With the healthcare landscape in flux, many professionals must turn to trusted advisers for information on how the Affordable Care Act will impact their practices and their businesses. This opportunity to educate and enlighten customers allows experts and partners to emerge as thought leaders, offering advice not only to healthcare consumers, but providers and practitioners, as well.
For Toshiba America Medical Systems, the leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, healthcare reform brought about the chance to further engage customers by offering relevant content and campaigns that address pressing questions and concerns. Catherine Wolfe, senior director of corporate and strategic communications, spoke with 1to1 Media about the organization's efforts to becoming a leading resource in the healthcare economics space:
1to1 Media: What's the biggest challenge Toshiba faces when trying to engage its customers?
Catherine Wolfe: Healthcare providers are consumed with the challenges of implementing the Affordable Care Act and providing the best care possible to their patient population. So the question for businesses that support this market is: How do you engage this type of customer? The simple answer is you help them understand their environment and how what you provide can help make them successful.
1to1: With difficult topics, such as healthcare economics, what are some of the best ways for companies to engage their customers?
CW: Companies can engage their customers by providing content they care about in a format that is convenient for them. At Toshiba, that means content that is easily accessible like videos, one-page flyers, and targeted email campaigns. Our on-staff healthcare economics expert has worked in the healthcare provider environment. He understands their language and their challenges. He travels the country presenting at association meetings and at customer sites. We also use the material he has created to educate our sales force to help them knowledgeably speak to customers about their concerns.
1to1: How does customer education tie into engagement?
CW: Appropriate, timely education provided in a way that is credible and clearly of value to a particular audience is a great way to engage customers. At Toshiba America Medical Systems, a leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions - such as CT, Cath & EP Labs, X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, and information systems - our goal is to be known as a resource and a thought leader when it comes to the shifting healthcare economics landscape.
1to1: What steps did Toshiba take once the healthcare environment began to shift?
CW: When Toshiba saw the healthcare environment beginning to shift, the first step was to train and provide education to our employees in order to ensure that they understood the changes their customers would begin to face. We started an internal email newsletter to provide updates and education on new and future healthcare policies to employees. Additionally, we relied heavily on our healthcare economics manager, who began creating videos and presentations to help customers and employees better understand the changes being implemented. He also traveled around the country, speaking to our customers, providing insight into the coming changes.
1to1: How is Toshiba educating its customers about the specifics of these new laws and how they will impact daily healthcare operations?
CW: Once we had taken steps to educate our sales force so that they can have a knowledgeable conversation with their customers, Toshiba also launched a portal called Reimbursement Rx. Reimbursement Rx is a website for customers to get quick, accurate answers on their reimbursement and coding questions from certified experts. Responses are provided within 16 business hours, and local Toshiba representation ensures hospitals' needs are addressed. This enables our customers to more easily see how they will be impacted by healthcare reform.
1to1: What are some additional ways in which healthcare reform is changing the way Toshiba markets and sells its products?
CW: Toshiba has always focused on how our products and services can benefit our customers and their patients, but even more so now with healthcare reform. We make sure to communicate the impact that our technology can make to improve the quality of life for our customers' patients and their businesses.
1to1: What new marketing tactics does Toshiba use to reach and engage customers?
CW: At Toshiba, we understand that our customers are busy, so we try to provide more resources for them digitally, enabling them to go to our website and find what they need, like event details, education links, product overviews, and videos. Additionally, we have recently implemented targeted email marketing campaigns that provide information on topics of interest. Using lists gathered from customer surveys, we sift through the contacts to ensure our content is going out to the person at each facility who would be most appropriate. Toshiba has a long-standing tradition of offering the industry's best after-sales support, proven by our high customer satisfaction ratings year after year. Our goal is to listen to our customers' concerns and provide products and services that address those concerns. It is our goal to offer the industry's best overall customer experience.