In Dubai, UAE most of the time when a customer needs to make a purchase decision they often look up on the internet first. The websites and internet presence can hugely influence the purchase decision. When it comes to local businesses, a website plays an important role in trust-building and brand reputation building. Most often our customers ask us “what should be covered in a hospital website?” which is why I am writing this blog to cover the basics of the subject. In the healthcare industry, people are very sceptical. They always do research, ask their family and friends about the brand and then make a decision. When it comes to the internet a hospital website is the very first interaction of the brand with their customers or patients. A website is very capable of both, driving more traffic and also repelling your precious customers away. Hence a hospital website in Dubai, UAE needs a great deal of planning and strategy if you really want to improve your customer experience and growth.
For hospitals and the healthcare sector, a website is becoming a very powerful tool in past few years. People living in UAE are more adopted towards the latest technologies and trends. In a few past years having a good online representation of your business can quickly improve your brand image, brand reputation and sales. But it is important that what image you are portraying with your website is the best representation of your brand. For hospitals and clinics, a website must offer necessary information and functionalities which can help improving customer experience and customer journey.
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Here are some important things that need to be considered in a hospital website:
Simple and Easy to Understand Homepage Design
It is very important to understand that the Hospital website’s homepage is very different from any other traditional website. The main objective of a hospital website is to provide an interaction for the customers, all other call-to-action is not relevant. We only need to focus on the entry points. Following are the most important details that a customer or patient will seek when they will land on a hospital website:
- The Services a hospital is offering
- A list of important and popular doctors
- Directions, Timings and Contact Details
These are the very basic information that a customer needs to interact with the hospital. So, it is very important that we keep our homepage simple, easy-to-navigate and avoid unnecessary items. Usually, the one thing we notice is that Hospital websites have irrelevant links added in prominent positions which are not relevant to users. For example, employee login, link to their intranet or doctors internal portal or any such links/buttons that are not useful for a customer/patient. Avoid these links and such details. Another thing is a patient is always in a need of an urgent solution, they are very less interested in your business vision or story, yes the client testimonials or remarks from other patients are helpful but keep them at the bottom of the page or in the lower sections. The most visible part of the homepage for a hospital website should contain the most relevant information for the customers/patients.
Think from a patient’s point of view, try to analyze their journey, think what they would be looking for and then direct their path towards the successful interaction via a call to action button or activity. Provide them with less but precise and very important information. Form your customer journey is multiple but easy and short steps, each step should provide them additional information which will encourage them to for the next step. This is how a hospital website should form a customer journey.
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Internal Pages and Content
In a hospital website not only homepage is important but since the visitors are expected from various sources, for example, search engine, social media or any other marketing source. The internal pages should be short, informative, and dedicated to one service only. Multiple services in a single page will either make it too long or even if you try to keep it short you might not be able to provide enough information that can encourage a visitor to convert into a lead. Use fewer graphics and multimedia as people prefer to read more information on such pages. The service pages or other internal pages should serve their objectives, for example, if it is a service page then you should have a very directive customer journey path and call to action.
The content and language for all of the pages whether internal page or homepage should be very easy and simple to understand. Avoid using complex technical terminologies and technical explanations. Try to aid with mini-animations or graphics to explain a difficult or complex phenomenon. All the pages should provide complete and clear information in a very simple and easy to understand manner. The customers and patients who are coming to your website or its internal pages are looking for a solution to their problem or need. Make your pages design and data as simple as possible so that it is easily understandable for an average user.
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Offer Digital Services and Helpful Functionalities
A Hospital website is not just only your company profile. As we all saw the digitalization and transformation of digital services in past few years in all types of industries and public sectors. Especially in Dubai and UAE, the governments are emphasizing digital services and the governments themselves are offering a huge variety of digital services, most of the time you don’t even have to go to a public office instead you can avail the service online via a web portal and/or smartphone applications. This has completely changed the trends and expectations of the service-based industries. In healthcare and hospitals, the customer who is your patients would also expect digital services. Here are some examples of digital services and website functionalities that can literally transform your customer journey:
Online Appointment Booking
The online Appointment Booking system is a great feature to offer by a hospital website. The functionalities and features of this service should be decided with great care. If any integration with any existing system or data pool is required it should also be done to make the service easier and simpler for the customers. For appointment booking ideally, the patient should have the freedom to choose the date and time for their appointment with the doctors. The data of the doctors should be presented in a clear and very clean manner. A search engine should be offered to look up the available slots and the entire process should be concluded in less than three minutes. Only ask for basic information from the patient and don’t put a long checklist of symptoms or any such thing, these things will make the process difficult and the customers will easily lose interest, they will rather prefer to call or visit instead of using this digital service.
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Online Chat & Contact Details
Online chat is a great feature for a hospital website. Most healthcare centres and hospitals operate 24/7 and someone is always available at the phone or reception. So, arranging source for online chat management is also easier for hospital management. If that is not possible, a chatbot with basic Q&A could also make the service more effective. These days along with online chat WhatsApp chat is also gaining popularity. It is a very simpler and easier way for your customers especially those who are using their smartphones to access your website. Apart from that, the contact details of all the departments should be provided along with search functionality to further facilitate the visitors. The navigation of the contact details should be easy and simple. Online chats and online contact directories could improve the customer experience or patient experience and build trust for the brand.
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Online Patient Portals
As the hospitals are compiling very comprehensive patient data and all the details of their previous history and everything. Online Patient Portals are a great way to make those details instantly available for your patients. Online Patient Portal can add greater value to the user experience of a hospital website. The patient should be allowed to register either completely online which is a better approach or either by visiting the hospital to get them registered for the online portal. Once they are registered they should be provided with login details, and all the data should be protected and only available after successful login to the portal. It will be a complete patient profile and history of their past visits and treatments or whatever details you think should be provided to your patients/customers.
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Customer Feedback and Complaint System
Customer Feedback and Complaint System is a very important and useful feature for the service-based industry. A hospital website should have dedicated customer feedback and complaint systems. Customer feedback is very important in understanding the needs and problems of your customers and patients. The hospitals can collect customer feedback from both website and smartphone applications as well as other a bit more traditional mediums. The complaint module is a very important feature of hospital websites, as most of the time the customers visiting a hospital are already stressed or worried or at unrest, so they could have a lot of complaints. You should provide them with a medium to express their feelings and emotions. Active follow-ups and response will make them happy and improve the trust factor.
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Mobile Compatibility and SEO Friendly Website
As most of the people in UAE are using smartphones for their online searches and a lot of other online activities, in fact, the smartphone is their first choice for a lot of internets and social activities. It is important for hospitals to have a mobile-friendly or technically speaking, responsive website. A responsive website is a website that renders its content automatically accordingly to the screen size and device it is being opened from. The responsive websites can offer a uniform customer experience and journey on all sort of devices such as Laptop, PC, Tablet, Smartphones and other gadgets. The responsiveness is a very important feature for a website that requires online customer interaction. Apart from responsive web design, a hospital website should also consider cross-platform compatibility. It is a bit more technical feature but in simple words, it means that the website should maintain a uniform user experience on different platforms such as Windows, MAC, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge and such things.
SEO Friendliness or search engine optimization compatibility is a must-have feature. Whoever is looking for your brand or service you are offering will most probably search it in Google or other search engines. If your website is developed and designed as per the SEO standards and you have followed the best SEO practices, the chances are your website will appear in the first results on the first page of search results. This is a very crucial feature, not only search engines but various social media platforms which are commonly used for such searches also utilize the same search engine compatibility or SEO Friendly features to rate and display content in their search result pages. If a customer is finding your website on top of the search results, they will automatically get a sense of trust and will show a positive response towards the brand. It not only ensures more traffic to your hospital website but also improves brand trust and brand reputation.
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Business operating in Dubai and other parts of the UAE has witnessed huge changes in their sales and brand impression by simply updating their websites. Especially in the service industry when it comes to the customer journey and customer experience businesses should be very careful. In the case of healthcare and hospitals, people are always very sceptical and do a little bit of extra effort to ensure they will get the best healthcare services. It is very important for a hospital to have an excellent website with all the required features and functionalities. The website should be organized well and all the information should be placed wisely. You don’t want to confuse your customers and your audience ranges from a layman to an executive professional. Prepare your website’s content in a way that it could serve the entire spectrum the best approach is always simple and plain language, less technical abbreviations and multi-lingual support could do wonders for your hospital website. Other features such as responsiveness, online appointment booking, customer feedback and complaint module, online chat and doctor’s directory, etc are very important for a prospect. Make sure all the information that your visitors are seeking are available in very simple and easy access.
It is always better to consult a professional web design agency in Dubai such as RSI Concepts. We have a track record of helping out hundreds of businesses and brands. Feel free to reach us out via our Contact Us page. We will be happy to assist you.
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