No matter what industry you’re in, gathering feedback is an essential part of customer acquisition and business improvement.
When Paul Jaglowski and his three co-founders realized that there were few alternatives for customers to share their thoughts with businesses unless it’s on paper or via Yelp, they founded cloud-based feedback platform Feedtrail. The startup’s distinguishing factor is the ability for businesses to provide real-time surveys while services are being rendered.
“We wanted to build a way for them to engage easier and in real-time,” says Jaglowski.
The team started going after clients across different industries and found success with airlines, hotels, and restaurants. But shortly after acquiring their first healthcare client, they honed in on the perfect opportunity.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have implemented a rule that ties patient satisfaction surveys with physician reimbursement. Based on how satisfied patients are, the hospital becomes eligible for additional reimbursement each year.
But hospitals tend to send long paper surveys, mailed to patients up to six weeks after discharge. Jaglowski shares that they often don’t get that data back for months.
“They’re getting the data back so far after the fact that there’s no way that these organizations can act on the data in real-time or do anything to ensure a dissatisfied patient is satisfied when they leave.”
“And that’s where we fit in,” he says.
The team realized that the customer acquisition cost was far higher for a small restaurant than for a hospital system. Moreover, “there was just a far greater need and impact by learning from patients in real-time and ensuring that they received the care they deserved.”
In 2017, Feedtrail narrowed its focus to the healthcare industry, raised a seed round, and moved to Raleigh to start expanding its operations past the original five team members.
“We realized if we’re going to actually grow this company sustainably and rapidly, we had to focus on one specific market and hire the right people to cater to their needs,” Jaglowski says.
The pivot worked. Feedtrail now boasts over 30 healthcare clients across the U.S. with expansion plans underway in six European countries.
The process is simple. When the patient arrives to their appointment or is in their hospital bed, they receive a text message with a link to provide feedback on their care team member. In a few seconds, the patient can provide feedback on any aspect of the experience.
The hospital system chooses what kind of ratings to add to their page — the startup offers 18 different Q&A types, including starred reviews that are completely customizable.
“We’re not just saying, you guys are a four out of five stars. We’re providing a very high volume of qualitative and comment-based feedback,” says Jaglowski.
Feedtrail’s cloud-based, HIPAA-complaint dashboard houses all the feedback in real-time for the organization to look through. The moment that feedback is provided by the patient, hospital leadership can address any issues right away.
To date, the startup has retained over $2 million in patient revenue across 40,000 patient visits due to increased service recovery capabilities, according to Jaglowski. Also, by addressing patient comments during their stay, they’ve helped gather better feedback for the CMS survey reports, leading to higher reimbursements for the hospital.
“We helped them turn those detractors into promoters before they are discharged,” he says.
The startup is currently in the midst of completing their second seed round, with a total of $1.4 million raised. They will scale their sales and marketing teams over the next few months and bring on a head of data analytics to focus on building out predictive capabilities.
“We have hundreds of thousands of pieces of unique patient experience data. We want to work on finding correlations and predictive outcomes among the patient feedback data to see what aspects of the experience make the greatest impact on the patients,” says Jaglowski.
They’re also working to expand into the healthcare employee satisfaction space to learn how the employee experience correlates with the patients’.
“We want to see if we can help HR and executive teams uncover which of their providers, physicians, or nurses are most likely to be retained,” he says.