Maintaining Momentum During COVID-19
With everything happening in the world today, it’s easy to panic. COVID-19 is serious and poses this generation’s largest challenge to date. But like we always have in the past we will weather the storm… so how will you be positioned when the ship rights itself?
To help provide some guidance, we at OptiCall want to share some successful tips and advice we’ve seen practices begin to implement, both for short term gain and long-term positioning:
- Don’t panic – The most important thing that you can do is to remain calm and strategic — with your marketing strategies and especially your existing patients and prospects in your pipeline. You need to understand what they’re thinking, how their behaviors might change, and how to proactively get in front of their concerns. Success in the short and long term is simply a question of how quickly you can adapt to change and mold your strategies accordingly.
- Don’t pull back – Yes it’s a very trying time and cash flow is likely posing a major challenge. However, trust in the value of your brand and be strategic with your marketing message. While your competition is likely slashing their media budget, now could be your chance to capture new market share. Ad costs are down, while visibility is at all-time highs. Be thoughtful and creative with your storytelling, and when the turnaround happens, your practice will remain top-of-mind with consumers.
Note* – Google and Facebook are both offering ad grants and credits for small businesses during the crisis- learn more here and here.
- All digital – Most practices have already embraced a digital transformation, making this uncertainty less of a “setback” and more of an opportunity to be creative when it comes to pivoting your overall marketing strategies. Most people are at-home with time on their hands, and they’re spending it online – which is where you should be exclusively. Take this moment to target prospects from a variety of angles – display and retargeting ads, emails, social media, virtual events, video content, etc. Clicks will cost less and impressions even more so. Experiment with different campaigns and get creative in storytelling your practice values.
- Promote research – People aren’t going to see an ad and then click to schedule, especially when you’re not open! Instead, use this time as an opportunity to provide education and online learning. Self-evaluation tests, white papers, webinars, virtual Q&A’s, virtual consults and telemedicine options are all great content and connection avenues for prospects to learn more about your services and their options, all from the safety of their own home.
- Be creative with offers – That being said, there will be people ready to take action once the cloud has lifted. So create some great specials that patients can lock in now. Gift card incentives, bigger than normal discounts, prepay incentives…etc. If you have ever had a crazy idea for a promotion, now is the time to test it out!
- Be available and responsive – Even if your doors are locked, doesn’t mean you should be closed. State on your website that you are open for all communication during normal business hours for phone calls and texting (yes, you NEED to offer texting). Set up virtual consultations – we love zoom and doxy.me – for face to face video time with the doctor and counselors. Quickly respond to all email communication and web leads (within the hour). Thank people who leave positive reviews, and address any negative ones. Engage with people on your social media platforms. Use this time to show that you are ready and willing to communicate with your entire audience.
- Lead with compassion – Understand that COVID-19 is affecting everyone, not just you and your practice. Now more than ever it’s essential to be proactive, open and honest with communication. Your employees are likely concerned about their livelihoods and health. Put yourself in their shoes and ask what they suggest, brainstorm ideas and let them know you’re in this together. Your patients are just as stressed as you are, and no-one new is coming through the doors. Reach out personally and maintain those relationships, especially with your pipeline, even if they aren’t able to commit right now. Everyone is looking for answers, and it’s important to understand and deal with that fact as compassionately as possible.
Lastly, remember you’re still open. More than anything, it’s the attitude you should be approaching every day with. Wake up, get dressed for work, and then start to tackle all those longstanding items on both your to-do and wish list that will help your practice advance to the next level. Now is the time to get caught up, to analyze, to strategize, and innovate.
While we will undoubtedly feel the financial burden for some time, there are still reasons to be optimistic. This is a health crisis, not an economic one. The stimulus has passed, and there are now multiple financial resources for small business available. In fact, web leads for our clients were collectively UP last week.
We’re all in this together, and OptiCall is here to help. Our First Contact and Capture programs can assist in virtually answering phone calls and web leads, even over the weekend. Plus, our brand new OptiTRAK phone scripting and tracking software can help your practice’s staff build consistency, accountability, and conversion optimization all while working from home. View a demo now!
Stay healthy, stay thankful and stay hungry! We’re all looking forward to brighter days ahead.
The OptiCall Team