The linkages between engagement, satisfaction, loyalty and profits are real. As discussed in last week's article, the level of engagement makes a difference (compliant, contributing, or committed). So does the cost of engagement. This is why driving up the level of engagement and driving down the cost of engagement is good for all involved. Consider an example of how this pans out in healthcare.
Putting The Patient At The Center Of Healthcare
Today's U.S. healthcare system is not delivering what is needed. People who wait for the system to help them are often sorely disappointed. Instead, they must take charge of their own healthcare.
I recently spoke with the CEO of PatientPoint, Tom McGuinness, who said today's patients must play "a more central and engaged role." PatientPoint has committed itself to making that possible and is enabling patients by giving them the tools they need to:
- Engage in learning even before their first visit with a healthcare professional
- Engage in a more equal healthcare conversation with that professional
- Engage in all appropriate steps of their own treatment.
Essentially, PatientPoint aggregates siloed data from multiple sources and makes it integrated, coordinated and seamless to use by healthcare professionals and patients. It's not so much that PatientPoint is changing the basic value equation. Rather, by making information more easily available, it is lowering the cost of engagement by empowering patients to take a more active role in their healthcare.
Application for Leaders
It's a valuable equation for every business leader in any industry: alter the balance of consequences for decision makers by increasing the benefits and lowering the cost of the choice you want them to make. Essentially, relative value is a function of relative benefits and relative costs (money, time, convenience, etc.).
Vr = f(Br/Cr)
You can enhance value either by increasing benefits or decreasing costs. Pay attention to the differences between the benefits and costs of the choice you want people to make versus the benefits and costs of peoples' alternate choices.
Keep in mind too that the only benefits that really matter are emotional benefits. Product attributes lead to outcomes, which deliver emotional benefits.
A classic example is a diamond-tipped drill bit. No one really wants a drill. They want a hole. So "diamond-tipped" is a product attribute. The hole is the outcome. Successfully creating the hole provides the benefit of a feeling of accomplishment. (Likely a milestone along the way to some other outcome since most holes are not all that valuable on their own.)
In PatientPoint's case, it's not so much about healthcare as it is about good health and how that makes people feel.
Think about applying this framework to your stakeholders. Figure out:
- What matters to your stakeholders - the ultimate emotional benefit of your product or service
- The attributes and outcomes you deliver that produce that benefit
- All the monetary, time, and convenience costs to your stakeholders of obtaining those outcomes
Then change the return on engagement by increasing the positive aspect of your outcomes and benefits, and lowering the costs of engaging in activities to obtain those outcomes.