The Adoption of Omnichanneling in Health Sector Companies (Part Two)
By Daniela Chueke Perles
In the first part of this article we explored the scope of omnichanneling for the health sector in Latin America. But aside from looking at the advantages it may have for hospital patients, health sector businesses, and medical equipment buyers, it is also useful to look at some of the pros and cons of omnichanneling.
Risks of omnichanneling for medical and health sector providers
While omnichanneling offers numerous benefits for health sector and medical providers, it also has certain risks that need to be taken into account. Potential risks associated with omnichanneling include:
- Data security: omnichanneling involves compiling and exchanging customer data through multiple channels. This can increase the risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks. Health sector and medical providers handle sensitive and confidential information such as medical records and patient personal data. The implementation of robust data security measures across all channels is essential to protect privacy and prevent security breaches.
- Inconsistent experience: Unless properly implemented, omnichanneling may result in an inconsistent customer experience. Each channel must deliver a consistent experience in terms of design, content, and functionality. Customers may experience confusion and frustration if there are discrepancies in the information, pricing, or availability of products or services, which could negatively affect the company’s reputation.
- Difficulties with inventory management: this may be a challenge for health sector and medical providers, especially if inventory management systems are not well integrated across the channels. There may be synchronization issues between the availability of products in the physical inventory and the online store, which can lead to incorrect orders or shipping delays.
- Operational coordination: the successful implementation of omnichanneling requires good operational coordination between different departments and teams. Processes must be properly aligned across channels to ensure a seamless experience for the customer. A lack of coordination can lead to internal communication issues, delays in order processing, and poor customer service.
- Channel overload: omnichanneling may increase the workload in channels of communication and sales, particularly in digital channels such as the website and social media. Without sufficient resources and personnel to handle demand, there may be delays in responding to customer inquiries or processing orders, which would negatively affect customer satisfaction.
- Need for continuous updating and adaptation: the customer’s technology and preferences are constantly evolving, which means medical and health care providers have to stay up to date and continuously adapt to remain relevant in an omnichannel environment. This means investments in technology, personnel training, and a constant upgrading of systems and processes.
Pros of omnichanneling in health care companies
Reaching a wider audience and being present on multiple channels expands the scope of these kinds of companies and facilitates access to medical services and products. Similarly, by offering multiple channels of communication and sales, health sector companies can provide customers with a personalized, seamless experience, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
Omnichanneling also gives patients and customers the flexibility to interact and make transactions whenever and wherever it suits them the most, through physical stores, websites, mobile applications, or other channels. Moreover, it can enable better coordination and communication between medical care providers, which can improve patient health care management and facilitate the exchange of relevant information.
Cons of omnichanneling in health care companies
Handling sensitive patient and customer data through multiple channels increases the risk of security breaches and data vulnerability. Health sector companies therefore need to implement robust security measures to protect privacy and information confidentiality. Another aspect to consider is that implementing and maintaining an omnichannel strategy may require significant changes and upgrades to a company’s systems, processes, and resources. This may involve increased operational complexity, requiring proper management and additional resources.
Another important factor is that maintaining a coherent and consistent experience across all channels can be challenging, especially if systems and processes are poorly integrated. Inconsistencies in product information, pricing, and the availability of products may negatively affect the customer experience. Lastly, a company’s implementation of omnichannel strategy may entail a significant investment in technology, training, and human resources. The associated costs have to be taken into account when assessing the benefits and ROI.
Aspects for the development of an omnichannel strategy
Health care and life sciences companies could focus on developing the channel as a complement to the current distribution channel to strengthen relationships with their customers. In addition, to mitigate the risks, health sector and medical providers should implement suitable data security measures, ensure a consistent experience across all channels, improve internal coordination, have integrated systems of inventory management, and make sure they have sufficient resources to meet the demand from the channels. Lastly, it is important to perform constant monitoring and welcome comments from customers to identify and fix potential issues as they arise.
Contact GHI to learn more about the omnichannel strategies that medical equipment and device companies in Latin America can adopt to expand their scope and gain market share.