With each of the retail projects we’ve undertaken, we learned and relearned the importance of retail’s core essentials. We learned that “retail” isn’t a category of commerce; it’s an individual’s personal experience with Brand, Place and Culture.
In the healthcare services market, Brand, Place and Culture are even more critical than in other retail endeavors, because those involved — the patient and the patient’s family and friends — are likely to enter your facility with a heightened level of anxiety and stress, even pain and fear. Their every interaction with your “brand,” from your advertising to the initial phone call, to their first steps inside your door, must immerse them in a reassuring experience.
Obviously, they expect to be in a contemporary environment equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology, but they also want to sense the professional competence of each of your staff members. They’ll be seeking signals of trustworthiness, respect, understanding, empathy and compassion, and they’ll go somewhere else if their expectations are not met.
Should you really think of your patients as “customers?” Everyone who comes through your door is a customer of your brand.