Trust — The Missing Feature Your Customers Demand

The greatest, and often unforeseen, challenge healthcare technology startups must resolve is establishing trust with their end-users. While all startups face various challenges related to trust, the healthcare space most clearly illustrates the need to interweave it throughout a product’s value propositions and user experiences. We’ve seen the impact of fine-tuning these two specific areas improve first-time user onboarding completion by as much as 300%.

Trust is at Risk

Building trust is necessary and incredibly challenging. Most healthcare innovations intend to improve outcomes by facilitating interactions between a service provider and their patients, but technology intrinsically isolates humanity from its necessary role in that relationship. Maintaining the human-nature of tech-enabled interactions depends on two types of trust:

  • Product Trust: Established by developing relevant and distinctive features, that meet a specific and timely need, to both persuade consumers that engagement with the product is a necessity and that patient information is secure.
  • Relationship Trust: Trust is established between the service provider and their patients by demonstrating the relevance, authority, and brand value that underpin the confidence required to make a healthcare decision.

Trust Building is a Process

We find three paradoxes common to startups challenged with building trust in these areas:

  • Pain Point vs Market Opportunity: Identifying the customers’ pain points is essential to develop an engaging product. Understanding which pain point gives you a distinct market opportunity is even more crucial for product, operations, and sales teams to align their efforts.
  • Decision-Maker vs End-User: Consumers value different aspects of a product. Who is the decision-maker in the purchase — if a service provider is the end-user, is it them or an administrator in the back office making the buying decision? Consider all players and target the perspectives they value. A decision-maker may choose to purchase for reasons other than addressing the end-user’s pain point.
  • Solution vs Feature: A fantastic product does not ensure a sale. One common driver in a sales process is to demonstrate the utility of a specific feature, rather than the underlying healthcare need the product is intended to address. The feature may be one that saves time, or that bolsters marketing efforts rather than one related to patient outcomes.

In the seemingly slow-moving healthcare industry, it is especially time-consuming to establish product-market fit. Gaining suitable market-share requires vision, strategy, and execution. Keeping long-term goals in sight is central to our process as we help ventures implement strategies to validate their product and relationship trust as they build their customer-base.


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