As discussed in part one of this series, different generations see and do things differently; however, within each of these groups is a desire for innovation. Leaders of all ages within this space need to send a message that each age group matters. When it comes to the baby business, this especially pertains to the Millennial, Gen-X and soon approaching Gen-Z groups. We simply can’t afford to let a generational gap exist in this area. To help respond to this need, here are three key areas that should be focused on to build and sustain cross-generational communication and cooperation inside and outside of the organization.
1. Be More Inclusive: This is the first step before digging into the more granular details of this process. Before all else, ensure that every age group is included and made to feel like a required piece of the puzzle. Each generational division boasts invaluable knowledge and assets – all which should be carefully integrated into the patient process. 2. Manage Expectations: Expectations can be managed if we first seek to understand, and to understand, we need communication – specifically, multi-channel communication, as that is how maternity patients are primarily communicating today. This also needs to happen as quickly as possible, as the expectations are already set. This leads us into our next point…
3. Aggressively pursue communication channels that are already embraced by younger generational cohorts: Live Web and video chat, YouTube and social media are all innovative new avenues that hospitals should be taking to embrace younger generational cohorts. For example, in the women’s services section of your hospital’s website, offer an informational YouTube video addressing commonly asked questions and concerns. Also, establishing a strong social media presence enables you to respond to patient inquires in near real-time. Or, live chat can help support a more personal, quality relationship. For instance, as opposed to sitting in a call queue, the patient can deploy a live chat session within seconds.
Women’s services leaders need to understand that to see a successful outcome – before true compliance is achieved – many communicational and cultural barriers will have to be broken down and bridges built. Each generation group must receive information in a form and frequency that offers them utility.