Ann Arbor, MI – In service based industries loyalty cards are table stakes nowadays. Companies like Starbucks offer music, apps, free drinks, and special offers to every customer that takes part. And its a company that has many fans.
Recently three University of Michigan doctors published a paper suggesting that hospitals capitalize on this tactic. Health care facilities, like hospitals, are essentially service-based entities, and marketing in the form of loyalty programs could be a practical solution to address the choice patients now have in choosing their providers. There are three big pluses that this type of tactic might produce:
- Customer retention. It costs more to attract new customers than it does to hold onto existing ones.
- Customer goodwill. Receiving perks tends to lessen the sting of a bungled order or slow service.
- Word-of-mouth advertising. People who take part in a loyalty program are more likely to say good things about the company and spread the word about it.
Why it matters:
As marketers we need to recognize that patients have a choice in who to go to when receiving health care. In a system where patients are looking for a value in a crowded health care system, companies will be looking for ways to differentiate one provider from another and a loyalty program might provide just that. People like to feel like they are being rewarded and something that could be a way to gain preference.
Want to take a closer look at the full writeup from Fast Company or a closer look at the study from these three doctors? You’ll find them both here.