Category: Looking

New Ways of Personalizing the Experience

Reimagining Brick and Mortar

Everyone’s favorite e-retailer took it up a notch in their quest to reshape the shopping Experience.  In an effort to meet each of its customers’ needs in a more timely fashion than ever before, Amazon continues to experiment in the more “traditional” retail model of a physical storefront with AmazonFresh. Don’t be fooled, these locations are anything but traditional. From cashier-free grocery stores to virtual reality driven appliance and furniture showrooms, Amazon is Personalizing the shopping Experience for its customers giving additional choices in the way to buy groceries. An additional bonus, having more physical storefronts will expedite the time it takes to get products from warehouses to the front doors of those customers who prefer to do their shopping online.

Which of your online processes could be better as an in-person Experience? How can you Personalize these Experiences even further?

Alert: Take the Day Off

Unlimited time off is a benefit many startups wear as a badge of honor, yet haven’t figured out how to implement in a way that works for the company and its team members. Meet Buffer. This global social media startup created a much-loved, Personalized time-off plan by paying attention to how team members were (and weren’t) using their unlimited time off. After realizing that the plan was actually more limiting and team members were taking fewer days off, they switched to a policy of at least three weeks off per year. In addition to having no restrictions on when team members can take those days off, Buffer also encourages its employees to observe the public holidays of their region or country to meet the unique needs of being an international team. Alerts are sent when holidays are coming up, and employees are encouraged to take them. The goal is to reduce the number of people who only take a few days off each year and to encourage people to be fully transparent about when they are taking time off so they can truly disconnect and enjoy the benefits of vacation.

While this concept may be impossible to imagine or implement in the complex world of health care, take a moment to consider: what elements of Human Resources could be better anticipated and Personalized to transform the team member Experience?

Custom Outdoor Spaces, Designed All Online

With many spending more time at home than ever, creating an outdoor space that feels “uniquely like you” is more important than ever. Yet it’s hard to know what to do or where to begin especially in the midst of a pandemic. Enter Yardzen.

 Yardzen is a 100% online Experience that allows users to “design a backyard of their dreams from the convenience of their phone” (or computer). The steps are easy and the app is simple to use—which is part of the appeal.  Customers choose from three custom packages ranging from partial yard to full yard or just botanicals (plants) – then complete a design profile and upload photos and video of their space. Next, a design team utilizes these elements, the unique design profile, and Google satellite imagery and data to create your personal rendering of the property. 

Jeremy Brill, our Chief Experience Officer, introduced us to this Personalizing exemplar while in the process of his own backyard design. When asked why he chose Yardzen, he said “It is simply personal. The perfect blend of customer input through a backyard design survey and profile [selecting preferred images of backyard aesthetics], and introducing a skilled team of designers, botanists, and landscape architects who are committed to imagining what your backyard could be. It creates confidence in the design process and trust that there is a team working to enliven something just for me.”

The Power of Personalizing with Technology
”There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique,”
— Martha Graham

A Passion. A Prosthetic. And Beautiful Music.

Every child should be encouraged to follow his or her dreams, and, for 10-year-old Isabella Nicola who was born without a hand, her dream was the violin. Thanks to the dedication of her music teacher and a team of inspired undergraduates at George Mason University, that dream became reality with a fully covered prosthetic arm. This exciting progress in the technology behind prosthetic limbs was spurred on by Isabella’s passion and the need for a highly personalized prosthetic. Using the power of 3D printing technology, the design team took Isabella’s unique needs into consideration – size, ease of use, and even the color – and created a solution just right for her. Outfitted with her new arm, Isabella is able to control the bow and make beautiful music.

How might discovering the passions of our team members, providers, patients, and guests better inspire, inform, and influence the way we Personalize our care and the Experiences we create? What matters most to them and what might we do to know and incorporate that?

Printed Treatments and Even Organs?

Some pretty exciting research using 3D printers is opening doors we never imagined. From cancer treatments to diabetes care and neural therapy, 3D printing is now a part of many research paths leading to truly Personalized medicine. Although the technology is in its infancy, practical applications are already being approved and put into use. For example, doctors at North Colorado Medical Center’s Cancer Institute printed a highly specialized bolus that allowed them to target a radiation treatment for a patient and deliver the right amount of radiation to exactly the right place. Doctors were encouraged by the results and the ease with which the treatment could be applied.

This new technology could help improve the quality of care and even radically change how we treat vexing diseases. And, on the horizon, there are even more inspiring and paradigm-shifting applications. For example, our generation may be the last to have to go through the painstaking process of requesting, receiving, and accepting organ donations thanks to the increase in technical capabilities of 3D printers. Yes, you read that right—the future of transplants lies in printers. Researchers are exploring the concept of implanting cells into printed items and working to fabricate viable, compatible organs. Imagine getting exactly the care you need without the emotionally taxing (and potentially life-threatening) process of waiting on a donor list or, even more tragically, receiving a transplant and having your body reject it. If research progresses, this may be our incredible new reality.

New technologies and solutions are allowing us to Personalize our Experience and caring in ways previously unimaginable. What aspect of our Experience or caring might be better personalized with a new technology?

Rethinking the Check-In

For hotels and hospitals alike, one of the first Experiences a guest has is often the arrival and check-in process, so it’s no surprise that boutique hotels are completely rethinking this important touchpoint, along with a variety of other Personalized first-touch Experiences. The traditional hotel check-in process via a person-behind-a-desk begs the question “does there need to be a desk?” Andaz Hotels doesn’t think so. They equip their team members with portable computers – eliminating the desk – and allowing them to make a personal connection with guests in a comfortable lobby environment. 

Guests enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, effortlessly check in, and then are personally escorted to their rooms.  Some of these processes have shifted in the time of COVID, yet the hospitality remains the same.  Says Toni Hinterstoisser, general manager of the Andaz on Wall Street, “A host’s job is very different [from a front desk clerk’s]. They are supposed to be like the conductor of a symphony. We want them to anticipate your needs when you check in, make you relaxed, and be the person you call throughout your stay when you need help.”

How might we Personalize the check-in Experience? What might we do to eliminate the traditional barriers to engage patients and guests more fully, surprise and delight, and show that we are focused on them? In this time of COVID, how might we make our virtual check-in a more Personalized Experience?

Exemplars of Personalizing

Prescription Glasses for Your Ears?

When a composer, an audiologist, and an entrepreneur get together, you get incredibly Personalized products such as Even’s over-ear and in-ear headphones that tune the sound independently for each ear. Powered by their “onboard hearing test” which tests eight frequencies in your ears and then determines your “EarPrint” (the way you hear and Experience sound), Even’s headphones tune in real time to create an immersive sound Experience just for you. What some are calling the prescription glasses for your ears, Even headphones highlight the unique and beautiful differences in each person’s hearing and also protect your ears by not allowing you to crank the volume too high to overcompensate for hearing challenges. That’s music to our ears.

We have the privilege of getting to know our patients and their unique hopes, preferences, and needs. What existing technologies might we better customize to meet those needs?