I always talk about marketing in allied health because I think ethical marketing is so important for many reasons. Firstly, it can ensure people are finding your service and staying with your service, and secondly, it can lead to greater client outcomes.
Good customer service and great professional advice, education and support help promote success in goal attainment for clients whilst setting your practice apart from another - but how does it apply to the NDIS?
When you are thinking about marketing your services under the NDIS, here are three things that I think are important to think about.
- How are you different? There are two main ways that an allied health practice can differentiate itself from competitors. The first is to offer the lowest fees for service. This can work in many industries, however, it is not always possible when having a small business. You need to work out your break-even point before you choose that option to ensure you will still be covering your expenses! Most allied health practices choose the second option which is to work out what differentiates them from their competitors. You and your staff need to know this well. What is it about your service that will be different for participants in the NDIS? How will they choose you over another similar service?
- How will you ensure consistency? It is important that each participant gets the same great service as the last. It is easier to ensure this happens on a daily basis by putting into place some procedures, or checklists, of all the things that need to be attended to for each client. What are the steps you want to ensure happen really well for the client when they are looking to make an appointment? What information do they need to be told, what information do you need to gather from them, will they get any written information, what happens next, have you completed what you told the client you would complete?
- Are you on brand? Branding is the personality of your practice, the sum of many areas of your practice that add together and provide a ‘feeling’ to the client of your service, often, even before they come to meet you. It includes written language, visuals, customer service, and the ‘look’ of your practice. It also includes how authentic you are and whether you keep your word. I always encourage people to think of the brand in the pre-booking stage (what does your practice convey to people when they are looking around for services); during the booking in stage (what does your practice convey to people when they have chosen your service and they are booking in a time to see you); and the post-appointment stage (what does your practice convey to clients who have just experienced your service and what will they think of your brand going forward?). Poor branding occurs when things are a mismatch, or when people are told one thing, but another thing happens. Good branding will allow you to ensure clients trust in your processes and will help individuals to talk about your practice in a positive way to others. For more information about branding, click here to read "How would people describe your allied health brand?".