you to provide a balanced and customized chatbot tool to interact with your patients. 

Common use cases of conversational marketing in the healthcare industries

The health industry lends itself very well to the use of chatbots, live chat, and conversational marketing since many of the queries and procedures are by necessity, very standardized and process-driven. Here are some areas where they can be used to great effect in a healthcare setting. 

Appointment Booking

A hospital or healthcare facility will want every patient to go through the same appointment booking process as much as possible and follow very defined routes to obtain their medical test results. This makes everything easier to track and minimizes the scope for mistakes. A chatbot with a clear menu system that guides people through selecting, locations, practitioners, times and dates can handle the process that a receptionist might otherwise need to take care of in a fraction of the time.

Appointment Reminders

The value of the time lost in the healthcare industry simply due to missed appointments runs into billions of dollars. An automated reminder sent the day before has been shown to reduce the volume of missed appointments significantly, with obvious savings in time and resources.

Test Results

With robust systems in place for checking identity and protecting patient confidentiality, the ability to share test results directly with patients over a variety of channels is more convenient for both the patient and facility, and can allow for easy booking of follow-up appointments where required.

Directions to the facility

If it’s a patient's first appointment with a facility or with a new department. they might be grateful for location information and directions. This can easily be provided automatically along with an appointment reminder and the opportunity to ask further questions if needed.

Onboarding

Deploying a chatbot to facilitate patient admissions can be a very beneficial solution for both patients and facilities. New patients can be guided through all the necessary procedures before arriving to save time and stress when they get there. You can also build a customized chatbot dedicated to answering FAQs, enabling the chatbot to be a one-stop shop for all basic inquiries. 

Payments

Adding access to a secure payment gateway that patients can access directly from whatever communication channel they are most comfortable with (WhatsApp, web chat, SMS, email) can make the payment process simple and easily trackable. Saving time on follow-up calls or making payments at the facility.

payments-using-chatbot

Follow-Up

By requesting feedback after an appointment, you are showing patients that you care about their experience. It’s also an important way to gather information and plan changes to make the service even better in the future. Using a variety of channels to request feedback and providing the option to have a 2-way conversation with someone about their experiences will make them feel valued and will increase the chances of them becoming a loyal patient.

Conclusions

Improving patient experience and making life easier for people to interact with a healthcare facility makes good business sense because it’s efficient and encourages people to come back. The ability to have 2-way conversations over various channels 24 hours a day can really make a difference. Using the potential of carefully-designed chatbots and a wider conversational marketing policy to help patients navigate and get the information they need will add a new dimension to your healthcare facility’s customer service offering.

To learn more about the Unifonic solutions for the healthcare industry, speak to an expert today and discover how easy it is to get started.

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