Back to Listening

The Church of the Customer blog has a short interview with author Josh Bernoff, (“Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies“).

It is a good exchange on social media. The power of social media in health care organizations hasn’t yet been realized (heck, we’re just getting around to proper patient use). It’s coming.

Favorite exchange:

What’s the secret ingredient at companies that understand the value of two-way communication with customers and why is that ingredient so hard to replicate at other companies?
Most managers say they want to hear from customers. They don’t. They like the idea of a mass of consumers but individually, customers are quirky. Most companies keep them at arm’s length with phone systems and call centers and focus groups. Why are you stuck on the other side of that one-way glass? Dell is an example of a company that now gets it. Michael Dell talks in terms of 100 million customer touches per year. When you think of those touches as an asset, you’ve changed your thinking. For your company to attain that thinking, it helps to build a social application. It will slowly and inexorably change your attitudes to be more customer-centric, especially at is succeeds and spreads to other applications. It takes years, but it works.

Personalized health care is the new raison d’etre in some organizations. That’s good…when it happens. In order to personalize, a hospital must encourage individual conversations with each patient. We have some work to do. Social media will help.

2 thoughts on “Back to Listening

  1. I’ve been an advocate of social media for business for years, and make a decent living in training organizations to join consumers in this new communications paradigm. I’ve got some clients who are in biotech, and who serve the pharmaceutical industry… and am wondering why hospitals seem to have such fear of the blogosphere. Not from the doctor’s perspective, but from the administrative perspective.

    Do you have any light you can shed on that fear? Is it regulatory, or just the (too) common perception that the feedback they might get from patients/families, etc. might be negative?


  2. I think the fear of the blogosphere is not necessarily the communication platform, but the communication itself. Hospitals, traditionally, have held all information close to the vest. And when you do that since the beginning of time, it is difficult to change. But it’s starting to change—there are a few CEOs who blog. And I think we’ll likely see that number increase over the next ten years. I know ten years is a long time. But health care is slow. Always has been. Realistically, could you see a hospital that doesn’t have electronic medical records utilize blogs?


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