What do patients REALLY think about you?Sep 08, 2023
This week we're talking about one of the most important but misunderstood concepts in business:
When most people think of brand, they think of a logo.
Maybe they think of colors, a business card, or a website.
But the truth is, brand is more of a "feeling" about a business.
The colors and logos are just there to psychologically point you to the feeling the business wants you to feel.
Think of your PCP's office. If you had to articulate how they make you feel, what would you say?
- Chronically late?
- Dirty office with a weird mildewy smell?
Whatever comes to mind for you, that's your brand experience of your PCP.
And whether you know it or not, your practice has a "brand experience" in your patients' minds.
So What's Your Brand Experience?
Your brand experience is a culmination of every brand touch point (AKA interaction) your patients have with your practice.
That means everything from:
- How they found you initially (your marketing, website, online reputation)
- How you answered the phone
- What happened after they scheduled
- Your office exterior and parking lot
- How they were greeted
- The look and feel of your office and staff
is a brand touch point for your patient.
Touch points can be on-brand, or off-brand.
Because you're in a service business, you're always going to be more susceptible to an off-brand experience, as patients have to interact with human beings - you and your staff.
(How many businesses have you written off because of a bad experience with one employee? 😬)
When it comes to new patient consultations, it only takes one off-brand touch point for a patient to decline treatment (even if they don't consciously know why).
The weight of off-brand touch points is MUCH HIGHER than on-brand touch points.
What Do You Want Your Brand to Be?
Maybe you haven't done the work of identifying your brand.
I suggest establishing a clear set of Brand Identity guidelines that carry through every element of your practice.
Here are just a few examples of "Brand Identity" concepts to kick-start your imagination:
- Warm and Friendly
- Highly Skilled
- Integrity and Transparency
To be competitive, you need to take control of your brand through every aspect of your practice.
Once you have articulated your brand with your team, you can all begin to see every touch point through the lens of on-brand and off-brand.
The Musical Chairs Test
Now you can put your brand to the test with a fun team activity.
Everyone in the practice get a pen and paper, and sit in the waiting room, bathroom, testing room, fitting room, consult office, etc.
Only one person per room.
Then, sit and write about everything you see, hear, feel, and smell.
Write about the dirty ceiling, the outdated magazines, the odd wall color, the trim, the 1950's looking audiometer, etc.
Every 3 minutes, switch.
Once everyone has gone to every room, come together and combine your notes and discuss what you saw.
This will give you a good starting point to what you need to change in the physical environment, because if you see it, your patients do too.
Want to help more patients in your practice? Schedule a risk-free strategy session to discuss your goals and develop a plan with Brad Stewart, AuD.