Some of the best marketing for your medical spa is not 'marketing' at all... it's incredible customer service.
(A regular physicians office is probably the very worst customer experience there is... and of course many medical spas are run by physicians who have started a cosmetic practice as an add or or a transition from a regular practice.)
Customer service is probably the easiest way to distance yourself from the competition.
Read the forums and you'll find lots of threads discussing how commoditized the market for Botox or laser hair removal has become, how much to pay your staff, and how Groupon is destroying everyone's margins... but you'll be hard pressed to find discussions about how to deliver service that generates sales.
But delivering great customer service is something that you should think of as driving sales, not lost time and a money-sink.
Our clinic staff operations were designed to provide fantastic customer service to everyone, but to really go above and beyond with selected patients in an effort to wow them, even if it cost us money. In fact, wowing patients had budget set aside from marketing.
The key is make your customer ecstatic about your business by catering to what they need so they’ll tell their friends about it. In fact the more egregious the demand or the more dramatic the effort needed, the more likely that word about your clinic will spread. As anyone in cosmetic medicine can attest, you don't have to wait long for some stressed out patient who's a candidate. In one case a bride called us in tears on a Saturday morning asking if there was any way that she could get her mother and mother-in-law treated with Botox before her wedding on Wednesday morning... and they weren't arriving until 10PM that night. One of our physicians actually met the wedding party at our clinic on Sunday morning in order to make sure that the effects of the Botox had time to take maximum effect before the wedding.
Most clinics or physicians would not have done this, they would have scheduled the treatment for Monday if they could fit them in and lost the opportunity to create fanatically loyal clients.
In the above case the physician went above and beyond even what we would ask, but the results were really quite remarkable. Within the following 45 days we had 8 new patient consultations that were directly attributed to that one event. (New patient consultations were something that I tracked carefully since our analytics showed that every new patient consultation was worth approximately $1,300 in revenue within the following 30 days.)
That Sunday treatment drove an extra $10k in revenue at that clinic that month.
How you deal with your customer service will define your business and your revenues.
Some recommendations for fantastic customer service:
- If you think that any customer is acting in good faith, don't even question what they're asking. Just do it. If they're unsatisfied, make them happy and take extra time to do it. (This is not a recommendation to deal with those who are clearly just trying to take advantage of you.)
- The more hoops you have to jump through, the more likely word will spread. Dig out the really extraordinary ways that you can make a splash.
- Other physicians and clinics aren't likely to offer this level of support. Focus on this and use it to your advantage. All it takes is a few over the top customer stories, and people will talk, people will post to their Facebook page or Twitter account, and people will tell every friend they have about your clinic.
Tell me I'm wrong.. or right. Tell your own customer service story in the comments.