Your Patients Are Changing, Are You?

Your Patients Are Ever More Sophisticated, Is Your Ability To engage Them?

I think it has become obvious to us all that our Patients and prospective Patients are changed, they are not the people that we have dealt with in the past. In as little as four to five years, this change has taken place. Our Patients are more sophisticated, they are more cosmopolitan, they are certainly more educated and demanding. We are most definitely seeing the start of the Baby Boomer generation in attendance.

This is quite common across every business sector, in fact there is a growing belief that the basis of trade has changed. The power for the first time has irrevocably switched to the consumer. This state of being has been encouraged by the proliferation of the internet internationally. It has also been encouraged and indeed spurred by the advent of social media.

Our Profession is probably one of the last Professions to feel the force of this change. In fact I would be so bold to say that we are only experiencing the leading edge of the wave. We can already see some of the effects within our business sector. For the first time last year a serious attempt at offering online Hearing Instruments was made, it would be my belief that it is the first of many. The Genie as it were, is out of the bottle, as I have said previously the power has most definitely moved to the consumer.

Groups within our Profession are fighting a rear guard action against the Online Vendors, but again I think that the power of the consumer will tell in this particular struggle. It would bode us all well to consider a changed business landscape, a landscape where supply of Hearing Instruments and associated services are separated. Every Practitioner should consider this possible future in order that they begin to plan for any eventuality. But this is merely an aside, the thrust of this post pertains to your communications.

Our Patients are more sophisticated, they use several mediums to communicate, exchange ideas, undertake research, make buying decisions and indeed undertake purchases. Simply put, does your marketing strategy take this into account? Do you understand this heightened sophistication and how to deal with it? Because if the answer to either of these questions is a no, you need to change that and do it rapidly.

Our Patients are no longer swayed so much by traditional advertising, setting out your stall and hoping they come will no longer work. They will no longer judge your business purely on the quality of your logo and the advert copy that you use. They will form a picture or perception of you and your business from many different channels. Perception has always been the key in our Profession, but before now we had the opportunity to sway or form perception in our clinics.

That is no longer the case, the perception of us and our business is now formed often before the Patient has even met us. It is formed during an internet search, or in a conversation with a friend. It is then validated or enforced through their physical dealings with us and our business. The engagement of a Patient may happen long before you even know they are considering you as a Healthcare Provider. It may just start with that web search and what it throws up. So again I say, are your communications, all of your communications, as sophisticated as your Patients?

Regards

Geoff

This is in fact the first post of the New Year for me, the other posts that have appeared in January where in fact scheduled posts that I undertook last year. My family suffered a terrible tragedy on New Years morning that we are still striving to come to terms with. I was considering closing the blog and deleting it, however, I realized that writing inane rubbish is somewhat comforting for me.

Because of the events that have occurred, my posts may be spotty at times. Please forgive me this, I had planned to undertake three posts every week this year but I do not think that will be the case. I would welcome the opportunity to publish guest posts on the blog. So if you have something of value to say, please send it to me and I will post it.   

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

4 Comments

  1. Geoff, I am so sorry that you and your family are going through a tough time. I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Thank you for your concern and prayers, we appreciate them greatly.

    Regards

    Geoff

  3. Dear Geoff,

    I appreciate your post, it is right on target. Please know that it is helpful and beneficial to many. May God bless and keep you and your family safe and strong.

  4. Thank you very much for your comments of encouragement and kind words of faith. It brings me great pleasure that the blog brings you enjoyment.

Let me know what you think