From Healthcare to Wealthcare
Why the Luxury Patient Experience (LPX) is Different and What This Means for Wealthcare Management
The appeal of physical perfection in today’s society is becoming increasingly widespread. Beauty in our modern-day culture is generally defined by the imagines projected by the media. Viewers of reality-TV, for example, who reported favorable impressions of reality television shows featuring cosmetic surgery were more likely to indicate interest in pursuing surgery. The high-rise career, the picture-perfect family, the desired social status, and an indestructible self-esteem revolve around having an impeccable figure. The vast majority of women magazine’s covers showcase a woman with a thin physique. It should come as no surprise that the demand for plastic surgery is high, and steadily rising. In the United States alone aesthetic procedures are expected to grow from 1,688,694 in 2012 to 3,847,929 by 2030, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.1 percent. As the demand for elective cosmetic surgery intensifies, healthcare and luxury patient experience providers need to understand the reasons behind the decision to seek cosmetic surgery. We know that a combination of both, psychological and emotional factors is the main motivation to undergo elective cosmetic surgery. Social acceptance of cosmetic surgery and body image are the strongest predictors of cosmetic surgery motivation. Thus, one of cosmetic surgery’s desired outcomes is establishing their personal perception of status.
Although a large body of research has investigated how consumers use goods to signal their status, very little is known about how consumers use the outcome of plastic and aesthetic surgery to signal their standing in society. While there are plenty of suggestions on how luxury brands shall manage the service encounter in the luxury retail service experience, there is a lack of research exploring the differences between the customer (CX), the patient/healthcare (PX), and luxury patient experience (LPX). My research provides a much-needed analysis of the similarities and differences, leading to a clear definition of luxury patient experience and guidance on how service provider can successfully manage the luxury patient experience. I highlight a much-needed fundamental shift from healthcare to wealthcare. This shift will ultimately guide luxury healthcare provider practices, ensuring both, the delivery of desirable luxury patient experiences, and the profitability of these practices.
Wealthcare provider, for starters need to manage the entire luxury patient procedure (pre-, during, and post-treatment) to evaluate the patient’s assessment criteria and their subsequent behavior in depth. The combination of the three CX stages, rather than the addressing of each stage individually, has a significant and positive effect on loyalty, and word-of-mouth. This strategy is called the Continuum CX Strategy. The continuum research shows that customers’ perceptions of their experience quality determine marketing outcomes and, in turn, a luxury provider’s performance. Every direct and indirect interaction with the provider can affect the patient’s perception of quality and, therefore, it is important to measure all interactions in order to improve them as parts of a luxury patient experience continuum.
Prof. Phil Klaus has recently recently accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Advisory Board at the Journal of Service Marketing, a ABDC A-ranked, CNRS/FNEGE 3-ranked journal.