What to Do When a Patient Has a Bad Experience with Patient Support Services

Patient Experience | Patient Services | Pharma

Reading time: 5 minutes

Hotels are the pioneers of measuring and constantly improving the customer experience (CX).

After all, a hotel’s product is the experience!

One of the core tenets of hotel CX programs is that they follow up when an individual guest indicates in a survey that they had a bad experience during their hotel visit.

Yes, hotels follow up with individual guests to “close the loop” and make sure the issues that the guest had were heard and addressed.

The reason for closing the loop is clear: a guest with an unresolved issue is unlikely to return.

Should patient support services teams do the same when a patient or HCP has a bad experience?

Most definitely YES!!!


Frustrated young woman holding her head in her hands

Responding to negative experiences

At PeopleMetrics, we have developed a 15 question model that measures the patient experience with support services.

One key question in this model is about how “prepared” a patient feels they are to begin treatment.

It’s a critical outcome to any patient support services offering and one that strongly links to successful onboarding and adherence over time.

This is a simple yes or no question – either a patient feels they are prepared to begin treatment or they don't.

If a patient indicates that they do NOT feel prepared to begin treatment, an email alert is sent to designated people within the patient support services team, and workflows are in place to ensure that the right person follows up with the patient in a timely manner to resolve any issues.

In the alert, a unique patient identifier is the only information shared to maintain patient confidentiality and keep PII secure.

Taking a comprehensive approach

Now you may be saying to yourself, “we are using a partner HUB to deliver our patient support services, so I don’t have to worry about this…"

But you do — possibly even more so than if you were delivering patient support services in-house.

This is because your partner HUB is representing your company.

Patients often do not notice or even care who is delivering support services to them. But if the experience is poor, they may not onboard.

And that’s your issue.

So even if a bad experience is caused by a HUB partner, it’s critical that there is a system set up for follow-up with patients.

No matter which way your patient support services is being delivered, putting a process in place to follow up with patients (or HCPs) after a bad experience is a great idea that will yield significant ROI!

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About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Topic: Pharma CX

Posted on 09-30-2020