The “new normal”. Everyone is beginning to detest these two little words joined together. Yet, this new normal is a reality and new financial questions raised for your practice might prompt the consideration of trimming your marketing budget. While this might be a solution for improving your bottom line today, the benefits will be temporary at best. As months roll on, the long term effects will most likely be seen in decreased referrals, weakened customer relationships and ultimately, decreased revenue. Here are some considerations for ensuring you continue to reap the benefits of your marketing budget.
While some people may be eager to return to the “old normal”, be aware that many are frightened, not only about their physical health and safety, but about the emotional and financial repercussions of this pandemic. Consider how you can be a reassuring and stabilizing presence for your patients and referring physicians. Tweak current marketing and advertising to be positive and reassuring, rather than just “selling” yourself or your practice.
Now is the time to ramp up your online presence. Ensure that your website is optimized and your social media content is relevant and engaging. More people than ever are utilizing the internet for information. Becoming more active on social media can help inform and create trust. Consider posting inspirational and positive messages, as well as beneficial medical information. You might also consider an e-newsletter to your current patients to provide information, reassurance and important office changes.
Focus on Helping
While branding and market presence are important, consider ways that your practice may be able to help or provide free resources to the community. Position your practice as a valuable community partner.
Think about ways to creatively help patients when they come into your office. Be mindful that many patients may need extra assistance with telemedicine appointments and be prepared to offer that support, if needed. The manner in which you “see” a patient may have changed. Be thoughtful about how these changes affect your patients.
Optimize the Front Desk
This is your first impression! Remember that current patients are often your best source for referring new patients and pay special attention to the impression created at the front desk. 96% of patient complaints are related to customer service. This may be a good time to consider utilizing staff, who may not be as busy with normal responsibilities, to provide extra support to the front desk or handling phone calls.
If you don’t have a blog, you might consider starting one. Provide useful information and position yourself, your doctors, and your practice as a trusted source in your field or area of expertise. Blog posts can be shared on social media platforms and further expand a sense of trust and assurance during these uncertain times.
Partner with Your Medical Society
Don’t forget to tap into the resources of your local medical society. There may be some cost-effective ways to market your practice to referring physicians by simply utilizing the benefits of your membership.
If you currently have a marketing budget and plan, don’t trim it…tweak it. Many of these ideas don’t have high dollar signs attached to them. Keep in mind that trust and relationships are vital. If you are not currently marketing towards these goals, there is no better time to reach out to us for a free consultation. We offer customized plans to fit uniquely with the needs of your practice.
Full Circle PR