Hair Care or Health Care: Which Provider Would You Keep?

Hair Care or Health Care: Which Provider Would You Keep?

Altarum InstituteKen Schwartz, 571-733-5709

Is customer loyalty different in health care from other consumer services – such as hair care? Given the recent emphasis in the health care industry on continuity of care and patient-centered medical services, recent findings suggest that, for some patients anyway, a disappointing experience may make continuity of care less of a priority.

In almost every aspect of their customer experience, consumers reported less satisfactory service at the doctor’s office than in the barber chair or beauty salon. For example, 45% waited over an hour for their doctor compared with 13% for their hairdresser. One quarter reported their doctor didn’t listen, compared with 18% of hair-care providers. And for those reporting poor service, when asked which provider they would likely keep, more than one-third chose their hairdresser!

These findings and more are from the spring 2013 produced by Altarum Institute’s . The goal of the series is to document consumer opinions about their role in health care decisions and factors that may influence their preferences and actions.

“As health care evolves, and consumers get more involved, it’s important to understand their level of engagement and confidence in managing their own health,” said Wendy Lynch, co-director at Altarum's Center for Consumer Choice in Health. “These perceptions affect their provider relationships, the questions they ask, the treatments they receive, and ultimately their overall health.”