Survey: Gov't healthcare Websites outperform private sector

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It is critical that healthcare organizations in the public and private sectors understand how satisfaction drives future behaviors since visitors to government healthcare Websites who are most satisfied are the most likely to return, recommend and use the site as their primary channel for interaction with the organization, according to a survey by ForSee Results.

The customer satisfaction survey company surveyed more than 40,000 consumers of health information and services at dozens of healthcare websites to measure customer satisfaction with healthcare services, including hospital, health insurance, government health information and pharmaceutical Websites.

Using the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company’s own American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), lead author Larry Freed concluded healthcare Websites as an aggregate scored 75 on the benchmark’s 100-point scale.

Government healthcare sites outperformed all measured private-sector industries with a score of 79, according to Forsee Results. Pharmaceutical Websites came in at a close second with a score of 78. Hospital Websites scored 73 and health insurance Websites trail substantially, with a score of 64.

The survey also predicted future behaviors and attitudes on the customer’s likelihood to return, recommend and use the website as a primary source. On average, when compared to less satisfied site visitors (satisfaction of 69 and lower), highly satisfied Website visitors (80 and higher) are:
• 139 percent more likely to return to a Website;
• 169 percent more likely to recommend the Website; and
• 153 percent more likely to use the Website as their primary resource for interacting with a healthcare organization, instead of using channels like call centers or office locations.

Satisfied online customers lead to profitable companies, the report concluded. Because customers purchase additional services and recommend that their friends and colleagues do the same, improving the online experience leads to increased revenue and cost savings, according to ForSee.

“Online customer satisfaction leaders will reap the benefits of enhanced loyalty, while those that are unable to deliver on the web will lose both their competitive advantage and their customers to competitors,” concluded the report. “Measuring customer satisfaction using a credible cause-and-effect technology is the first step toward measuring the voice of customer and doing a better job of managing customer satisfaction.”