Beyond Patient Satisfaction: How Your Net Promoter Score Can Influence Your Business

August 29, 2018

From Apple to American Express to 24 Hour Fitness, more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies use Net Promoter Score (NPS) to evaluate performance and customers’ brand loyalty. The healthcare industry, however, has been slower to get on board.

NPS is based on a single question: How likely are you to recommend this company/product/service to a friend or colleague? Respondents score their responses on a 0-to10 scale:

  • These customers have the highest rates of repurchase and referral. They give ratings of nine or 10 to the question.
  • Passives: These customers give ratings of seven or eight.
  • Detractors: These customers give a score from zero to six.

How Does NPS Work?

While detailed satisfaction surveys can be useful to determine specific areas of opportunity to improve the customer experience, researchers at Bain & Company proved that NPS is the single most important metric to gauge company and individual employee performance.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, which yields a single figure – the company’s NPS. Studies have shown that Promoters are significantly more likely to share their positive experiences with others and drive referral business. Those rating the organization seven or eight typically do not leave reviews or discuss their experiences with others, while Detractors are often outspoken critics of a company who can impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. 

Sluggish Adoption

One reason monitoring NPS data may not have fully caught on in healthcare is that the industry typically is measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAPHS). These scores provide an “apples-to-apples” comparison of patient satisfaction across all hospitals.

But healthcare organizations should care more about their NPS. According to a 2016 Accenture analysis, healthcare providers have a lower NPS than many other industries, including hotel and lodging, banking, retail, and consumer electronics. With the hotel and lodging and financial services industries leading the NPS race at 27 percent, healthcare providers have an average NPS of just 9 percent.

Accenture’s research shows that consumers are less likely to recommend their healthcare providers than banks, hotels, consumer electronics, and retail companies. They are also twice as likely to be ready to complain about them.

The combination of fewer recommendations and more complaints creates a loyalty challenge for healthcare providers. Recommendations not only shed light on how satisfied current patients are, they are critical for attracting new patients. Accenture’s research shows that 44 percent of patients choose their healthcare provider based on personal recommendations, and that these recommendations drive a consumer’s selection in health more than in any other industry. 

Driving Loyalty and Growth Through Digital Engagement

Daily dialogue between patients and providers is a valuable way to gather continual feedback on experiences of care. It’s also the way to get the right information to the right patient at the right time, which is another way to ensure healthier, happier patients.

HealthLoop’s solution automates daily dialogue between patients and providers. Patients who are engaged daily by their care teams are satisfied and loyal. They are highly likely to recommend their physician online, and to steer their friends to the same provider. 

With more than 100,000 patients using HealthLoop, we have seen:

  • An average NPS of 89 among physicians, which is higher than top consumer brands in the world.
  • An average NPS of 63 among mangers using HealthLoop. 
  • 72 percent of patients completing patient satisfaction surveys.
  • 92 percent of patients who engage with their care teams via automated daily check-ins are “Extremely Likely to Recommend” their physicians to other people.
  • 66 percent of patients agreeing to rate their physician publicly when prompted by HealthLoop.

Connecting with patients before, during, and after their episode of care will place an organization top of mind and demonstrate its commitment to delivering high quality care. To increase retention and referrals, it’s vital to give patients a voice, respond to their questions and feedback, and engage with them throughout their recovery. A focus on meaningful daily engagement with patients is a path to NPS success.

Categories: Patient Experience, NPS, Online Reviews, Patient Engagement

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