In an agile environment, our work is often about incremental improvement – seeing where change is needed, forming a hypothesis, trying something new, measuring results, and tweaking as needed. In that world, it’s easy to have a recency bias – the inclination to use the most recent experiences as the baseline for what will happen in the future. However, it’s equally important to look at trends to make sure that, as a company, we’re getting the results we want in both the short- and the long-term.
When tabulating the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, the thing that caught my eye was an improvement in the category of how well our clients believe we align with their goals. That question received the most significant improvement from last quarter to this one – from a 5.01 to a 5.28. (As a reminder, our survey is based on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), and our target is always a 5.0 or higher.)
Now curious, I looked a little deeper. The previous four quarters had all been pretty consistent (5.09, 5.01, 5.04, and 5.01). Interestingly, the four quarters prior to that ranged from 4.49 to 4.96. What this tells me is that we made a change about a year ago that our clients liked, and the changes we’ve made more recently are being equally well received.
It’s often amusing … and fairly easy … to joke about trends. Because frankly, any business concept, taken to its illogical extreme, has negative aspects and can be a target for ridicule.
But here’s the thing: a bad hire is expensive. We all know that. There’s all kinds of research that shows bad hires cost companies not just in terms of the time and resources to hire and train employees, but also in missed sales opportunities, lower client satisfaction and retention, strained employee relations, and potential legal issues. It’s often said that companies traditionally hire for skills and fire for behavior.
Of course, no one is hiring ONLY for cultural fit. At Geonetric, we use a combination of interviewing approaches — skills tests, personality assessments, behavioral interviewing, etc. — to get at a candidate’s ability to perform a job well within the team environment we’ve created.
In a traditional environment, the executive team might hire a branding company to define and roll out the organization’s values. The company then typically ends up with words that are cliché, ambiguous and impossible to measure – values like “passion” and “excellence” – or a Dilbert-like phrase filled with buzzwords – such as “leveraging core competencies to achieve synergistic results”. That doesn’t cut it here.
So of course, we decided to turn the process on its head. We asked employees to tell the executive team what our core values are.
As a healthcare marketer you probably lack a few things. Resources. Time. Money. But what you don’t lack are goals. You need to promote your physicians. And your service lines. And your events. So when you’re charged with filling schedules or signing up new patients for an upcoming course, where do you start?
Remember the easy button? One simple push and everything just magically works out! Well, that’s the approach Geonetric takes with training new clients on our VitalSite content management system (CMS).
Learning new software can be overwhelming for some people. I understand that feeling based on my own experiences installing new software on my personal computer. And sometimes installing software is easy the easy part — figuring out how to use it can be a time consuming endeavor!
That’s why one of the first steps after you partner with Geonetric is to learn how to use VitalSite, our proprietary CMS. We provide our new clients with personalized, one-on-one training. We believe that making sure our clients begin the process with a real person on the phone to help them learn the product increases the speed of their adoption and helps them move forward with a higher degree of confidence.
With the recent release of VitalSite 8.0, we introduced Notes, a helpful new feature designed for the teams and individuals responsible for planning, creating and maintaining the content of hospital websites.
Because Notes are right next to the content they describe (but are visible only to administrators and never to the public), content teams can easily communicate with each other about the pages, panels, providers, services, locations or other VitalSite objects they work on and govern. If you’ve worked on websites for any amount of time, you know how helpful this type of capability can be.
When I review the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, I feel a lot like Sally Field felt when she won the Oscar® for Best Actress in 1985.
“This time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now you like me!”
There is no denying the fact that our clients like us. And that’s a really great feeling!
To put some numbers behind those emotions (because we’re all about the data!), this quarter’s survey again surpassed our targets for both participation level AND satisfaction ranking.
- 72% of our clients completed the survey, slightly higher than our 70% goal.
- Clients ranked us at 5.21 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), well above our target of 5.0.
One question Geonetric hears from clients is, “How do you keep up with all these changes in SEO, PPC, and social media?” Good question!
I shared my reading list with attendees of Geonetric’s 2014 eHealth Client Symposium: Camp Reboot, and thought others may benefit from this list as well. A word of caution: these blogs will turn you into a search marketing geek in no time flat.
So, what do I read in my free time to keep up with Google, Bing and the other cast characters in search and social media? Here’s my current reading list:
Today Geonetric was certified as a Democratic Workplace by WorldBlu. We’re proud to be a company that values its employees and actively works to create such a positive workplace culture.
Geonetric has always been a great place to work. About 18 months ago, we took that a step further – we said “great culture” has to mean more than just amenities like free food and a flexible work environment. So we eliminated our formal management hierarchy and instead created self-organizing, self-managing teams. That was a pretty major step toward a democratic workplace, even before we knew that was a “thing”.
Well, it’s official. Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), the next generation of the ubiquitous Web analytics tool, is now officially out of beta and ready for prime time. According to Google, “all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the [Universal Analytics] product, including Remarketing and Audience (Demographic) reporting.” This is good news for those of us interested in taking the plunge, but unwilling to sacrifice any of the functionality we’ve come to depend on in the classic Google Analytics (GA).
Of course, it’s not just about feature parity between old and new. From custom dimensions and metrics to new approaches to cross-domain (and sub-domain) tracking, there are a bevy of new features and capabilities in Universal Analytics that will be of interest to most Web marketers and webmasters.
If you’re a Google-watcher, you’ve no doubt been keeping your eye on Universal Analytics for some time. And if you aren’t a Google-watcher, rest assured that we’ve been watching on your behalf. In fact, we’ve been planning for this announcement for quite some time.
That’s why the just-released VitalSite 7.0 includes a new Site Root Script Manager built specifically with Google’s Universal Analytics in mind.
A number of years ago we took pride in the fact that we released VitalSite updates every quarter. Not only was it a significant differentiator from other software developers who struggled to deliver even one release a year, but frequent releases just seemed like the right thing to do. Why? Quarterly updates allowed us more opportunities to help our clients manage their top performing hospital websites. And that’s hard to do when you have to wait a year or more to take advantage of new features.
Over the last few years we’ve been resolute in our commitment to frequently delivering software, and the rate at which we release updates has increased manyfold. In fact, we now consider a quarterly release cadence to be slow and often symptomatic of problems on software development teams. Such problems can be the result of:
- A software development team that is incapable of responding quickly to changing market needs, or of quickly deploying fixes and updates to clients. This can be because of anything from code quality to management problems. Regardless of the cause, it should be considered a warning sign for many types of software.
- A vendor who has decided to withhold valuable changes and updates from their clients until the marketing team decides that they have ‘enough’ new functionality for them to bundle it all in a release and promote it in the market. This approach is common among software vendors who just want to rack up new sales and have little regard for existing clients.
Isn’t it obvious? Websites need content to exist. No content. No website. No website. No visibility to your potential audience. Oops!
What’s not as obvious? Websites need good content. Think about it. Before you opened the doors of your bricks-and-mortar healthcare facilities, you invested time, energy and resources into identifying the services and programs you planned to offer. You found out who your customers were, what they needed and how your services could help them. And you invested again in all the tools, people and processes that would ensure you’re the best choice to deliver the healthcare services you promised. You need to do the same thing with your website. Continue reading
Those MasterCard® commercials have it right. Everything costs something, but some things are worth more than what they cost. They’re valuable. And that’s how we need to think about website content.
When considering a purchase, we often think only about the amount of money we spend. We know the numbers, the price, the cost. We can feel the bills or coins leaving our hands—or we see the balance in our bank account drop. We buy stuff all the time:
- Morning cup of coffee = $
- Cool new kicks or hoodie = $$
- Washer and dryer = $$$
- Family trip to Disney World = $$$$
But what’s the value of these purchases? That’s not something you can measure in money. It’s priceless.
- Coffee = Delivers the eye-opener that jump-starts your day
- Cool kicks = Identifies you as a trend-setter or stellar group member
- Laundry pair = Offers the comfort of knowing you can have clean clothes when you need them
- Disney World vacation = Provides a fun setting for family bonding time
Value comes from the intangibles—like feelings—related to the products and services we buy. Feelings like attention, fun, trust, relationship, comfort, caring. Yes, you spend money for these products and services, but what you get back makes the cost worthwhile.
Or almost everybody. Overhauling their website, that is.
Yep, virtual cranes are dotting the Internet landscape these days. In our recent research with healthcare organizations about their digital efforts, nearly a quarter completed an online overhaul in 2013 (24%) with more than twice that number either in the process of redesigning or in the planning stages (41% and 19%, respectively).
That’s a lot of construction activity. More importantly, however, is what do health systems hope to accomplish in their redesigns and why are so many of them doing this now?