Almost everyone has spent time at a hospital. Whether you’re visiting an aging family member, welcoming a new addition into the family, or seeking a routine treatment, the service you receive leaves a lasting impression. No matter the outcome, patient satisfaction along with the quality of treatment has never been more important. We want to feel cared for. We want to be treated as an individual and respected as a patient. And we will share our experience with others.

When selecting a health care provider, we often turn to our friends for recommendations, browse for information from insurance provider websites, and search the Internet for third-party reviews and opinions. In a soon-to-be-released study conducted by Bazaarvoice and Kelton Research, we found that 26% of consumers ages 18-34, and 32% of consumers ages 47-65, would never choose a health care provider without reading at least one piece of user-generated content. So how does a health care provider turn patients into brand advocates?

Hill Country Memorial Hospital, a Bazaarvoice client, began collecting reviews from hospital patients and guests a year ago. They don’t just capture basic service information, rather opinions on their quality of care, their doctors, wellness, outpatient services, and the overall experience. The reviews are posted on their website and circulated throughout each piece of the business so they can stay close to the customers and provide better services.

How many times have you been asked to rate the service of your hospital or care you received? Hill Country Memorial empowers each patient to share their experience after each visit. Whenever a staff member receives a review, a copy of the review is sent to them as well as their director. The team feels rewarded when they see the positive impact their work is having on their patients.

As with any industry, whenever you open yourself to feedback it’s not always positive. Hill Country Memorial sees this as an opportunity to change how they do business. When their online payment service was identified as a problem, from a customer’s review, the Business Office and IT team were notified and the problem was quickly resolved.

Because consumers trust other consumers over traditional marketing, Hill Country Memorial adds customer reviews to their advertising and media placements. And no marketer could ask for better content to use than the authentic reviews they receive like “I couldn’t be any happier if they named a wing of the hospital after me,” or, “I was treated like a king”. Their 4.9-out-of-5-star patient experience is a testament to their customer centric approach.

As time continues, more people will not only expect good service but a great overall experience from their health care providers. Mark Peterson, Director of Customer Experience for Hill Country Memorial Hospital feels that hospitals must put the patient first in order to retain their strength and market share, preserve their brand, attract more business, and maintain a high level of satisfaction and accreditation.

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