Remember last time you were on a plane?
You made yourself as comfortable as possible, and then right before take-off, the flight attendants gave their airline safety demonstration.
Now, once in a while, the flight attendants do something exceptional to keep people’s attention – adding in funny sound effects or throwing in a “joke” or two to spice up the script.
But most likely, you had just half an eye on them, right?
You willed them to finish already so that your movie would re-start and the plane could take off…
Or ignored them altogether.
Most of us have sat through those presentations dozens, if not hundreds, of times, so we treat it as a formality or a check-box exercise, not an important part of our journey.
And usually, the flight attendants do the same, reeling off this life-saving information as if they’re completely bored of it (because they are… and they know we are, too).
Unfortunately, it reminds me of how some aesthetic clinics and med spas are communicating their new, Coronavirus-era safety measures.
Just be clear – I’m not accusing anyone of taking the safety measures themselves lightly. Absolutely every clinic owner I know has been completely committed to implementing these stringently…
…and in most cases, spent a small fortune to do so.
But when it comes to communicating to patients about them, it’s a different story.
I subscribe to the email lists of hundreds of clinics worldwide, and follow them all on social media too…
…What I’m seeing happening is that clinics send out one solitary email, or post one long piece on social media, listing all the measures they’re taking to control infection. (It’s usually in the same email where they announce they are re-opening.)
Then that’s it. They never mention it again in their public-facing marketing – they think it’s ‘job done’.
This is a terrible mistake….
You see, your patients have changed over the past few months. The world has changed!
Many patients are anxious about whether it’s safe to come into your clinic, and those who are elderly or have relatives who are vulnerable will have to calculate carefully whether they can do so at all.
They’re going to be worried about what their experience is going to be like on your premises. It’s going to feel very different to what they’re used to, a lot colder and less intimate, and that can be intimidating.
You have to continually prove to patients that they are safe in your care and that with all the social distancing measures in place, you still deliver a great patient experience.
Chances are, there are a lot of extra steps for them to remember (fill in forms digitally… Stay in the car… don’t bring cash…) – this is stressful!
Last but not least, their anxiety around safety is going to fluctuate, going up and down depending on public mood, whether there are further outbreaks of Coronavirus, who they know who is affected – and so many other factors.
All this means that marketing must change, too. It’s no longer ‘business as usual’.
Learning to communicate effectively around safety is critical to getting patients back into your practice, and comfortable with all the new measures.
It’s also going to be key to attract new patients who don’t know you. Clinic safety is going to be an important criteria for them in the future.
In fact, there will doubtless be many patients who stop going to all the bargain-basement injectors operating out of their garages, precisely because they have become concerned about infection control.
There’s an opportunity here…
…But to take advantage, you need to learn to talk to people’s emotions in your marketing, genuinely reassuring them.
That takes a lot more than one quick mention of your new safety standards online…
The really complicated bit is, you have to continually prove to patients that they are safe in your care and that with all the social distancing measures in place, you still deliver a great patient experience.
This is a tricky story to tell!
And in an environment where everybody is busy telling patients just how safe their clinic is, you need to find ways to stand out, so that your messaging actually gets heard and believed.
Right now, when patients are actively asking about safety and making choices based on it, you have to be convincing and compelling on this subject…
…or these prospective patients will go to the clinic next door, which did a better job.
If you’d like to market to your patient database in a way which WORKS in the ‘new normal’…
Building ongoing ‘know, like and trust’…
Deepening your relationship with your patients…
Expertly differentiating your clinic, and positioning it as a leader during uncertain times…
And selling without hype, aggressive tactics and constant price-cutting…
Get in touch with me today. We can help.
Miriam Shaviv is creator of Inbox Express, the library of marketing emails for aesthetic clinics and med spas, designed to make your marketing effective and easy – and send the right messages to your patients as you re-open after Coronavirus! Find out more here.
She is Director of Content at Brainstorm Digital, which helps aesthetic clinics and med spas get patients through their doors again and again – without the headache of costly online advertising.