I want to share something with you today that is always in the back of my mind as an allied health small business owner. It is the question: Are any of my brand touchpoints letting me down? Let me explain.
Your brand is not just your logo or an advertising campaign on social media. Your brand is comprised of both tangible and intangible aspects of your business that differentiates your service from your competitors.
Think about this great analogy from Seth Godin: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another...
As a business owner, you want to ensure your consumer perceptions of your brand match how you want to be perceived.
Let's start by considering two initial stages that influence how your brand could be perceived by your allied health service consumers:
1. Initial contact: so, a prospective patient/client has seen your valuable service via an advertisement, a blog link on social media, or maybe they have been referred from another service, and they, therefore, contact you for an appointment. What is that experience like for them? Do they feel valued? Do they reach someone immediately or are they put on hold or required to leave a message? Do they feel confident they have all available information prior to attending their appointment? This is really interesting: there is so much to consider regarding your brand before the consumer even visits your service!
2. On arrival: have they found you okay? Did they find a car park? Were they greeted immediately on arrival? Does the waiting room have a fresh fragrance? Is the music suitable? Are they offered a glass of water? If they are required to complete a new patient form, how long is the form? Do they require assistance to complete it? How long do they need to wait for their appointment? Can they hear general gossip or discussions regarding other patients? Are the waiting room seats clean? Are the magazines in good condition and up to date?
Many of these seem like minute details but are all valid areas that contribute to your patients developing their own perceptions of your brand. Let’s face it, a wait with a current, groovy magazine trumps a wait with a Woman’s Weekly from 1998…
If you operate a mobile service or are a sole practitioner operating out of rented space, these concepts are just as valid for you! Think about the external cleanliness of your vehicle, the information communicated to the clients' pre-appointment, and other touchpoints within your service that you control.
It is useful to consider your brand touchpoints as each having a "score" that you have worked hard to build on - don't reduce your tally by overlooking some of the brand touchpoints we have explored above.
Think about how your client/patients would describe your service to their family & friends. Would it match your brand vision? Would they remember the excellent health service they were provided, or would they relate aspects of their experience that was "a little weird"?
Next week, we will explore some more important brand touchpoints in your service, perhaps, until then, grab a pen and paper and walk through the above stages from a consumer perspective, and jot down any areas you feel could be improved.
Have a great week!