Unique Obstacles in the World of Healthcare Marketing
All businesses, whether they are a large corporation or a family practice want to make the right impression upon potential clients. That is part of the challenge that comes with working in a free market. Each type of business has its own challenges when it comes to gaining and keeping a reputation. Each challenge is unique and some are easier than others. When it comes to healthcare marketing, it can get a little dicey. When it comes to the healthcare industry and its reputation in both politics and economics, it can be a struggle to convince people to make any positive association with it. However, just because it is a struggle, that does not mean that is impossible to make a good impression. It just takes a little walking in the shoes of the client to figure out what they are looking for.
Today, we are going to look into some of the challenges that are common for healthcare marketing and how to solve them.
Scenario 1: Your Practice is or Appears Unaffordable
The healthcare system is a topic of constant debate ever since it was put into place. While not many people can agree on its politics, there is a common general consensus in the American public. Healthcare is expensive.
Because there is little in the way of consistent pricing across the board, and new insurance policies with rates that change on a yearly basis, the whole thing is very confusing. Especially for those who are newly participating in such a system. In fact, the concern over medical expenses is so widespread, that 25% of Americans are skipping medical care because they are afraid it is too expensive. Also, in a 2018 Gallup poll, “45% of Americans worry a major health issue could send them into bankruptcy. 19% have delayed purchasing medicine due to its cost.”
That sort of impression is acting as a deterrent to customers who might otherwise consider your practice. So, what can you do to bring in people who want your services but are too afraid to commit?
Solution 1: Transparency in Pricing and Open Patient Communication
When people are less in the dark, they are more likely to view a person or a company more favorably. People do not generally like unpleasant surprises sprung on them. Especially when it comes to medical bills. If patients don’t know what to expect from a service, there is a chance that their fear of the unknown will trump their current pain.
It makes sense, “Better the devil you know…”
While it is unrealistic to expect your practice to be 100% transparent about how billing works, a little bit of transparency goes a long way. The more people are aware of what you offer, the more likely customers will be more receptive to booking an appointment.
Solution 2: Offer Payment Plans or Alternate Payment Options
They will also warm up to the idea of going for treatment that they need. If your practice has options for payment plans, that will already put you lightyears ahead in the healthcare marketing sphere.
Not all patients will have insurance, or if they do, there is no guarantee they know what the company is going to cover. This is where you can bridge the gap. If you can offer payment plans or bundles that are comparable or even better than what most insurance companies are willing to cover, you might reap more money out of the deal and can gain a solid reputation for your practice.
People who sometimes feel like they are in over their head financially but need a medical procedure are between a rock and a hard place. Oftentimes, they feel like there is no way out or third option. However, when the practice is offering a workaround or a way out, it speaks volumes to customers. Not only will you make them much more receptive from getting treatment from your practice. They will also be much more inclined to spread a positive word about your practice to friends and family.
Solution 3: Offering Multiple Contact Platforms to Answer Questions
There is a good chance that not many people who need a procedure are shopping around or even bothering to ask questions. Either because they are worried about financial issues or are afraid that their questions won’t be answered. Not because anyone has explicitly said that questions weren’t an option, but because no questions have been outright encouraged by clinics and offices. Open up multiple platforms so people can reach your practice, feel free to openly ask if they have any concerns about pricing. Explain to patients that your door is open. The more invested you appear in communicating with your patient, the more likely your practice will gain traction.