Is there a machine in the corner of your office that has been collecting dust for months? Perhaps you have 3 computer systems and 4 marketing platforms not currently being utilized? If you are nodding, you may be a practice guilty of laying investments at the feet of your employees and simply saying “ok, make this profitable” without proper execution plans. If you find yourself wondering where all the revenue or deliverables promised by the person who sold it to you went, read on for our suggestions on how to hatch a habit to maximize new purchase profit…
Radar Isn’t Just for Weathermen
The process of introducing staff to a new EMR, CoolSculpting machine, or Thermiva begins with a plan coupled with repetition. This means launching anything new within the office becomes a radar issue. In short, it must be kept in the front of staff minds for a period of time for it to become ingrained as not only a habit worth repeating regularly, but a culture that permeates the organization. Creating a simple reminder to email, discuss, promote, or otherwise ring the proverbial bell on the new offering every few days shows the staff what is important to management, and ensures they know it is not just a passing fad. “Whatever you focus on, changes” is a great adage to keep in mind during this stage.
A good example of how to use radar to form habits that drive lasting culture revolves around the all-important need to grow ratings and reviews online. We often recommend one of several popular ratings and reviews systems that some of our Preferred Vendors offer through our sister company, SEOversite. An iPad is placed in the practice which patients can use to fill out a review on the spot, which is then peppered across different review sites online. For this to occur, however, the staff needs to be speaking to every happy patient daily to avoid lost opportunities. By scheduling an initial training with the reviews company, followed by a weekly 10 minute ratings and reviews meeting, followed by a series of contests to motivate and reward team members doing the best job, followed by a follow-up training to improve upon existing methodologies with advanced teaching, we keep this on the staff’s “radar”. Eventually, completing the activity forms a habit and culture develops in the practice — if you work here, you ask happy patients for reviews.
Marketing is Important — If You Buy It They Will Not Just Come
Just because you bought something doesn’t mean patients know you have it. We have seen small markets purchase cutting edge machines for several hundred thousand dollars and wonder why they have trouble selling the laser-zapper-tightener, not realizing that what is hot in Beverly Hills may not gain traction, let alone common name recognition, for a decade. Your staff may be telling current patients but you still need to be investing in marketing of new products and services to give your staff patients to educate and sell to. If it’s a new product or service, be sure to budget as much as 50% of the cost of the initial investment to market properly so that inquiries begin to flow. If that seems too steep, do not move forward with the purchase or be comfortable with a slow and steady trickle-in of patient inquiries. With newer products social media paid ads can be effective at “getting into patient social feeds” to teach them about a new treatment whereas for more well-known services you begin offering, Google Adwords, SEO, and other local advertising can work best as existing search volume can be captured. Ultimately, the less leads they have to speak with, the likelihood of this staying on employee radar diminishes greatly and you are left footing the bill!
Having a superb PCC and staff in general is always the first step to growing sales in any arena. Assuming you have those puzzle pieces placed properly, superb staff training on new services, followed by repetition and keeping the service top of mind drive habit formulation. Marketing provides not only repetition for the staff, but also opportunity which helps create sustained motivation, which creates habit, which eventually becomes culture with accountability and perhaps some extra perks. We encourage you to implement this approach in your practice as soon as possible, and be sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or come see us speak at ASAPS in late April – unless, of course, you let it fall off your radar.