Surgeons ratings by patient outcome data is now available online. ProPublica unveiled the Surgeon Scorecard recently for 8 elective procedures.
People check online ratings all the time and for major stuff like knee replacements you can bet that patients will research online. We already have specialized ratings doctors,lawyers, restaurants (Yelp), airline routes (Routehappy), vacation trips (Trip Advisor),plumbers and electricians ( Angies List ), colleges(US News, Princeton Review), movies (Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB), etc. . Then there is the omnibus Google review that can influence customer choice. All of these ratings reflect the customer's perception of the service experience.
So what makes surgeons' ratings with patient outcome data special? This is the start of a trend to measure and rate services by performance data and not perceptions alone.
This is a momentous shift as ratings are based on all customer data and not merely on opinions of those (only 0.5% customers post opinions on Amazon according to Quora) who post an opinion online. Here are some things all service businesses might want to consider as big data finds its way to online reviews:
- Does your industry segment have the data and the motivation ? Medicare has patient data and the surgeon data and an interest in reducing costs. Surgery complications means more bills for medicare. The same should apply to insurance auto repair services where customer satisfaction and costs are important. There is likely to continue to be a data gap for direct to customer billing relationships like plumbers where data of how many faucets(taps) continue to leak after a plumbers' visit is unlikely to become available.
- Perceptions of the 0.5% will continue to matter online: Perceptions of the 0.5% customers who report an opinion online will continue to matter. These are folks who are vocal online and care enough to post a review online. Dissatisfaction resolution should therefore be a major focus for all businesses because if you address dissatisfaction you are doing "service recovery" and that helps unhappy customers happy and in case some of these are online reviewers - their story will help your business and you will probably get a good review in the bargain.
- Be alert to the context of your services: Service providers miss the context of their services. Two examples
- (a) a great dentist misses the turn-off annoying behavior of their office staff, who constantly chase patients for a $1 payment short payment that they failed to collect at the office.Patients defect only due to the accounts receivable folks.
- (b) If a customer faces parking problems for your restaurant - it rubs off on your restaurant quality. Not addressing the parking problem is bad for business.
- Follow-up is critical: Follow-up after service is critical because if something is wrong- people will tell you. Auto dealer services are good at doing this and non-response to surveys from customers is fine, because you can be sure your service was satisfactory at least. We are sure that with the Surgeon Scorecard, surgeons will become more active in managing post-operative care because any lapse will directly and publicly reflect on their ratings.
To summarize, we can expect big data to find its way into performance ratings sooner where transaction data is available (e.g. Medicare for surgeons). Meanwhile, managing perceptions of customers will continue to matter.About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.