Win at dental marketing ONLY if you do this
This is a real story that one of my Account Executives, Sarah, shared at our team huddle this morning. A giant oops by one of her healthcare providers. It just happened. Outwardly she’s mad but, in reality, she’s hurt by what happened.
She experienced for herself what we call perceived indifference by a healthcare practitioner. You may have good intentions, but if your patients don’t “feel” like you know them, appreciate them, and value their business, they don’t “feel” great about returning. What happened over the course of the past week left Sarah feeling like the practitioner didn’t care about her or appreciate her patronage or support over many years. It was insulting.
In a nutshell, she’d been dealing with this healthcare provider for the past TEN years for herself and her husband. In addition, she had worked with him many times in a business setting AND she was involved with him through speaking at the local BIA. What happened that made her mad? Hurt?
He forgot her name. He had to ask – not once, but on each of two visits that spanned less than one week. Not an overreactor, Sarah forgave the first visit. But when, just days later, she was back in for another appointment and he asked again, “Last name? First name?”, she must have shown a reaction. Rather than be apologetic, he laughed it off and said, “I should have known, shouldn’t I have?” Yes, you should have! And you should not have laughed.
The result of this poor service: Sarah told family members, as well as our ENTIRE account executive team, about the levels of this poor servicing experience. She won’t be doing further business with him and the story will undoubtedly impact the reputation of this provider for those who heard it.
Yup, in a competitive world, this guy made a big miscalculation … one that for you must be a dental marketing NO NO.
A dental marketing no no because your reputation will proceed you. In this case, it’s been verbal communication, but in other cases, this could result in a poor Google review. And listen up – 88% of people respect a review as much as a personal referral, 84% of consumers use online reviews to evaluate physicians, and after reading just one bad review, 22% of prospects won’t buy. Four or more negative reviews will take up to 70% of potential patients away.
You see lots of patients. You can’t remember everyone’s name. It can happen. That’s the lesson here – you cannot let this happen. And for this office – there’s a new guy in town! The office Sarah was dealing with needs to be ON THEIR GAME because they’re probably already losing market share due to interest in the new office and lack of good service will only speed up the abandon rate.
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Tip for today – be welcoming and make a commitment to know and use patient names when you have them.
There are many studies that show that people will remember how you made them feel when you used their name. People love doing business with companies that use their name because it shows how important they are to us.
Businesses lose the most patronage due to poor customer service alone … and over 60% of the time, those clients you lose will go to a competitor.
Think about how you feel when a charismatic person sees you at a function, “Hey Sarah, GREAT to see you!” Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? The energy and hearing your name lifts your spirits. That’s how every patient should feel at every interaction with your practice. If you and your team do that 100% of the time each and every day, every marketing campaign you run will be successful. Your recare program will be successful. Your referral rate will be exceptional. Your reviews will be awesome.
Provide great customer service by ensuring your team is well trained, offer the utmost in ease for patients to deal with you, be proactive and helpful, and be genuine and personal in both your human and marketing communications.
Lack of client appreciation will impact your brand and reputation – and your reputation will proceed you. Your Account Manager can assist you to enhance your patient relationships through a myriad of retention solutions including print and digital. They can assist you with reputation management as well as new-patient telephone training.
I hope this was a helpful little story. It’s back to basics. People like to hear their name and they like to feel appreciated. It’s not rocket-science, but every once in a while, we need to bring ourselves back from our internal focus to what matters for others. It’s not how you feel, it’s how they feel.
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