We all know the old adage “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Much weight is given to that first impression, and for good reason. It sets the tone for whatever the interaction is that follows. It’s a very important moment.
I recently attended a global brands marketing event and one of the leading marketing authorities in service development and expansion applied great emphasis on the much overlooked last impression. This is our final opportunity to reinforce our service or brand in to the psyche of the customer and leave them with a positive lasting impression that will encourage them to revisit your clinic and recommend you to their friends and family.
There is nothing new about this of course….a restaurant will often present some after-dinner mints with the bill to soften the blow, a children’s party always ends with a goody bag, a simple ‘have a nice day’ or ‘thank you for your business’ is a final parting shot in most retail outlets….but what about in the clinic setting. In my opinion we are clinicians’ first and business people second and often the difference between a good clinic and a great clinic is the culture that develops around the ‘service of therapy’ above and beyond the treatment management itself.
I am fortunate to meet many successful clinic owners who thrive in the market even when it is widely accepted to be increasingly competitive. They analyse the patient journey and experience to the nth degree and leave nothing to chance.
So, what do you do or say to create a strong last impression ? Here are our top tips…:
Put yourself in your patient’s shoes
The starting point must be to ask yourself ‘what are the thoughts and feelings you’d like your patients to feel on their journey home’.
Give people a reason to talk about you
Everyone has an expectation these days for good service. So if you want to get people talking about you and ultimately telling all their friends you need to be constantly looking for ways to do that little bit extra. It doesn’t have to be lavish, just a gesture. It may be helping them with their shopping to the exit door, an offer of some fruit from a fruit basket, or simply telling them how much you appreciate their custom.
It’s the exceptional and unexpected that gets you noticed and remembered.
Do something different
One obvious ingredient to add that element of the unexpected is to be different. What can you do to be different? I know a very successful clinic owner who ran a marketing campaign of ‘guaranteed improvement or your money back’. He was careful to identify the subjective and objective parameters he would use for goal setting and any improvement to these would trigger payment. It made positive headlines in the local paper and got the community talking.
Of course leaving a lasting impression doesn’t mean only showing your interest when customers leave. Being visible in your business, and making contact with your customers throughout builds rapport and trust. Make sure you take ownership of their health by being ‘their therapist’ in the same way a patient will have ‘their hairdresser / dentist / doctor’. Communicate regularly with ‘multi-mode’ contact strategies such as newsletters, Facebook, email, twitter, website contact forms, and personal meetings).
Always remember to note something significant that is personal about the patient for the next session. It could be an event, a story about a family member or a holiday….take this as an important thread and touch point to demonstrate that you are embedded in their world not just treating their condition or injury.
Here at exerciseprescriber.com we understand how busy clinic owners are. Our mantra ‘making clinical lives easier..patient lives better’ underlines how we are positioning ourselves not only as the best exercise prescription tool for clinicians but also as the best marketing resource for clinics. Slick, professional exercise programs tailored to your patient needs with your logo on it are a great way of differentiating you from your competition and providing added ‘after-care’ to your patient. Furthermore our new version of EP to be launched in the next few weeks will help you optimise that lasting impression by including a ‘Campaign building tool’ where you can add gift vouchers (should you wish to use them) to encourage your patient to be your advocate and provide an incentive for their friends and family to use your services. Making EP cost neutral is our ambition for this year. Talking of lasting impressions our new version will include the ‘Good Health Guide’ giving your clients the ‘need to know’ on how to live longer, healthier lives. Now there’s a win- win if ever I heard of one !
Act now to beat the price hike…
The new version of EP will have a slick new look, greater functionality and more content. There will however be a price increase to reflect this..BUT existing users will remain on the current pricing structure.
So our top tip is to take the one month trial on our current version at http://www.exerciseprescriber.com/subscribe.php?promo_code=FREETRIAL
Sign up at the end of the trial with 50% off the next quarter (only £9 a month for 3 months !)
Be a current user when the new system is launched and get in at the original 2008 price !