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?
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.