One of the costly line items in your budget every month is your advertising and marketing expense. That being said, are you really doing everything you can to make sure you know exactly how your patients are choosing your office?
Notice I said choose instead of asking them who referred you to them.
There is a difference. Over the course of years while your patient is aware they have a problem hearing (but ignoring the problem) they will be influenced consciously and sub-consciously long before they are actually ready to do something about their hearing loss.
The more often your practice is involved in the “influencing” the more likely it is that a patient will choose your office.
High Involvement Decision Making
Hearing aids fall into the high involvement decision-making process. When a consumer buys more expensive less frequently purchased products in an unfamiliar category, purchase decisions are more about problem solving. This type of purchase is what is known as a High Involvement purchase.
The Consumer Buying Process
When purchasing any product, a consumer goes through a decision process. This process can consist of up to five stages and also often referred to as the product adoption process. Product adoption is concerned with the way new consumers learn about new product and decide to purchase. There are mainly five steps in the product adoption process. They are:
The first step of the product adoption is to be aware of product. Consumers become aware of product introduction in the market via various means of communication, both online and offline.
If interest in the product is piqued, the consumer will start to collect the information related to the product.
The consumer will now evaluate the information collected. Consumers will attempt to assess the quality, benefits and price of the product.
It is at this point in the process that a purchase is made.
Finally, after the trial of the product if the consumer is satisfied he/she will decide to adopt the product and use the product regularly.
The length of this decision process will vary depending upon the nature of the product being purchased. A consumer may not act in isolation in the purchase, but rather may be influenced by any of several people in various roles. The number of influences involved in the buying decision increases with the cost of the item.
Other people are often involved in a consumer’s purchase decision. In the case of a hearing aid purchase it is most often the significant other followed by close friends and family and often other healthcare professionals. Marketing strategies should also be aimed at these people.
It might be time to take a step back and assess your referral tracking process.