Medieval Helpdesk to today’s UX: have we gotten any better?

Customer Experience has been around forever. Only now has it become THE driver in the Economy —  for reasons we all know, ponder and agonize over as marketers. But more than mapping experiences or buying the best tools, we all need to focus on the quality of that experience — how information-relevant, how visual, how human they are in style and content.

Sometimes you just have to laugh when you see someone does not “get” it — as you will when you watch this hilarious YouTube spoof of the Medieval Helpdesk (link at end of blog Post.). But the evolution of UX has now moved from push-pull marketing to the complex dance of technology and Human Insight and measurement.

Let me give you something to ponder when considering mapping then building a Patient Journey.

My last Post I spoke of ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) but to map it to the health care Journey, I serve up this smart infographic from Screwpile Communications*. The level of decision-to-self-doubt is directly applicable to doctors and Pharma not serving their own best interests in knowing what patients really need when they need it.

zmot-resized-600 Patients HC journey 5.8.14

And with the average health consumer consuming 10.4 sources of information along the way (according to Google) it is more critical than ever to have the right alignment of Db, CRM/MCM, surveys and Insight tools all rolled together to create the most effective experiences — and not just “relevant” that term is getting old — but memorable and meaningful moments where you can interact with a potential or actual patient and have true, and measurable impact.

Let’s state the obvious for the moment (so we can abandon it forever), the Sales Funnel (DOA):


…and replace what was once a “Sales Funnel” to a true Patient Journey of doubt, confusion, questions left unanswered and patients left uncertain:

Patient Journey questions British student


All these endless needs and questions are supported by research.  The chart below states what patients need, let’s say from Pharma and doctors; but in doing so, their very answers reveal the lack of connection between the needs of the marketer (sell/loyalty) and the patient (question/support/compassion):

(*Thank you Manhattan Research.)

what patients want infog. 5.8.14

A single theme shouts quite loud: HELP ME!

The good news is that the Digital Transformation occurring at most Pharma and hospitals and doctors’ practices bodes well for today’s confused and poorly adherent patient.

The bad news is Pharma has trouble with three key elements to build communication and trust:

1. Social Media/Sharing (See example of Pharma best example below.)

2. Getting ahead not behind the patient’s doubts

3. Supporting patients holistically not piece-meal

The answer is not how to map the Patient Journey — give me a set of touch point icons and Insights and I’m done . But the ability to intersect and support their needs at the proper touch points — use the data and surveys and other customer insights together build GREAT experiences — that is our industry challenge. The kind of content/experience that make someone sigh and say quietly, “Thank you.” Believe me, you will be remembered.

That is why there is hope with the disparate technology companies that offer closed-loop marketing, not just email or CRM or landing pages, but Insights, Planning, Platforms and Measurement and Optimization. (Watch out, Ad Agencies!)

The Medieval Helpdesk at the end is a spoof we can all relate to. But the true story, when applied to health, is far more serious. The poor monk encountering his first book is deeply uncertain. The poor patient encountering a diagnosis is many, many times worse off.

All 3 of the barriers I list above can be addressed with a combination of Social Media, Services, patient advocacy and a few other smart marketing tactics. Social Media does play a big role, thus I leave you with two insights…this visual of some of the sources patients use to gain answers and trust:

New-Sales-Cycle-with-Border TRUST 5.8.14

And for those who really want to see a company step into Social Media and get darned close to doing it right…


Now to the poor, hapless monk encountering his first book…

Hey, it’s Monday, have a good chuckle.


Mideviel helpdesk


Thanks to: