When Your Marketing Goes Too Far: How One Dermatologist Got Suspended for Dancing and Rapping during Procedures

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Don't get yourself in trouble by failing to think through what you're doing and how it can damage your clinic and your reputation if something goes wrong.

You may have seen something about the recent case of  dermatologist Windell Davis-Boutté The “Dancing Doctor” who has been suspended for "negligence" after posting videos of herself dancing and rapping while performing surgeries. The physician used the videos to market her practice, where she was seen rapping and dancing, that it ended up having her patients file lawsuits against her with some of them claiming to be severely injured. (CBS article)

To get real for a second, this was a stupid thing to do for lots of reasons. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that it's not if you get sued, it's when you get sued since your patients have been pretty well conditioned to expect perfect results based on their own criteria.

The result: Dr. Davis-Boutté was sued by 7 of her patients and was forced to agree to a 2.5 year suspension of her medical license.

According to Gutierrez and Johnson (2018), there have been other instances like Davis-Boutté’s where physicians are singing and dancing while doing procedures. It causes immediate alarms to go off for patients, as physicians are expected to be focused exclusively on their care and the procedure. 

So what did Dr. Davis-Boutté get so wrong?

  1. She wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care: Patients expect perfection from their treatment and if they're unhappy with the outcome in any way they're going to be looking to the doctor for answers. Any indication that the physician wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care is immediately going to be the peg on which they're able to hang blame.
  2. She turned her patients into props: No patient really likes to be filmed when they're unconscious on the operating table.
  3. She made it public: Of course that was the whole idea. These were 'marketing' videos and they were produced and posted online in order to increase visibility for her practice.

While this went completely off the rails from the beginning for Dr. Davis-Boutté, there are some lessons to be learned. Here are a few things Dr. Davis-Boutté could have done to meet her goals without dropping a bomb on her dermatology practice.

  1. Use patients only for live testimonials: The social proof of happy patients is probably the best general marketing you can use, but they need to be aware of what they're doing and how it's going to be used. I'd suggest that if you're shooting live videos for promotion that you let patients "sign-off" on the final product before you actually release it. Make sure that patients 
  2. It's not about you: Patients want to be treated by a physician who's nonthreatening, caring and personable, and who puts them at ease, but they don't far beyond that because they're focused on themselves. Your efforts need to be focused on them as well. 
  3. Focus on what's actually important: There's only one thing that you're looking to have patients think about you if you're performing cosmetic treatments; that is that you're "the best" at what you do. Marketing campaigns that promote you as being the funniest, hippest, or best looking have no place beyond getting some initial interest. Successful clinics focus on outcomes for their patients and strive to earn new patients primarily by word-of-mouth.
  4. Think it through: All of this could have been avoided with a few simple "what if" questions were asked 

Below are a number of resources around the ethics of marketing physicians and procedures. In some cases it's a little head-in-the-clouds but remember that cosmetic medicine has really caused headaches for the medical ethics community.

Read more

Continuous Care. (2018, March 15). Ethics of healthcare marketing for physicians and medical practices. Retrieved from https://www.continuouscare.io/blog/healthcare-marketing-ethics-for-physicians-medical-practices/

Cătoiu, I., Geangu, I. P., & Gârdan, D. A. (2013). Applying Marketing Principles in the Field of Medical Services – An Ethical Challenge? Procedia Economics and Finance, 6, 449-456. doi:10.1016/s2212-5671(13)00162-7

Gandolf, S. (2014, July 22). 7 Dangerous Legal Issues to Avoid in Doctor Advertising. Retrieved from https://www.healthcaresuccess.com/blog/doctor-marketing/dangerous-legal-issues.html

Gutierrez, P. L., & Johnson, D. J. (2018). Can Plastic Surgeons Maintain Professionalism within Social Media? AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(4), 379-383. doi:10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.4.msoc3-1804

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011, November). Women's Health Care Physicians. Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Ethics/Ethical-Ways-for-Physicians-to-Market-a-Practice

Medical Spa Pricing Strategies To Increase Profitability

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Pricing your medical services is a key factor in your clinic's success.

Your pricing strategy helps to determine how patients respond to you, and their feelings about your clinic. It's as likely that you're charging too little as it is that you're charging too much.

There are plenty of different pricing strategies; bundling, discounting, subscriptions...   let's take a look at a few and the research that can help give you a guide for what might work in your situation.

Before we start, let's settle on a point of view and the outcome we're looking for. In general, we're discussing how to maximize gross revenues. There are some strategies that you may employ with other goals in mind; for example you may want to work only 20 hours a week and so your focus may be on maximizing hourly revenue rather than focus on a total. That's an entirely justifiable goal and we'll discuss it and other areas around this in future posts.

For now  let's just begin with maximizing gross revenue.

Pricing High or Pricing Low?

In some cases physicians combine "lowest cost / cheap" with "value".

This is completely wrong.

"Value" is the primary buying criteria for every person and every purchase. The difference is that while cheap or the lowest cost is an external measurement that's easily quantifiable, "value" is completely internal and emotional. Value is personal.

Buyers who purchase high-priced services or pay more do so because they perceive the value from these purchases to be higher than cheaper alternatives. I many cases this is completely without merit but there it is.

So... economy pricing could be a hit and miss for your medical spa. With many reports of botched patients and reviews about horrible side effects and complications, medical spa may want to avoid the "cheapest" label for a number of reasons. The problem with being the lowest price is that there can be only one, and you can get stuck in a race to the bottom with competitors who are also pursuing a "lowest-cost" pricing strategy. And a patient who comes to you for price will leave you for a lower price just as quickly.

So, it may be that premium pricing is a much better option if you're able to execute. 

Break it Down or Bundle it Up?

For this specific strategy, you would need to consider different ways to implement this. Breaking it down refers to x number of treatments for this price per treatment. Example, you can price a  treatment for ___$ a session as opposed to using a “starting from” price implementation.

A bundle pricing strategy could also work for patients who need multiple treatments (e.g. laser hair removal, non-surgical fat contouring) or multiple procedures that could reduce wrinkles but if you break it down, patients could also see how much the treatment is per session as opposed to bundling it up. 

Bundling is a common strategy for treatments that require multiple treatments to see an effect and satisfy a patient.

The answer may be to do both.

Some medical spas utilize a “membership plan” method, wherein a patient is given an option to avail of similar procedures, for this certain price. This is essentially that 'concierge medical model' but it is an uncommon practice in cosmetic medicine, yet it’s something that has serious advantages.

Should it be a 5, 9, or 0?

Pricing with the ‘9s at the end is called Charm or Psychological Pricing. It’s when you dock a cent off from its perceived value. Grocery stores employ this strategy thus many customers, and many are enticed when they see an original price and see the lower priced amount.

However, it doesn’t work all the time. You simply can’t have all treatments priced $_99. 

The answer: price treatments differently.

However, consider the “psychological” aspect of the patient when they browse your price list. Round numbers like 0s work well for people who rely on emotions because seeing the number would make them “feel good”.

One of the most effective pricing implementation strategies online is a discount or "credit" on a first treatment inside a specific time window. Sumo (see below)has done their research on the matter, and found that most customers signed up after learning they could receive store credit, and that the company’s email list grew by 87%. 

Slashing off or Discounting?

The strategy works well definitely for costly treatments. Instead of offering a $4 discount for a $12/unit of Botox, better to have it as such: $150 off a $450 for a treatment of Botox. Thing is, for both examples, the price is just docked 3 times off its original cost. Patients tend to go for the $150 off as a larger perceived value.

For values lower than $100, go for an actual percentage.

You can have a side by side comparison of the old price to the current price by putting a slash on the old price, provided the old price is higher than the current one.

You can implement any of these at a time, but remember not to go overboard with it. Learn which strategy could definitely work for your medical spa, and which would be more cost-effective as well. For your medical spa to get more patients and leads, you may need to switch up your pricing or implement different ones at the same time and which ones receive the most profits.

Further Reading On Pricing

Ciotti, G. (2015, September 09). 10 Pricing Strategies That Can Drastically Improve Sales. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250289

Maguire, A. (2017, March 16). 6 Different Pricing Strategies: Which Is Right for Your Business? Retrieved from https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/pricing-strategy/6-different-pricing-strategies-which-is-right-for-your-business/

Moreno, N. (2018, May 10). 9 Pricing Strategies to Explode Your Revenue (Backed by Psychology). Retrieved from https://sumo.com/stories/marketing-pricing-strategies

Reeves, C. (2016, August 03). 8 Pricing Strategies To Use On Your Product, Service Or Workshop (FS124). Retrieved from https://fizzle.co/sparkline/7-pricing-strategies

Von Wilpert, C. (2018, July 04). Ecommerce Store Credit Strategy (Hint: 87% Email List Growth). Retrieved from https://sumo.com/stories/ecommerce-store-credit

Learn from The Past - Prevent Embezzlement in Your Medical Spa


Embezzlement and theft news for medical practices often happen, so why is it rampant?

Whether or not your practice has been affected by a previous embezzlement or theft case, you need to be wary about the security of your finances and data.

These are some simple measures you can prevent embezzlement in your medical spa. To learn more about other cases of embezzlement and not become a victim of it, you can sign up for this free course in our Training Academy.

How to Get More Positive Reviews

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Receiving one negative review can affect your medical spa marketing and sales?

Some clinicians believe that a couple of negative reviews are common and to counter that, you just need to receive more positive reviews. That’s easier said than done...

Some stats:

According to Vendasta, you get an 18% bump in sales when there are reviews that customers see. 

Based on Robert Cialdini’s research 77.3%, people are inclined to follow through with a favor when you ask them for help. Influencing your patients to leave a review will make a difference, so you should be making it a point to ask for reviews from your patients.

In an infographic by Website Builder, 84% patients submit online reviews to rate physicians. Review Trackers, on the other hand, find that most patients would leave a review after a negative review, and only 24.8% of patients will leave a positive review.

Here are the do’s and don’ts in getting more positive reviews.

Do Not: Disregard Any Review You Receive

You will need to find where most of your patients post about you, and start from there. 

Regardless if it’s positive or negative, you need to know where you receive them. As for responding, a simple thank you would suffice. Don’t get too carried away, choose your replies. Reply only to around 25-60% of reviews that are 3 stars and up.

However, if a negative review surfaces, it’s better to contact them directly offline than engage with the patient any further.

Do: Claim Your Listings

As such, wherever you have a listing, claim it. 

Facebook, Yelp, and Google are the best platforms to have reviews for business in general, and in Website Builders, ZocDoc, RateMD, and Healthgrades are the top 3 review sites for physicians. So you can have at least SIX different websites to have a listing on. Up to you then, which would be strategic on your part.

Do Not: Depend on One Review Page

If you want patients to come to your medical spa, then you will need visibility. Google is definitely your best bet to be noticed, although it would take a while, with some traction from other sites, you are on your way to acquiring new patients. 

You may need to consider Google Reviews as your primary channel for reviews. Through Google My Business, you can control the reviews that you receive from your patients. You would easily be found via Google provided you have complete information (i.e. website, schedule, contact details, and reviews).

Do: Add a Testimonials Page on your Website

Another channel where you can post reviews is on your website. These could be in a form of testimonials or reviews from other sites. Many physicians apply this strategy, and it is effective because it could also help arouse more interest in you and your medical spa. Adding a testimonials page would also add value to your website.

Do Not: Resort to Posting Fake Reviews

Posting fake reviews are definitely a no-no. You can detect fake reviews if there is no pro and con, if it uses uncommon terms, and if multiple reviews come in a short amount of time. Don’t be afraid to ask from reviews from your patients, even if they are family or friends.

Do: Automate Your Reputation Management

There are many reputation management software in the market, and if your medical spa does not have one yet, you may be missing out. Many businesses have seen an influx of reviews ever since installing a software. Not only that, you could control the reviews you receive and prompt the patient to write a review 

Medical Spa MD’s partner in Reputation Management -- Podium -- is in and has helped businesses receive more reviews. Your medical spa can benefit greatly by saving $1257 when you are a member of Medical Spa MD.


Supporting research and reading:

Bassig, M. (2017, August 04). Patients More Likely to Review Their Doctors After a Negative Experience. Retrieved from https://www.reviewtrackers.com/patient-reviews-doctors/

Bassig, M. (2018, April 04). Did You Know? 67 Percent of All Yelp Reviews are 4 or 5-Star Reviews. Retrieved from https://www.reviewtrackers.com/know-67-percent-yelp-reviews-4-5-star-reviews/

Bloem, C. (2017, July 31). 84 Percent of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Friends. Here's How to Manage What They See. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/craig-bloem/84-percent-of-people-trust-online-reviews-as-much-.html

Bonelli, S. (2017, February 08). 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Retrieved from https://searchengineland.com/70-consumers-will-leave-review-business-asked-262802

BrightLocal. (n.d.). Local Consumer Review Survey | The Impact Of Online Reviews. Retrieved from https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

Christopher, E. (2017, June 14). 5 Proven Ways to Get More Customer Reviews On Google and Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295655

DashBurst (2017, November 02). Why Positive Reviews are So Valuable to Small Businesses. Retrieved from https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/04/importance-of-online-reviews.html

Shrestha, K. (2018, February 06). 50 Important Online Reviews Stats You Need to Know [infographic]. Retrieved from https://www.vendasta.com/blog/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-online-reviews

Walker-Ford, M. (2018, May 06). How to Make a Website that Influences People: 9 Web Design Psychology Tips [Infographic]. Retrieved from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/how-to-make-a-website-that-influences-people-9-web-design-psychology-tips/522884/

Websitebuilder (n.d.). [User Reviews is The King: Why Online Reviews Can Either Make Or Break Your Business] [Infographic]. Retrieved from: https://smallbiztrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/58ba1a5ea43c71e16d55cd7f.full_.jpg

Is your aesthetician your MVP?

Is your aesthetician your MVP? If not, find out how you can grow your business by simply changing your batting lineup.  As most medical spa owners have learned, employing an aesthetician can be a difficult and challenging task.  I, myself, have on several occasions heard and witnessed less than professional personality traits exhibited by my aesthetician colleagues.  Gossiping about coworkers, complaining about pay, and unhappy with scheduled hours these complaints can reverberate loudly from the staff lounge.

You are probably asking yourself, how could that person ever be my MVP and why would I want them to be.  Operating a successful medical spa can be nearly impossible without an aesthetician amongst your team.  If you take a moment and reflect on who an aesthetician really is, you will gain much insight and be able to truly unleash their abilities.  And once engaged, they will become one of your most valuable players.  

Who is the average aesthetician? The average aesthetician is about 24 years old, and other than their aesthetician certification hold no other degrees or licenses. According to ZipRecruiter as of March 2018, aestheticians earn $16.38 an hour and an average of $39,000 per year once commissions and tips are factored in.  So basically, they are young, earn just over minimum wage and have on average 18 months of vocational training.

A large percentage of aestheticians tend to leave the field in their first two years due to dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, difficulty finding consistent employment, and an unrealistic expectation of their roles in the marketplace.  So, they leave the profession they chose within two years.  

Conduct a little research on aesthetician satisfaction in the workplace and you will see most aestheticians are given varying schedules from week to week and oftentimes get same-day notice of shortened or eliminated working hours.  Their job security as well as take home pay is always in question.  Engage in conversation with one or two aestheticians and you will find very common theme of insecurity.

Imagine as physicians the reality that aestheticians live in and you will be able to focus your efforts on actively engaging them within your practice.  Aestheticians have a key role in our arena and should be the backbone of your office.  Who better to be your ambassador for skin care than the person who chose this career and possess the skills, passion and dedication to improving your customer’s skin.

Understanding their background and possible baggage brought over from previous employers is the first step.  The next step is providing security, security in their position, affirmation of their impact on patient retention, and assuring their shifts are as consistent as possible.   

And finally, educate and continue to educate them.  Most aestheticians cannot afford ongoing education and tend to use social media to increase their knowledge base.  As providers, you possess the medical and aesthetic knowledge to grow your team’s ability internally. But, there are many ways to continue educating your team: bring them in during medical services to assist you, have them join you for conferences and conventions, ask them to research new skin care lines and report back to the team.

The concept is simple and applies to all personal and business relationships.  Beyond Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when someone feels valuable their loyalty will bloom as will their desire to help you and your business bloom.  Not only will you find overall sales improving, but you will see many of your customers transition from microdermabrasion to lasers and injectables.  They will become an extension of you, your sales approach, and your practice.
 

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Nancy Miller, RN MBA

Experienced Executive Director Of Operations with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Skilled in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Health Insurance, Nursing, and Clinical Research. Strong operations professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) focused in Health/Health Care Administration/Management.

Dr. Joel Kopelman - Kopelman Aesthetic Surgery, NY & NJ

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Name: Joel E. Kopelman, M.D. FACS
Locations: Park Avenue, NYC & Ridgewood, NJ
Website: https://www.drkopelman.com

Brief Bio:  
I trained in oculoplastic and facial plastic surgery at UCLA in 1983. I subsequently did another fellowship in orbital surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, England. I have been the director of multiple professional courses on blepharoplasty, endoscopic brow lifting, facelifting, laser resurfacing, and rhinoplasty across the United States. My current laboratory research is on how aging affects the eyelids.   

Can you give us a background of your career in cosmetic medicine?

The training that influenced my entire career really began at U.C.L.A. thirty-plus years ago. Under my fellowship director we performed primary and secondary cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid and eyebrow surgery. Our particular focus was fixing complications from overdone cosmetic eyelid surgery and forehead/brow lifts. Subsequently, my practice evolved into primarily a cosmetic practice. I began to incorporate facelifting techniques, chemical peels ,laser resurfacing techniques, and body contouring into my practice. I never stop learning.I bring new surgical and non-surgical techniques that offer safety and lasting benefits to my patients. I don’t jump on every new product or technique because I have learned from experience that there are fads that are not safe and have precipitated problems. Like everything else in life, experience counts.

What can you tell us about your NY and NJ practices?

I currently practice on Park Avenue in Manhattan in an office I share with three cosmetic dermatologists. I also have a second clinic in Northern N.J. where I have a certified surgical facility. I have four employees who include R.N.s, surgical techs who assist me in surgery as well as a board certified anesthesiologist. My New Jersey and New York practices are similar and consist of primarily women between the ages of thirty to sixty-five and men in their thirties to fifties.  

How do you manage your staff?

I highly value my employees and generally compensate them commensurate with their training and experience. Each employee is intensely vetted prior to hiring them so I don’t usually fire anyone unless they have been dishonest or rude to the patients.

What devices do you regularly use?

I currently use IPL for diffuse skin pigmentation, acne and telangiectasia. I have erbium/YAG, pulsed CO2, and erbium-glass lasers that I use for skin resurfacing. I usually prefer my erbium lasers because there is a very rapid recovery time. I also use a non-invasive ultrasonic body contouring device called UltraShape Power. I like this device because it causes little discomfort compared to CoolSculpt.

What marketing strategies do you employ?

Word of mouth, internal marketing ”awareness”, website and Instagram. The marketing that traditionally has worked is “word of mouth” recommendations. In the past few years internet ratings and ranking has increased traffic but I have found that these patients do not always have realistic expectations.

Which treatments do you consider the most popular in your practices?

Facelifts, blepharoplasties, endoscopic brow lifts. I plan on performing more PRP for hair rejuvenation. I no longer perform rhinoplasty.

In your many years of experience, what have you learned so far?

I tell my staff “If a patient is happy when they come to see me they will be happy when they leave but if they are unhappy when they come to see me they will be unhappy when they leave”- there is nothing that I can do to change their view of the world. 

Lastly, what can you impart to fellow physicians in the field?

Do great work, be passionate, show that you care. Patients will recognize, value and trust your service, see you as their medical guardian, and appreciate you as an outstanding physician and surgeon. You don’t have to wave a flag - your actions will speak louder than words.

Only Work On What Brings Value To Your Customer & Your Medical Practice

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If you're working on solutions without a very clear definition of the problem you're trying to solve, you're doing it wrong.

Is the solution you're working on solving a real problem? Is the problem based on your existing patients needs? If you're successful with the project you're working on, would it change anything for your patients? And in turn, would it change anything for your clinic? These are the fundamental questions you need to answer to make sure that you're investing your time and effort working on worthwhile opportunities.

If you put yourself in a position where your clinic is running on autopilot and give yourself a chance to get off of the constant production treadmill you'll have a chance to work ON your business, not just IN your business.

Process is critical here.

My guess is that you don't have any real way to prioritize what you're working on at any one time. If you're like the vast majority of clinics who are physician-owned, you're not running a business as much as you are running a communal job, where nothing's addressed until there is enough pain that you have to actually do something.

  • We don't have enough patients; so I need to try and figure out how to get some. I guess I'll call that local ___ rep who was in here last week promising that she could help grow my practice. Maybe my nephew can help me out with some Facebook ads.
  • We're getting a lot of returns and some negative reviews online; Oh well, what can you do. Some people will always be unhappy. Nothing really you can do about that. (If this is you, get your ass a Podium account now.)
  • I know that we're over-promising on what the results are with this old IPL that I've had forever but it's still working and it's not worth much so I can't afford to upgrade. (Get a certified quote on your used laser or IPL)

I could go on forever.

Features and solutions are easy to imagine and talk about with other people, and coming up with a 'solution' is rewarding, it makes us feel like we're making progress and are figuring things out.

This is not the way that successful clinics operate.

Successful clinics have systems, and one of those systems is some kind of process to prioritize what to work on, and it's not the low hanging fruit.

It's the hard things that will kill you.

No one cares if you add a Facebook widget to you website so that patients can join up and be ignored in your I-don't-have-time-to-do-it Facebook group.

But if your staff is fighting over commissions your patients will see that and you'll have less word-of-mouth.

Who gives a shit if your using a credit card processor that charges you 5% more than someone else.

But if your consultations aren't perfect you're cutting your own throat.

You need to be working on the hard things; building systems into your business, an obsessive focus on patient satisfaction, a team that is all working in unison, and a real business.

It's the hard things that you have to get right- the foundations of your business- not the bullshit on the surface.

Here's a simple process to identify and prioritize what you should be working on. (Note: I use this but I stole it from Amazon.

Prioritizing What To Work On

Here's a simple method to ensure that you're working on problems that can actually affect your business.

Note: This is a physical process, not a thought exercise. I suggest that you use post-it notes and do this first with yourself, but then with your team. (If you're doing it with your team DO NOT hog the meeting and deliver the answer. Let your team help you with all of it.)

  1. Write down the BIG problems that are facing your clinic. These are the problems that, if they're not fixed immediately, can put you out of business. 
  2. Prioritize those problems according to risk, with the biggest problem at the top and the least risky one at the bottom.
  3. Pick the problem right at the top. The one that poses the biggest risk to your clinic.
  4. Break it apart into smaller constituent parts. For example; "We don't make enough revenue to cover our costs" can be broken down into, "We don't make enough revenue" and "our cost's are too high".
  5. Keep breaking it down into smaller segments.
  6. Pick a segment or a challenge. 
  7. Use this technique of the 5 Why's to uncover the root cause.
  8. Use these root causes to build a plan of action that you can be sure are contributing to drive value and work on your most pressing problems.

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How To Use Jeff Bezos' 5 Whys Technique To Find Root Causes In Your Clinic

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Identifying and addressing the root cause is where you can make changes in outcomes as a business leader.

Pate Abilla is a a process guru, and I've added his post here on how Jeff Bezos uses a simple technique called "5 Why's" to find the root cause of a problem.


What is it that really sets Amazon apart from everyone else. I obviously don't know the definitive answer to that, but I can draw on some experience being an early employee at Amazon. 

I want to especially point to one experience that might, perhaps, demonstrate the way we were taught to think at Amazon.

The Conveyor Belt Accident

Back in 2004, I was part of rotational program at Amazon and at this particular time, I was in one of Amazon's massive fulfillment centers. During Q4, Jeff Bezos takes the time to visit several fulfillment centers to see how things are going and to lend a hand.

In a meeting with the senior team of which I was a part, we discussed metrics for that Q4. One of the metrics is related to safety. It was at this time the safety manager explained one of the accidents during that year at the fulfillment center. 

An associate had damaged his finger on a conveyor belt.

I immediately noticed Jeff Bezos' demeanor change from one of excitement because of the busy-ness of Q4 to one of serious concern.

Then he got up and went to the whiteboard. He then began to facilitate the following discussion:

Demonstration of 5 Whys by Jeff Bezos

Bezos wrote on the whiteboard the following and took us through an exercise right then and there (this is from memory).

  1. Question: Why did the associate damage his thumb?
    Answer: Because his thumb got caught in the conveyor.

  2. Question: Why did his thumb get caught in the conveyor?
    Answer: Because he was chasing his bag, which was on a running conveyor belt.

  3. Question: Why did he chase his bag?
    Answer: Because he placed his bag on the conveyor, but it then turned-on by surprise

  4. Question: Why was his bag on the conveyor?
    Answer: Because he used the conveyor as a table

Conclusion: So, the likely root cause of the associate’s damaged thumb is that he simply needed a table, there wasn’t one around, so he used a conveyor as a table. 

Countermeasure: To eliminate further safety incidences, we need to provide tables at the appropriate stations or provide portable, light tables for the associates to use, or place maintenance bags on the floor.

There are several things amazing about this experience:

  1. Jeff Bezos cared enough about an hourly associate and his family to spend time discussing his situation.

  2. Jeff properly facilitated the 5-why exercise to arrive at a root cause: he did not blame people or groups — no finger pointing.

  3. He involved a large group of stakeholders, demonstrated by example, and arrived at a root cause and he didn’t focus on symptoms of the problem.

  4. He is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, yet he got involved in the dirt and sweat of his employees’ situation.

  5. In that simple moment, he taught all of us to focus on root causes — quickly. He did not heavily rely on data or over-analysis of the situation, and yet he was spot-on in identifying the root causes of the safety incident.

Conclusion

Remember, this was back in 2004. If the CEO can think this way, then clearly the entire company can. While Amazon isn't perfect in any way and Bezos isn't necessarily the poster boy for effective leadership, this particular situation is a really great example of how leaders can behave and how they can demonstrate clear thinking and quick problem solving.

If I were to point at one thing that sets Amazon apart, it's how their people think. And how they think is heavily influenced by Bezos and his example.

Dr. Ahmad Rabb, Cosmetic Medicine At Medical & Cosmetology Centre In Toronto

Connecting with a Canadian physician practicing cosmetic medicine in Toronto, Dr. Ahmad Rabb.

Name: Ahmad Rabb, MD
Clinic: Medical and Cosmetology Centre
Location: Toronto, Canada

That's interesting: Dr. Rabb leads Bio Ethics Seminars for medical Undergraduates at the University of Toronto School of Medicine. He speaks English, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi.

You started out in family medicine but then switched to cosmetic medicine. Why did you switch?

It took me couple of years to transition from family medicine into cosmetic medicine. Over the years I realized that non-invasive and non-ablative skin care techniques were becoming increasingly popular and effective in reasonably reversing the adverse affects of different aging types ex. Photo-aging, Intrinsic aging (age related aging) and environmental aging.

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How To Add Texting To Your Clinic And 6X Your New Patient Inquiries?

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Allowing patients to use text messaging makes them 6 times as likely to reach out and communicate with you.

6X in anything is a MASSIVE increase, but especially in inbound contacts there's simply nothing else that comes even close to that.

Nobody likes to call.

Asking new patient-prospects to call your front desk is a lot to ask. It's an investment of time, it's slow, you have to call during office hours, and you know that there's social pressure that's going to be applied by the person on the other end. It's a big hurdle and has always cost you those patients who you might have had if only it had been a little less difficult.

You're missing those inquiries, patients and those sales.

But texting is easy.

Sending a text is a much lower 'ask', and that's just what you want as a business; a very easy first step. It's asynchronous so you don't have to worry about office hours or connecting, and there's much less social pressure than talking to someone on the phone.

Best of all, your front desk staff can probably handle 5 times the traffic in texting communications than in phone calls.

Here are the numbers*: (reference)

  • New patients are 6 times more likely to text you than call. 
  • Texting is 10X quicker than phone calls
  • 81% of Americans text regularly
  • 85% of people want to be able to not only receive a message from a business but also answer a message from a business.
  • 98% of consumers want to use texting when communicating with a business
  • 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent
  • People prefer text for most scheduling, changing appointments, or confirming reservations
  • Response rates from text are 209% higher than phone calls and 200% higher than email

If you can read those stats as a clinic owner and think that you don't need a two-way texting capability to communicate with your patients and field new inquires...  well, I don't really know what I could say that could help you or your business. Please stop reading.

The simple truth is that you need to find a solution using text messages because it's the preferred method of communication for your existing patients, and it's more productive than what you're doing now.

How much time is actually wasted every week on the phone? Here are my guesstimates:


Common Tasks

Calling to confirm appointment

Call patients to fill a cancelation

Staff time wasted: calling, on hold,
calling back, waiting....

Phone

2-5 minutes

5-30 minutes

50-60%?

Text

40 seconds

2 minutes

0  


Texting is clearly a more productive and efficient system and your patients respond better to it. The only question for you is what to do about it.

How do I add texting to my clinic?

Before getting started there are a few things we suggest doing to ensure that you are successful. The first is setting up your Google My Business listing to accept text messages from mobile searchers. Check out this post for instructions on how to set up Google Click-to-Message for your business.

Next, you’ll want to find a solution that can enable your landline to accept text messages. This will help you maintain continuity and consistency with your contact information, which is an important factor in where your business ranks in local search.

Once your landline is set up to accept text messages, you’ll want to publish that number wherever your contact information is displayed with instructions to “call or text us.” Some places to include it are on your website, on all of your business directory listings, and even in your email signature.

Finally, you’ll want to implement a customer interaction platform to help you manage all of your text message conversations.

More help on that a little later.

Best practices: What would I use text messaging for?

I understand your reluctance to start texting your patients and prospects. Its new and you don’t really know where to start or how to do it. but let's identify a few moments during your patient journey where it makes perfect sense to be using text messaging.

1. SET APPOINTMENTS AND SEND APPOINTMENT REMINDERS One of the biggest frustrations is when patients no-show, but you can eliminate a large number of no-shows by texting out appointment reminders and setting appointments with your customers. It's much less intrusive and time-consuming than having your staff call out and remind customers about upcoming appointments.

There are automated systems that you pay for that do this automatically, but that's all they do. You want a a system that does this and the other things on the list too.

2. BE A RESOURCE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS Not all of the questions your customers have will warrant a phone call. Some are simple and can often be answered with a very short text. Because texting is more visual than a phone call, it allows your patients to use testing in ways that phone calls just don't handle well, like sending a photo. This can eliminate a lot of confusion that might arise if they were to try and describe the problem verbally.

3. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO UPSELL Having a texting relationship with your customers will also give you the opportunity to upsell them from time-to-time. This will provide your business with incremental increases in revenue that will not only improve customer satisfaction but also boost your bottom line.

4. ASK FOR FEEDBACK A number of our customers have started to replace traditional customer satisfaction surveys with a text message-based survey. These customers see a higher open and response rate because text messaging is more conversational and less intrusive than a survey. A simple "let us know if we can help in any way" as a text is another touch point of care that patients appreciate and cost's you nothing.

5. CLOSE BUSINESS This might sound crazy to you, but it’s not uncommon for people to make a sale in a text message conversation – even for big-ticket purchases. Just send a special offer to your best clients, or followup on a consultation in a non-intrusive way.

7. COLLECT REVIEWS Finally, you should invite all of your customers to review your business via text message. Building up your online reputation is important because it makes it easy for consumers to find your business via online searches, while also helping to influence purchase decisions.

8. LET PATIENTS TEXT YOU AS A FIRST CONTACT This is a big one... make it easier for patients to take the first step towards your clinic by allowing them to text you as a first contact.

What does all of this?

We started looking at providing a solution for our Members that solves these problems. The company that we chose to partner with is a best-in-class software solution called Podium. 

We contacted them and they agreed to partner with us and put together a special offer for Members. You can see that offer here: https://medicalspamd.com/podium

Here's a little info about how it works to make it easier for prospects to connect with you, to communicate and interact with them, and to get them to help you grow you reputation and business.

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Here's a video showing how new patients can use Podium to text you directly from your own website or from other pages like your Google business page. Now, instead of just being able to call, they can now text, connecting them to your front desk and allowing your staff to respond right from their computer.

  1. User finds you on the web, often on a mobile device or smart phone.
  2. They text you.
  3. You text them back.

It's asynchronous so it doesn't impact calls and no one has to wait, you can send images if you want (like a price list or before and after photos), it's efficient so your teams productivity increases, and it's what your patients want.

And here's a video that shows how Podum's new webchat feature works for brick and mortar businesses like your clinic.

"Podium Messenger makes texting with customers a breeze. 90% of consumers want to use messaging to talk to businesses. With Podium Messenger, stay connected with your customers and answer questions in real-time via text message – all from one centralized dashboard"

So that's really it. This is something that you actually need, that your patients want, and that you're never going to get a better deal on since it's only our Members that get it.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of this Members only deal, just find it - along with other deals and offers - in the Marketplace.

Oh.... and in addition to Members getting better pricing forever for this, you'll also get free training for your entire team online.

Done.

The New Member Forums: Cosmetic Lasers, Legal, Marketing + More

The new Medical Spa MD Member Forums are now open.

The old forums were becoming difficult to navigate to the information you might have been looking for. We've simplified them and put them entirely in their own section.

Now, there's one link in the main header above that says "Member Forums" instead of a drop down. That link takes you over to the forums and we've simplified the navigation there as well, removing all of the links above and replacing them with the various categories; clinical exchange, legal, marketing, and cosmetic lasers, IPL, and RF technologies.

There are something like 30,000+ comments. This should make it much easier to use the forums again to find answers and express opinions that both you and others can learn from.

As always:

  • You must be a Member to post a new comment or ask a question
  • You can identify yourself or remain anonymous
  • We regularly (daily) sweep the forums for spam and remove junk links and threads

The forums are an incredibly resource if you use them correctly. For example; ask very specific questions, not general "what should I do" fluff that no one could possibly answer. There are some threads that have more than 400 responses, and others that clinics use to deep-dive into very specific questions.

Take a look and ask your most pressing question. There are thousands of readers and members who just may have the answer to your question.

Take a second and ask the experts.

The New Medical Spa MD Marketplace

We've just launched the new Medical Spa MD Marketplace where you can get special offers and deals from companies.

We've just launched a new, updated marketplace to let Members take advantage of offers and deals from our Select Partners and outside companies who to provide special offers to our Members.

In addition to the publicly available offers which are visible and available to everyone, our Members will also receive additional offers and discounts that are not available publicly. (Yet another great reason to join us.)

You can already find some incredible offers like discounted software, upgraded warranties, and group buy wholesale pricing on fillers and injectables.

And we have a Certified Partner Program to protect all of our Members.

Need a waiting room video to increase your up-sells and educate your patients about your other services? Need a designer to create a kick-ass Facebook page graphic? Want to know that when you buy a used laser that you've got someone who can intervene on your behalf?

Done.

Have a product or service that could benefit our Members? Become a Select Partner.

How To 180 An Unhappy Patient

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No-matter how terrific your clinical outcomes, the occasional unsatisfied patient is an inevitability.

Sometimes it’s warranted and there really was something you did wrong or could’ve done better. But most of the time, you did everything you could and it’s more about managing expectations.

Last week, I had a 42-year-old lady come in to have a mole removed. In passing she mentioned her dissatisfaction with a BBL treatment she had 3 weeks ago.

She's a nurse and a long-time satisfied patient but she seemed agitated and a little upset. She'd paid for a package of 3 BBLS, had 2 of them, wasn’t seeing results, and didn't want to go through with her 3rd treatment.

At this point my first instinct was to say: "What do you mean? BBL is a great treatment and you look amazing!”

She really did look fantastic – wayyy better than when she first came in 2 years ago – but if I’ve learned one thing about dealing with unsatisfied clients (and people in general), it’s that straight-up disagreement will get you nowhere fast.

When you blatantly disagree, the shields go up and you have lost. This is persuasion and sales, not a presidential debate.

So I thought to myself: “what's the best way to turn her around without making her feel like she was proven wrong?”

I said to her: "look, I can see you're not happy with the way things turned out. I wouldn’t be happy either if I didn’t see the results I wanted".

She immediately softened up and I had my nurse bring in her B&A pictures. We went through them together showing her how much clearer her skin was now.

She still thought the recent treatments had done nothing, but I was now in a much better position to guide her in the right direction, since she could see her long-term progress.

I thought and said: “Why don't we just wait then for your third one?”

“Why not wait till the end of the summer? That would be a perfect time to do another one. We’ll fix up your summer skin damage from all the boating and outdoor activities you like to do.”

She agreed.

We then went on to remove her mole, and rebooked her third BBL in the fall.

Everyone was happy and I couldn’t help but think how much of an uphill battle it would’ve been if I didn’t bite my tongue and said the first thing that came to my mind.

Sure, I could’ve convinced her to continue with treatment through sheer force of will, but that would leave a sour taste in both our mouths that would threaten our relationship.

She might stop referring her nurse friends and the patients she sees in the hospital, or could decide to stop coming in all together.

Instead of pushing back against her, I agreed. I acknowledged her feelings and then came up with a solution that worked for both of us, thus preserving our great relationship - the most important thing in a cosmetic practice (or any business for that matter.)

I’m still far from perfect though, and continue to learn every day from situations I know I could’ve handled better.

Here’s the 3 most important points for dealing with unsatisfied patients that I’ve gathered so far:

  1. ALWAYS take standardized before and after photos. Make this part of your protocol that gets done no matter what. These are crucial to showing patients their long-term progress when they’re on preventative treatments and are no longer experiencing the “wow” factor from when they first started.
  2. NEVER blatantly disagree with your patients. This can be extremely tempting, especially if you enjoy getting into heated debates with your friends. In sales, the more tactful thing to do is to absorb the patient’s energy by agreeing with them. You’d be surprised at how much the patient drops their guard and how relaxed the interaction becomes afterwards.
  3. Look for compromises. You don’t want to yield to your patients’ every whim, but also don’t want to be so stubborn that you end up upsetting the patient and ruining the relationship. Compromise allows you to hold your ground without making the patient feel like they were coerced.
2 Comments

Peter Ursel MD


Dr Peter Ursel has been treating leg vein patients in Lindsay Ontario for over 20 years. He was initially a family and emergency physician and early in his career discovered that there was a need in his area for outpatient vein treatments. At the time, there was no formal training available. After extensive research and over many years, Doctor Ursel assembled the finest treatments available and brought them to Lindsay.

A Free Embezzlement & Employee Theft Scams Course For Members

There are only two types of cosmetic clinics; Those who have have been stolen from, and those that don't know that they've been stolen from yet.

Every cosmetic clinic has this problem.

Every. Single. One.

And it's not hard to see why. Most people aren't bad, but there's always temptation, especially when it's easy or there are outside pressures or gripes that make it easy to justify taking just a little here and there. That little voice that says, "I'm the one doing the work. The patients love me. Everyone else is getting rich. I'm owed more...".

We're doing our part to help protect your clinic by taking our popular embezzlement guide and turning it in to a free course with video explanations and added it to the new Medical Spa MD Training Academy. You'll learn how how these scams work, and how you can protect your clinic from them.

This course is entirely free, and may just save your clinic.

In this course you'll uncover all kinds of creative, never-thought-of-that scams:

  • A physician employee connecting his personal account to the credit card terminal.
  • A PA injecting patients with saline and stealing Botox to run a side business.
  • Laser technicians "up-selling" treatments and pocketing thousands in cash every week.
  • A simple accounting scheme that drove a clinic into bankruptcy.
  • A manager treating patients on weekends.
  • Front desk staff using a simple credit card scam and skimming 3% of sales.
  • And (unfortunately) many, many more...

These physicians and clinic owners weren't stupid. They weren't lax or taking their eye off of the ball. They were just victims of the myriad creative ways that these scams work, and they hadn't taken this course yet.

This course gives you the inside cheats, tricks and scams that people use every day, and the simple ways that you can prevent the vast majority from ever getting started in the first place. This course is for every physician, clinic owner, manager and employee working in cosmetic medicine.

Free Guide: 10 Critical Questions To Answer Before Buying Used Lasers

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We've added a new area to the site to provide Members free reports, information, and resources.

We have a lot of information that needs a better delivery method than a blog post; information that is best delivered as a guide, playbook, blueprint or system that you can download and read, share, or keep around for reference.

For example; 10 Critical Questions To Answer Before Buying A Used Medical Laser by Vin Wells, a Medical Spa MD Author and owner of Rock Bottom Lasers.

Buying used technology can be smart and save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking advantage of the massive depreciation that’s triggered when the first pulse is fired. It can make the difference between profit and loss.

But it can also be confusing, distracting, and problematic dealing with sellers, brokers and even manufacturers who have an agenda that may not be in your best interest. 

This guide is designed to walk you through the morass of information and help you make more informed, smarter, decisions about how to take advantage of used technology to help your clinic, your patients, and your profits. It will walk you through the logical, common sense steps to identify ethical sellers and to ensure that you’re not being taken advantage of.

This report is just one of the ways that we're expanding resources and information to benefit our Members.


Selling your cosmetic laser or IPL? Want to know how much your device is worth?
Get multiple, competing blind certified quotes for your cosmetic laser, IPL or RF.

How To Use Your Patients To Grow Your Medical Practice

The best marketing for your clinic is when your patients do it for you.

Word of mouth takes many forms, but it's increasingly being handled online through social networks and search engines. Patients are now researching you online before they call. They look at your reviews. They run searches with your name and "complaints", "malpractice", "lawsuits", "reviews". If you're going to compete, you have to be in the game.

To do that, you're going to need the right tools, which I'm going to show you, but you have to be convinced that they're important to buy and use or you'll just stay with what you know, so I'm going to dive in to why you need them first.

You've got a marketing problem that you didn't have before.

It wasn't long ago when you just needed to be found, and ranking high in searches drove traffic and filled your treatment rooms.

No longer.

Consumers of all types have subtly changed their decision behaviors online and are weighing buying cues much differently than just two years ago. Reviews are seen by prospects as increasingly important in their buying decisions.

That changes the playing field. (Don't believe me? Just keep reading.)

When asked, 90% of people read reviews before visiting a local business. 85% of those people relate that they trust those online reviews as much as they would a family member or trusted friend.

But it goes beyond simply making the first call to your front desk. Consumers spend 31% more money with businesses that have higher reviews than their competitors. It has nothing to do with price, the quality of service, or other metrics. It's the perception in the consumers mind that higher rated businesses are more trustworthy than those with few or negative reviews. There's a simple reason for that I'm sure you're aware of; a review is how the consumer 'felt' about the business after everything else was taken in to consideration; price, value, responsiveness... The star matrix is really a metric of satisfaction at the end result.

Just today I was looking to arrange three business lunches in the coming week. In every case it was the number of reviews and the star totals that made the decision for me.

Here was my thinking:

  • Few reviews? It's too risky; there are safer choices.
  • Lower star rating? Patrons weren't satisfied. Who want's to eat there?
  • Negative reviews by themselves? Tricky... some people are jerks so an occasional bad review is unavoidable, but it's too risky. I'll go somewhere else.
  • Negative reviews with responses? A few negatives is okay. I can trust the positive reviews more and - especially if the business has responded to the reviews - I think they take their reputation seriously. It makes me more confident that they don't want negative reviews and they work harder than others to avoid them.
  • Lot's of reviews (even a few negatives) and a 4+ star rating? That's the place.

And the above is especially true for your clinic.

Think about what you would do if you were deciding between two clinics – both with 4 stars – where one clinic has 5 reviews and the other has 25.

You'll choose the one with 25 every time, and that's costing you patients if you're the clinic with only 5.
 

Do reviews really drive new patients?

Here are the results of a survey we sent out to members showing the importance and value of enlisting patients in your growth strategy. The recipients were selected from a cross-section of members to try and hit all types of clinics; dermatologists, plastic surgeons, medical spas and cosmetic clinics.

Question: What is your most effective marketing?

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Yep. Number 1 and 2 - word of mouth referrals and internet searches - both fit squarely around your online patient reviews. Everything else is a very distant third.

Reviews are a primary traffic driver and trust builder:

  • Reviews are free. Advertising that is completely free of cost is a rare commodity. Reviews let your patients build links to your site and drive new traffic.
  • They're authentic: New prospects want to know what your existing patients think of you. Reviews let them communicate that in an authentic voice that prospects relate to.
  • They build trust: 92% of Americans trust word-of-mouth more than any other form of marketing – even if they don't personally know the person... and online reviews are more trustworthy than testimonials on your site that you have complete control over.
  • Improves your search rankings: Google ranks websites according to their perceived authority and their ability to provide valuable content. Customer reviews can help tell search engines that your brand is established, and when more people online are discussing your firm, Google will rank your site higher in search engine results. It also helps to add links to customer reviews on your site, because Google rewards sites that contain links to other authoritative websites.
  • Lowers your bounce rate: Customer reviews help your business stand out and make visitors to your website more interested in your product or service because of the value others have had. The impact on your site’s bounce rate can be meaningful and can help to trigger higher rankings as bounce rate is arguably one of the ranking factors involved in search results.
  • Previews your star ranking: Many sites that feature star rating systems will show a preview when someone does a search for your brand. This means that a person will not need to click on their page to see that your company was rated favorably, as the star level and the first few sentences will show up on the search results page. Google will sort search engine results based on the number of reviews received, giving you an advantage and an SEO boost. Your good reputation will then precede you, increasing the likelihood that a person will click through and choose you above your competitors.

Reviews are interesting in another way as well; they tell you what's important to your patients and they identify weak spots in your systems that you can address.
 

Do reviews really increase your revenue?

From the same survey, we also asked clinics how much revenue  each new patient added in just the first month. The lifetime value of each patient is dependent upon the clinic type (nonsurgical / surgical) but can be expected to be a multiple of this number.

Question: How much is a new patient worth to your clinic in the first month?

patients-worth-first-month.png

It's interesting that there's a gap here in the middle, but once I thought about it it made a lot of sense; the clinics we surveyed were fairly well divided between "medical" and "spas"... So if you're a cosmetic medical practice you're far more likely to be on the right of this graph with each new patient spending North of $2000 the first month.

Question: How many new patients does your typical client refer each year?

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Okay, this is were we start to see some hope of shifting the results here to the right if you're getting on board with patient reviews and those reviews are working for you. If you're able to shift that 3 patients a year to just 4, that would equate with roughly a 20% greater delta in your yearly growth and a corresponding increase in revenue and profits. Just a small increase in the coefficient can have a dramatic effect in the end result over time.

That's what we're looking to try and do.
 

What should I do?

The short answer to "what should I do?" is - Do something. Anything. But don't do nothing.

How much less is your clinic worth to someone who wants to buy it if your reviews are negative? How much harder is it to recruit staff? How many patients are you losing that you don't know about.? Simply put, your online reviews are your brand, and an indication of patient trust and satisfaction. Reviews are what people are saying about you to others (which is what your brand is), and you can't just ignore your brand and reputation if you want to have a successful clinic or valuable asset. 

You have 3 options; you can ignore it, you can do it manually, or you can do it automatically.
 

Option 1 - Ignore my online reviews

You can't ignore it... Well, actually I guess you can. After all this is what most clinics do. They bitch and moan about someone leaving a negative review since they know it hurts their reputation, but they take no proactive actions to increase or control those reviews.)They simply float along with the status quo and hope nothing happens.

Here's what ignoring it means:

  • Your competition may not ignore it, which means that they're either taking your existing market share, or they're putting you further behind while you're not even showing up to compete.
  • You're reputation is uninsured: Something really damaging can happen which you won't be able to respond to.
  • You're missing out on every new patient that might have been brought in. You're missing sales, word of mouth, and compounding growth. This is really where you're killing yourself long term.

Pros & Cons: The only pro to this is that it's free, but the cons are legion. If you're ignoring your reputation and new business you're damaging your clinic. Go stub your toe in penance.
 

Option 2 - Do it manaully

Yes, you can do this manually but don't be fooled that it's not a lot of work. It is, but up until now this was the best way that you could address this need and what most clinics have tried to do in some form.

Here's a simple framework of what you should be doing right now at your front desk.

  • Implement operational systems at your front desk check out procedure that is followed for every single patient. (See the Ultimate Clinic Operations Blueprint)
  • Every happy patient should be asked to please leave a testimonial or review on their Facebook page or on your Google Business Listing. You should ask if they would be willing to use their phone to do it right now. (You may want to add a small discount or free product gift if they're willing to do this.)
  • You should contact Tea & Muffins Design to have some postcards made where patients can fill out a testimonial right there that you can use.
  • You should send an email or postcard reminder soon after each appointment. (You'll want to keep track of who has already left reviews or you'll irritate your happy patients with redundant emails.)
  • You should set up a number of Google Alerts to try and monitor when reviews go up so that you can respond to them.

Pros & Cons: We'll, at least you're doing something but this is time intensive and a real pain in the ass to try and manage after the first week. The opportunity cost is huge in the time invested and the "just-one-more-thing-to-try-and-manage" costs.

And there's another problem with this. Even if you're proactive and constantly ask your patients to leave reviews, they don't. 

Have you ever left a review? You have to be really motivated and it's much easier just to do nothing once you're out of the clinic.

But where there's a problem there's also an opportunity.
 

Option 2 - Do it automatically

To be an automated solution you need to have software that is both drop-dead simple to use, and gives you complete control on both Facebook and Google.

It also needs to be easy to incorporate it in to your operations, and use easy workflows; texting review requests, reputation management, notifications, tracking, permissions, and even additional patient interactions.

Here's what this software should do:

  • Needs to be really simple to use: No more than entering a name and phone number. Needs to be used during check-out when patients are most willing to leave you a positive review AND any time thereafter.
  • Needs to be simple for the patient. Needs to work via simple text message, not an app or download.
  • Needs automatic monitoring of my reviews: I want to be notified of every review and be able to respond  in one place, not login to every review site.
  • Needs accounts for each team member: I want track everyone inside the system, and their reviews.
  • Send external texts: I want to be able to send text messages to my patients as followup, reminders, or just to inform them about an offer we have coming up.
  • Let's patients and prospects text me: I want prospects to be able to text me directly from my Google review page or Facebook.
  • Simple... Did I say that already?

Since we're aware that this is a growing need for our Members we took a look at the front-runners in this space. Here are 3 of the top business review software providers to take a look at with their user satisfaction ratings supplied by G2 Crowd.
 

Highest Rated Reputation & Review Management Software

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Highest Rated Ease Of Use Reputation & Review Management Software

 Ratings from  G2 Crowd

Ratings from G2 Crowd


As shown above, Podium is the clear winner among business review management software providers both in total user satisfaction and usability - which is critical.

so we contacted Podium and asked them to help us provide their software at a discount for our Members (you).

They agreed.

So, Podium partnered with Medical Spa MD to provide a special offer exclusively to our members which includes both a full Podium account, discounted fees, and special training for your staff in our Training Academy.

Here's a quick video I made to show you how simple it is to send a review request to your patient while they're checking out!

This is exactly how your front desk staff would use Podium when a patient is checking out, or your staff would use it from their cell phone right in the treatment room.

"Hey, would you mind me texting you a review request to give us some feedback?"

Damn that is nice!
 

Here's Podium explaining more about their software.


And about their messaging feature which allows patients who see you online to text you questions, a much easier action to take than calling and talking to someone.

Because reviews are increasingly critical for every business there are startups that are building solutions to fill the need - including using patient reviews to fill your appointment calendar, increase patient satisfaction and compound your patient referrals and word of mouth marketing.  


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Get this special offer from Podium 

Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value). 

This offer is not available anywhere else