When it comes to healthcare, different generations have different needs, and even more importantly, different expectations. While the Greatest Generation relies on their doctors for information, Millennials are more likely to head to the Internet before calling a medical professional.
And then there is Generation X. The members of GenX were born between the mid-60s and the early 80s. This group is moving into the time of their lives where healthcare becomes a more important, and a more frequent, requirement in their lives.
GenX are the first generation of “healthcare consumers”, and as such are a new experience for providers. They shop around for doctors and medical services just like they shop for a car or TV. They read reviews. They get recommendations. Brands are important to them, and they research health concerns online.
They are also willing to quickly switch from one provider to another based on one bad experience. Loyalty to a single provider is a thing of the past with these consumers, a trend that will likely be repeated with the Millennial generation. Putting in the structures that keeps GenX content will be a step toward satisfying GenY, as well.
But other than great healthcare, what does GenX look for? They want a good customer experience, just like when they are shopping for that car or TV. One of the hallmarks of good customer experience is convenience. And while you contemplate appointment times and locations, don’t forget that making paying bills easy is another piece of the customer experience puzzle, and another way to cater to GenX’s expectations.
How GenX Pays
When it comes to payment preferences, Generation X sits right in the middle between the 55 and up crowd, who still use checks and cash but also rely on credit cards, and Millennials, who are quick to adopt alternative payments. But GenXers use credit and debit more than their elders, and electronic and alternative payments, like mobile, almost as much and sometimes more than the younger generation.
This generation expects to pay how they want to, and where and when they want to. Some will expect to pay in-office co-pays with mobile payments, which 33% of GenXers have already used. They will expect to settle outstanding bills with electronic payments, online or even on their phones. With 93% of 30-49 year olds accessing the Internet and 83% of them owning smartphones, electronic payments are clearly a convenience these patients expect.
As Generation X ages, they will rely more heavily on their healthcare providers. But with a consumer’s attitude toward healthcare services, practices will need to do more to keep these patients. Catering to their payment expectations and making bill payment convenient is one way medical practices can minimize the risk of patient turnover and attract new patients looking for a better customer experience.