098: Rick Harris—Shouldn’t You Want to Delight Patients and Deliver Care?

Listen now as Rick Harris talks about being faithful to what people want!

I bet you want to know what “Customer Faithful” is all about! That’s what Rick Harris and I talk about in this podcast. Rick is from the UK and has spent much of his career studying consumer behavior. His passion, and the goal of his company, is to find out what really matters to peoplethe actual consumers or patients who are using your products or services. Much more than a new take on customer service, Customer Faithful enables businesses to be “faithful” to delivering what consumers really want and need. This is fascinating, innovative stuff. Don’t miss!

Rick HarrisHow does Rick do it? He observes.

Much like our own ethnographic or anthropological research at SAMC, Rick knows that he cannot survey people. He has to see for himself what actually happens during a patient’s clinical meeting with a physician, what happens when that person leaves and goes back home, and what that person really feels when they are coping with their condition or illness, or interacting with a healthcare provider.

Rick asks the hard questions:

  • What is it that a person actually experiences in a physician encounter?
  • Is the doctor listening?
  • Is the patient hearing and understanding what is being said by that doctor?

You can just imagine the depth of our conversation. And, you’ll enjoy what you’ll learn about how seeing things with fresh eyes can really point your entire mindset in new directions. 

Who is Rick Harris? 

A researcher with a passion for customer experience, Rick spent his early career in retail, selling everything from general merchandise at Woolworth’s to managing convenience stores in Australia and bookshops in the UK. Over time, he wanted to understand more about not just what was sold, but why it was purchased, and how that knowledge could be valuable. 

For the next 10 years, Rick helped businesses and organizations explore and understand what it is like to use and buy their goods and services as a customer, and how it feels for those who make or deliver them as an employee. In 2010, Rick made a pivot towards healthcare, taking the tools and principles he learned in researching customer and employee experiences and putting them to work exploring the patient experience. 

Since then, Rick has built a reputation for uncovering and interpreting the experiences and needs of patients and their caregivers. He has guided some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and bioscience companies to become more patient-centric, with the aim of making the improvement of patient experience as accepted and sought-after a goal as clinical outcomes. 

In addition, Rick’s ongoing work in therapy areas, including cancer, asthma and migraine, is breaking new ground in showing how the “voice of the patient” can directly influence the design of treatment and services. 

Rick has recently become a Public Governor for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in Cambridgeshire and is a member of The Market Research Society and the Royal Society of Medicine. To connect with Rick, email him at rick@customerfaithful.com.

During our podcast, Rick and I discuss: 

  • His research into the experiences of healthcare patients
  • The primary importance of patient-defined outcomes alongside clinical outcomes
  • What a patient-defined outcome looks like or sounds like
  • How patient outcomes can be applied
  • Where he sees the future of patient experience research heading
  • What healthcare providers should be looking out for as the next big step in becoming patient-centered

For more on this important subject, we recommend these blogs and podcasts: 

Additional resources:

Download the 1-page synopsis of my book, “On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights” here