General, Marketing with Mansfield

It’s the little things…right, Cher?

As Sonny and Cher used to sing, It’s the little things.”

Why are the little things such an integral part of your overall marketing effort? People don’t look for reasons to do business with you. They look for reasons NOT to do business with you. And, they’ll do that faster than you read this sentence.

Every SINGLE Point of Contact with our patients, clients and potential employees makes an impression. And first impressions COUNT.

Each impression—good or bad—helps someone decide in a heartbeat if you’re worthy of their time and money. People do business with people they like and trust. First impressions set the tone.

Secret Shop Your Business!

Take a step back

Don’t think that first impressions matter?

Google “secret shopper.”

Everything from the U.S. Army to Walmart uses “secret shopper” or “mystery shopper” programs to provide feedback to their employees and to improve customer satisfaction.

But, to see for yourself, step out of your owner or employer shoes and into your patients’ shoes to conduct your own “secret shopper” test.

Office attitudes

“Shop” your employees. Your receptionist. What do people hear when calling your office? Someone who is positive and helpful? Or, are they greeted by a tone that says, “You’re bothering me. Call someone who cares.”?

“Shop” your technicians or assistants. Does their attitude say they’d rather not repair or adjust devices? Are they rude? Sarcastic? Does their response make patients wish someone else was providing the care?

DEFINITELY “Shop” your accounts receivable. Do your billing clerks listen, or are they always in an aggressive, “You owe us money” mode? Would you do business with your vendors if they had your bookkeeping staff?

From the top down

Management also leaves an impression. Your employees watch how you treat patients and customers and are likely to treat them the same way.

Remember, your practitioners make more of an impression on your patients than anyone in your company. What are your patients’ perceptions of your clinical staff?

Is your staff knowledgeable?
Are they on time for appointments?
Do they follow up and return calls?
Do they dress appropriately?

BE AWARE that you’re making an impression when someone sitting in your waiting room watches the interaction between you and your employees or listens to how someone answers the phone.

Many other potential first impressions are within management’s control: business cards, letterhead, misspellings and poor grammar in emails, on your website, in your social media platforms.

Use your six senses

“Shop” your office, fitting rooms, patient waiting areas and furniture, too.

To test yourself, “secret shop” your own facility one morning before your first patient arrives. Turn on the lights, put on the music, then turn around and walk back outside.

Look around you.

Are the windows clean?

Do the doors need to be painted?

Are the entrances handicap-accessible? Or, are the doors too heavy for someone to open with one hand?

Is there a lip that wheelchairs might get caught on or an awkward turn once you’re inside?

Walk through the front door.

What is the first thing you see? A table half filled with old magazines or brochures? The lights are on, but are the rooms still dark?

Look up.

Are the ceiling tiles stained or dusty? Are there burned out bulbs or dead insects in the lights?

Look down.

Is the carpet clean? Does the overall appearance look old or freshly painted and designed? Does the office look inviting?

Don’t forget your other senses as well. What do you SMELL and hear?

If music is playing, is it too loud or too soft, and is it acceptable to all ages? Do you hear any distracting noises? Can you hear the grinder or the vacuum system?

How does the office smell? Is there an odor of epoxy, resins or burning plastic? Does the plaster trap need to be cleaned?

Finally, walk slowly through your facility and try to imagine that you are seeing it for the first time. What needs to be improved?

Want to earn your Mystery Shopper Merit Badge??

Go through in a wheelchair and see everything from wheelchair eye level. You’ll be amazed and surprised at the things you’ve overlooked.

Make the time

If you are wearing many hats in your business, you will only be able to see the details when you make it your focus.

It’s important to have another person “secret shop.” Get perspectives from different people.

Remember, you always have the opportunity to use first impressions to impress.

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Tatanka

buffaloFor the nomadic Native American tribes, the buffalo was more than just a source of meat. They used the hide to make clothing and tents. The horns were made into cups, toys and spoons. Hair was used for saddle pad filler, rope and ornaments. Hooves were turned into glue. Thread was made out of the sinew or tendon. Even the brain was used for tanning the hides. Nothing was wasted.

It took a great deal of effort for the hunters to be able to take down a buffalo. They were not about to do all that work and not make full use of their efforts. The same should apply to your marketing strategy.

Maximize your efforts

Take a look at your marketing efforts. You have probably spent a lot of time and money updating your social media, organizing events, mailing collateral, making brochures and keeping your website updated.

Picture each marketing activity as a…buffalo. Ask yourself, am I using all the buffalo?

For all that effort you need to make sure you are taking advantage of the alternative uses to your hard work. Concentrate on making those efforts worth your while. Consider the all alternate uses for your facebook photos. There are various ways they can be rearranged and reformatted to find new homes in print and online.

Health fairs

Trade shows, health fairs, chamber of commerce events are great places to spread business news. Incorporate pictures from your social media platforms into materials you distribute at these events. Use the pictures you take at these events to post on your online marketing outlets.

Direct mail

Direct mail marketing is a great place to re-use photos that you’ve used in your social media marketing efforts. Have a picture on instagram or facebook that has gotten a lot of attention? Use that as the front of your postcard. It is so easy to make and send postcards these days and, if the picture was popular online, you can drive people who may not be familiar with your online marketing efforts, to your online outlets by making sure to include the urls of your facebook and instagram accounts!

Action!

Media is constantly changing and a good marketing strategy works with the flow of change. Not against it. Video channels – like YouTube and Vimeo – are hugely popular all over the world. If you haven’t had time to make an actual video, you can take those same photos and turn them into a slide show – voila! – instant video. Now go upload it to your YouTube channel.

Keep that website fresh

Adding the photos to the news or photo gallery section of your website – make sure you tag those photos! This will not only be useful in getting the word out about the information you are sharing but will also show that you update your site regularly. Nobody wants to see obviously outdated pictures or info on your website. Keep it fresh!

E-mail newsletters

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Use them. They are easier on the eye and generate a lot more interest especially now that everyone is using their phones all day, every day. It’s super easy to link those photos to your website, facebook page, etc., so make sure you do it. Don’t waste ANY of that buffalo!

Just as the nomadic Native Americans turned buffalo skulls into headdresses, I am sure you can come up with even more uses for your marketing efforts. I can’t wait to see what you do with your tatanka!