TV spots, radio, direct mail, paid search and social media are just some measurable ways to effectively reach new customers. Set a budget and test different creative messages.
Ask your manufacturer if they have marketing materials that you can customize for your business. Often, it is quite inexpensive to add your own phone number and website to a pre-produced TV spot. Be sure to use a dedicated phone number or website address to measure the response of the ad. If you are producing a direct mail piece, look at the photography that is available to you. Manufacturers often have great resources for you to use. Just be sure that it is tailored specifically to your needs.
You can also look at local advertising. Get involved with community support groups. Promote open-houses and demonstrate the latest equipment. Build your online presence through social media.
Market effectively to your customer base. Speak to them in a voice they can understand. Use a font size they can read! Be sympathetic and understand their limitations. Use visuals that are relevant and relatable.
Don’t promise them that they will be able to do things that are far reaching. They may not want to climb Mount Everest, but just go back to the things that they were doing before. Shopping, walking, visiting friends, traveling again. How can your products and services improve their life? What will it allow them to do that they couldn’t do before they became restricted?
Create handouts, brochures, websites that help them understand the unique selling propositions of these products. For example, with an OxyGo® concentrator, they can travel again on a plane. Let them know how the equipment can help them lead a more independent, mobile life.
Customer service is key, not just for retaining your customers, but for creating your brand reputation. If you serve your customers well, is there any reason they wouldn’t go to you for more products and services? Treat them as if they were your own relative. Remember kindness wins customers. Rave reviews wins more customers.
Testimonials are a great way for patients to know that there are like-minded folks out there. Stories can help them relate to others that have experienced the same issues.
How did your customers gain back their freedom and independence? … How has it changed their daily living?
Make it easy to convert prospects to customers. What is the process if a prescription is necessary? … What information will be valuable to the doctor? … What questions will a caregiver have that can be answered? Make it easy for all those that are involved in the decision process. Offer handouts that the patient can bring with them and make sure it has your contact information on it.
Relationships are built on trust. Make a promise, to call, to deliver, to follow up, and then keep it. Be available to them 24/7.
Do you have a presence on social media? Build a Facebook page and then monitor it, closely. Your customers may post either to give an accolade, a compliant or as a way to ask for help. Make sure that you respond to their post and to their requests. Transparency is key. Your customers need to know that you are available to them. My dog breeder tells his customers that he will always be available and you can call him forever. How great is that customer service proposition?
The medical devices themselves can be a form of advertising. Add a service sticker with your name and website to the product. Ask your customers to refer you to their friends, family and neighbors. If they are happy with the service, they will be happy to do so!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
For the past eight years, Nikki Hirsch has been a direct response marketer for one of the largest HME providers in the U.S., marketing several products and services, including: portable oxygen concentrators, power mobility, CPAP and personal emergency response systems. Nikki has an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and recently started her own consulting business. She can be contacted as follows:
Nikki Hirsch, Consultant
firstname.lastname@example.org | (561) 302-5010