Inflation doesn’t reflect the value of the patient experience

Economics is a bit like grandma’s Jell-O salad.

There are bits of things in there you’re not really sure about and it’s always moving.

But there’s something that nearly everyone agrees on – inflation is bad.

What to do about it is another metaphor entirely. Sort of like grandpa’s stories. You’re never sure what’s true and what’s not because they keep changing.

We’ve got two people to help us make sense of it all

Joe Pine and Shep Hyken.

Joe Pine is an economist. And while he’s not like grandpa, he does have some interesting thoughts on inflation and the Experience Economy, which he recently wrote about for the Wall Street Journal.

You’ll remember Joe as the co-author, with Jim Gilmore, of “The Experience Economy,” the book that defined the principle in 1999.

In addition to being economists and authors, Joe and Jim are the stars of “OnStage,” the customer experience training program available on your SIDECAR Overdrive platform. You can learn more about it here.

And Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert. We were fortunate to have Shep as our guest for the January Fuel Tank. You can watch the replay of our conversation here.

We’re big fans.

What does inflation have to do with your practice? A lot. You’re probably already seeing it in what you pay for everything, from coffee to wages.

Here’s the interesting point that Jim made in his WSJ piece.

The government statistics have never properly considered the value that people put on experiences and their willingness to pay for them.

Consumers want their basic goods and services – the commodities of their lives – delivered as cost-effective as possible. But they are still willing to pay more for experiences.

The pandemic reinforced what Joe and Jim have been teaching for more than 20 years.

“Experiences are intrinsically important to human beings,” Joe wrote, “so we shifted from the physical to the digital, from the social and communal to the familial and individual.”

As soon as people were allowed to return to the bars, restaurants and theme parks, they did.

To illustrate the point that people will pay more, Joe breaks down some typical experiences to their cost per minute. What you see is that the relative inflation of experiences is many-fold higher than goods and services.

Does that mean we’re getting gouged? No, it means we value those experiences and are willing to pay for them.

Because, as we say in OnStage, “It’s about time.”

And as Joe wrote in the WSJ: Consumers “want goods and services to be commodities – bought at the lowest possible price and greatest possible convenience – so they can spend their hard-earned money and their harder-earned time on experiences they value more highly.”

Our patients value what we do. They value the time they spend with us. It’s important to remember during turbulent economic times that the currency of experiences is time.

You can read Joe’s piece and get more of his thoughts here.

Shep does a fantastic job of applying the concepts of the Experience Economy to your business. Go back and watch our conversation. You’ll love it.

We’d love to hear what you think and how we can apply these principles to your practice.

Give us a call at 877-727-2705 to book a call.