Differentiating Your Practice
By Lindsay Ash, SBU Regional Director – East
With the industry ever evolving, one of the most important things we must continue to focus on is making sure our patients can find us in a world cluttered with advertising, big-box competitors and conflicting messages on health care. It’s easy to feel confident that your business is the clear choice for any prospective patients — but how do we make sure the patients get that message?
Define and Stand Behind Your Brand
Jeff Bezos said it well: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” What do you want people to say about you? Based on my experience with Audigy practices, you are the best in town. You’re the practice I would send my family to see. Deliver on that promise — if you claim to be the best, you and everybody on your team need to show that through your actions. Your practice also needs to look the part. A few things you can do to be sure your practice and your team are good representatives of your brand:
- Take a walk through your practice using fresh eyes. Walk through the front door like a patient would. Is it warm and welcoming? Do you see clutter or anything that appears tattered and worn? It’s a good idea to take some pictures — do you notice anything in those pictures that you don’t with your eyes?
- Think about how your staff presents themselves through a new patient’s eyes. Are they consistently representative of your brand? Is their behavior and appearance professional? Do they inspire confidence in your patients?
Show That You’re the Expert
By being your market’s trusted advisor in hearing care, you give your community the gift of a resource for any questions or concerns they might have. This allows your patients to make educated decisions about their hearing needs. Your expertise will help people see you not only as somebody who treats hearing loss but as somebody who is contributing to the well-being of the people in your area. It also lends credibility to any paid marketing or outreach that you are investing your time and money into. If your reputation precedes you, your message will have a much greater impact. A few ways that you can ensure your community sees you as an expert:
- Volunteer when opportunities to speak arise. This may be at a community gathering or a at social/professional group such as Rotary. Audigy has a lot of different presentations you can use and customize as you would like.
- Approach your marketing through an educational lens. Share white papers with local physicians. Post educational and valuable content on your social media.
- You can also simply tell your patients that one of your goals is to help educate the community on hearing loss and the impact it can have when it’s left untreated. Because of this goal, you will focus on educating them throughout their time with you. Audigy is launching a Marketing Automation program that will make it seamless to communicate to your patients — after their consultation and throughout their better-hearing journey. This program sends them customized messages to support and educate them based on whether they’re a new user, an experienced hearing aid patient, somebody who has had their devices for a while or somebody who received them last week. Your ability to utilize technology to easily share your message will help establish your place as their resource and support throughout this process.
One of the most important parts of helping to establish and differentiate your business in your market is to create advocates. Think about all the people who could act as advocates of your business that you encounter every day. If you are offering something of value to your patients, they will want to share your message. If you’re helping the physician in your community to have better outcomes with their patients, they will refer more patients to you. The important thing is to help these people connect the dots.
- Talk to your patients about how important referrals are to your business. Our best practice is for the provider to discuss this with patients during the follow-up process. A great way to ask is to say something like “Our goal is to help our community through better hearing. Do you have any friends or family who might benefit from our help?” The use of the word “help” also adds an element to the question that shows you are truly here to serve the community.
- With physicians, it’s important to educate them on the importance of hearing to a patient’s overall health. We have countless white papers and educational materials available for you to take out to them. Show them that you are here to help educate both them and their patients. This, along with the exceptional care you provide, will ensure they think of you and send patients your way.
Tips for Success
These simple steps can help you stand out from the sometimes crowded competitive environment. Make sure you’re following these simple steps, and your business will shine amongst the rest.
- Define your brand, and make sure your physical office and employees are representative of that brand.
- Establish yourself as the expert in your community — find opportunities to serve them through education.
- Create advocates in your patients and physicians in your area.
SBU Regional Director - East