EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN ENUGU METROPOLIS (A CASE STUDY OF BETHSAIDA HOSPITAL ENUGU)

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ABSTRACT

Sequel to the emergence of the service economy, marketing, which was known for only physical goods has now widened its scope to cover all areas of services. As a result of the frantic efforts made by service marketers to ensure that services are not merely delivered, but experienced by the consumers, the world economy has witnessed a metamorphosis from a service economy to an experience economy. The healthcare sector is following suit. It is on this premise that this study examined customer experience management and loyalty in the healthcare sector using private Bethsaida hospitals in Enugu State, Nigeria. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the roles of functional, mechanic and humanic clues as well as how customer experience relates to customer satisfaction. The secondary objective was to assess the moderating impact of buyers’ psychological characteristics in the relationship between customer experience management and loyalty. In order to achieve these objectives, five hypotheses were formulated from the research questions raised to guide the study. The study employed survey research design and the data were generated via the combination of structured and unstructured questionnaire. A total of 489 copies of the questionnaire (365 for customers and 124 for healthcare service providers) were retrieved from the selected four private hospitals in Enugu State. Multi-stage sampling techniques were employed in the study. Using the Categorical Regression CATREG analysis, the study found that functional clues have positive influence on repeat purchase actions of customers. Mechanic clues have positive effect on brand insistence, while humanic clues have significant positive effect on switching restraint. Perfect positive relationships exist between customer experience and customer satisfaction and lastly buyers’ psychological characteristics moderate the relationship between customer experience and customer loyalty. Based on these findings, the study recommended, among other things, that health care managers must concentrate on understanding their patients’ needs, desires, cultural attitudes and then design tailored, reliable products, services that will enable them to satisfy those needs and wants. Healthcare managers must ensure that the environment of the healthcare organization is conducive for the patients always; and finally, healthcare managers should have a good grasp of consumer behaviour, so as to help them know their customers, their perceptions, motivations, learning and beliefs/attitudes and how all these will influence their buying behaviour.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0  INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Marketing of health service in Enugu should be will understood because it is a business area that aims at performance, improvement and increase in productivity. It is aimed at performing the varies activities that will make people to be attracted and continually satisfied it. Satisfies customers requirements, profitably if effectively done.

Nevertheless, it needs to be remarked that as a service product, it is intangible and so the need must be properly identified, when this is done, a corresponding product (service) is made to suit the patient.

Again, being a form of service that to not advertise the (Bethsaida hospital) should create a favourable image and atmosphere to stay and compete favorably in the society.

Furthermore, talking about effective marketing strategies for health care services in Enugu metropolis, for centuries age health service was not given much attention as much sickness were calculated as being historical following legend, and most of our forefathers died for lack of knowledge. For this reason researchers for solution to this problem came up with drugs.

However, it is competing now, most of this hospital are trying possible ways to make their hospital more unique than others, the service rendered and that result of the service help to create image of the nature of the service. Bethsaida hospital come provide. The service and result can help the patients in their pre –purchase and post – purchase decision of the health institution.

Consequently, Bethsaida hospital should adopt agile and effective strategies that focus on the need to constantly and promptly meet the demand of the patient, motivated by the spirit of enterprises and creativity, in handling the needs and responsive and responsible to the change in its environment and customers needs.

For promotion, they do not advertise, but they may use other tools like (public relation) that can facilitate awareness of message or information to reach the targeted patients. Relating this to the way Bethsaida hospital market their health service to their customer (patient). The hospital was established in July 1970 by late Professor F.C Ada Rtd. Chief consultant UNTH Enugu as an out – patient hospital in Kayaita Enugu and was relocated to independent Layount in the Year 1983.

The Hospital as at date is a ten – bedded hospital the service they render include. Diagnostic, laboratory test, maternity, and humanitarian.

Presently, the hospital has five qualified nurses and three auxillary nurses one doctor and two mid – wives. The hospital is under the supervision of late professor F.C Ada wife, Dr. (Mrs.) M.N Ada a physician. To accurately remain in business today, Bethsaida hospital must not only provide efficient services but must also use a variety of marketing approaches to maintain their market share against the encroachment of a number of aggressive competitors. They must develop new and better services and be able to convince patients that their service will satisfy them most.