With the doors to my business closed, we are seeing some patients via curbside service, but staying home is starting to get really old. Trying to stay positive so I will look at this “down time” as a perfect time to restructure and rebuild. I’m focusing on what I CAN do instead of what I CAN’T do.
One of the main things that we can do is connect with patients, prospects, referral sources and the community. People are home and isolated and welcome phone calls as they just want to interact with people. Call patients and connect. See how they are doing and then let them know all the good things that are happening in the business during these tough times. Ask patients how they would like you to communicate with them in the future. Call referral sources and let them know how you continue to help patients during this shut down and remind them of the many services you offer.
People are watching more TV now so this may be a perfect time to run some ads on television or contact the local media and let them know about the innovative ways you are transforming your practice so you can continue to serve people with hearing loss such as remote programming, curb side service, and anything else you may be doing. There is tremendous need for “news” in this world of 24/7 coverage.
In case you haven’t noticed, everyone is talking about hearing aids. There has been a ton of television commercials on OTCs and online groups that mail a person a pair of aids and then offer remote support. I heard an ad this morning for an insurance supplement that includes “hearing coverage”. While none of us have money to run unlimited and ineffective ads, we need to be part of the mix of what viewers are seeing. Try to negotiate better rates with cable and network providers. Here’s a tip – Start the negotiation 1/3 less than you can afford or are willing to pay and ask for their demographics and make sure your ideal patient is included in that demographic.
Get some feedback from your patients. Call ten of your patients and ask them to be on your Advisory Board and then schedule a Zoom meting and invite them to share their opinions about your organization, how the economy may effect patient decisions moving forward, and ask them to share what their friends are saying about your business. Patients love to be asked for their opinion!
Yes, this is a tough time but this shutdown also provides us with the gift of Time. Let’s use it wisely to chart the course of our future.