How a Digital Transformation Strategy Improves CX, Boosts Revenue, and Reduces Cost to Serve in Health Care

This week, we welcome Brian Wagner to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Brian has over 20 years of global operating and consulting experience at organizations ranging from start-ups and private equity to Fortune 500 companies in various high-tech industries, including SaaS, MedTech, medical devices, diagnostics, and life sciences tools. As founder and CEO of Health Insights Consulting Group, he helps small companies grow to become big by transforming organizations to meet unmet customer needs.

In addition to previously holding Fortune 500 chief digital marketing and operations officer roles, Brian has expertise in digital marketing, product development, commercial operations, and M&A. He has led both growth and cost-reduction operational improvement efforts across industries as well as global marketing organizations, overseeing product and go-to-market strategies.

On this episode, we tap into Brian’s expertise to discuss what it takes to create a digital marketing ecosystem in health care to improve the customer experience while boosting revenue and reducing the cost to serve.

A Quest to Improve Lives

After college, Brian sought a job in sales and marketing and landed one at a consumer packaged goods company. He worked there for five years, gaining all the insights he could, before being recruited by a small entrepreneurial company in health care. There, he solidified his passion for improving and saving lives, calling on interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, and vascular surgeons to learn the business from the ground up.

From there his career continued to progress, earning roles in digital marketing leadership and general management, approaching each one with a customer-centric perspective. He took time to understand the customer experience—customer challenges and unmet customer needs—so he could focus on improving patient care and the customer experience while reducing the cost to serve. He assessed how they went to market, established end-to-end marketing tech stacks, and went from push to pull marketing to boost customer engagement and enhance the customer journey.

In all of his experience, Brian has remained true to his commitment to saving and improving lives while establishing operational efficiencies and reducing costs. He’s developed some best practices along the way.

3 Business Functions to Digitize for Improved CX and Operational Efficiency in Health Care

Brian has identified three business functions that, when digitized, improve CX and operational efficiency, resulting in incremental revenue and cost reductions, specifically in health care. By simplifying processes and access to information, customers across the health care continuum—including acute care facilities, surgery centers, and outpatient providers—enjoy a better overall experience along each step of their journey while vendors can reduce their cost-to-serve.

  1. My Team – Who is the Customer’s Team?

The first opportunity Brian identifies is to improve operational efficiency through a customer relationship management (CRM) system that enables customers to easily find and contact the right person on their vendor’s team to answer their specific question. He points out that with multiple health care solutions and products sold by one vendor to a hospital, a customer could have as many as 10 people assigned to support them. In the absence of an accessible digital CRM solution, it is cumbersome to find the right person to answer a simple question or schedule a service request.

With the goal of addressing these unmet customer needs to improve the customer experience for health care organizations, Brian led a team that revamped an outdated system and established an end-to-end digital ecosystem platform that enables customers to sign into a secure online portal to view their personalized team.

In the My Team component of this digital ecosystem, customers can view their orders, obtain contact information for their support representatives, and complete product training. Enabling customers to securely access the information they need online on their own schedule improves efficiency, increases satisfaction and customer loyalty, and reduces the cost to serve by redirecting staff to other areas that more directly benefit the customer.

  1. My Orders – How Does the Customer Order?

The second opportunity to improve operational efficiency involves optimizing the order placement process. Through a digital ordering experience, customers can conduct initial pre-purchase research, identify what they need without necessarily involving a sales representative, and ultimately place their order online according to their own schedule—which in many cases occurs outside of conventional business hours.

When customers enter the post-purchase experience, they can track their order online (delivery, construction, installation) and set up and complete training sessions to maximize their product onboarding speed and utilization with patients. Having online access to the information they need vastly improves the customer experience for MedTech customers in acute care centers and hospitals which make capital equipment purchases that often require arrangements for construction within the hospital and training on how to use the new product or service. Brian says that customers have embraced My Orders to such an extent that many of them purchase hundreds of thousands worth of capital equipment through the system.

But change can be hard, especially in the beginning before customers understand the benefits it offers for efficiency. The improvements Brian and his team made to enhance the digital customer experience required a lot of marketing and customer support to help customers learn the new processes and enjoy increased productivity so they could focus more on patient care rather than administrative tasks.

These improvements served as a differentiator in the marketplace and incentivized customers to do business with them because of the convenience and efficiency factors. The ease of doing business gave them an edge even when competitors offered viable alternative products as well. Their customers valued the improved process as well as a better customer experience, enabling them to devote more time to patient care.

  1. My Training – How Does the Customer Receive Training?

The third opportunity for operational improvements is to revamp how customers arrange to get trained on their new product or service. In the analog world, customers would call their specialist to schedule in-person training. This generally required a lot of back-and-forth coordination and a high cost to serve because the training was delivered in person, which also involved travel, hotels, meals, and a lot of time.

In the digital world, however, the customer onboarding process is much simpler and results in good digital CX. Customers can conveniently schedule on-demand or live training through their secure online My Training portal whenever and wherever they need them.

Digital Transformation Improves CX in Health Care

By studying the customer journey and identifying areas for improvement, organizations can implement digital transformation strategies to solve pain points in the customer journey and delight the customer from pre-purchase to post-purchase, while also boosting revenue and reducing the cost to serve the customer.

The modern era of pull marketing strategies vs. dated push-marketing methods meets health care customers where they are. It empowers them to efficiently transact and arrange training and support in ways that are similar to the convenient and user-friendly experiences consumers enjoy with online merchants such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart. This digital health care ecosystem offers acute care centers and hospitals improved efficiencies that allow them to focus on the things that matter most—patient care and improved outcomes.

What Brian Does for Fun

Brian, his wife, and their two young daughters love to travel. They enjoy experiencing different cultures and foods, making human connections , and building a global perspective. Before COVID, they loved going on adventures, but when COVID hit, they hunkered down and found new opportunities for fun.

This year, their travels picked back up and for spring break they went to Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor in Oahu and the Road to Hana in Maui. They did SNUBA where the oxygen tanks float on the water so they could swim down 30 feet for an up-close experience with the marine life and sea turtles.

This summer they traveled to the former Yugoslavia (where Brian’s wife is from) where they spent time with family and friends and visited Montenegro and Herceg Novi on the Adriatic Coast.

To learn more about Brian, connect with him on LinkedIn.

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