It’s imperative that medical practices and recovery centers do everything possible to stay connected to their patients and continue to be a source of information and comfort. Here are 6 things that you should be doing during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Update Your Website
Your website is the digital version of your business, and therefore should be the top priority to keep updated with relevant information in a time of crisis. Patients will be navigating to your website for answers and updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s imperative that you have information available on your website and easily accessible.
Here are a few options:
- Pop-up messages – This is the most effective way to get the information in front of your visitor’s face without having to make changes to your website’s build and aesthetic. The only downside to this is that if a visitor closes out of the pop-up before reading it, it’s likely that information is lost to the viewer from that point forward.
- Homepage Section – This option is a bit more effective in the sense that it gets the information to your viewer fast and because it’s locked into your design, there is no risk of the user accidentally closing it out. If you go this route, make sure to place it either as one of your hero images, or one of the top sections of your homepage so that viewers don’t have to scroll down to find it.
- Dedicated COVID-19 Info Page – This is the best way to communicate the most information without causing too much disruption to your homepage design. However, it is important to make sure that there is a call-to-action (CTA) front and center on the homepage that directs visitors to this page. The best way to do this is through a banner that is locked to the top of your website on every page so that the visitors will see the message regardless of their entry point onto your website.
Every medical practice and addiction treatment center is different, but it’s important to note that the medium in which you display your COVID information is much less important than making sure you get posted soon as possible. The more time that passes without any information from your practice, the more you distance yourself from your patients and potentially lose their trust.
2. Email Your Patients
Yes, we’ve all received countless email newsletters from just about every organization on the planet with COVID-19 updates, but in this rare case you do need to join the crowd. There’s no need to get fancy and design a lengthy, branded newsletter. In fact, it’s much more impactful when you deliver something simple and direct.
Here are a few samples of newsletter updates for your patients:
- A letter from the doctor (with a link to a personal video from the doctor in the message)
- Steps your practice is taking to remain sterile and compliant
- Things your patients can do to remain safe
- Things your patients can do to remain healthy (physically and mentally)
- How your patients can still receive services from you
Your messages may differ depending on your type of practice and your brand, but as with your website updates, don’t focus on refining the content so much that it holds up delivery. Speed and consistency are paramount during times like these.
3. Shift What You Can Offer
As consumer behavior shifts, make sure you shift with them. This means that you need to be able to offer your patients solutions while we are living with the crisis of COVID-19.
You do not have to stop selling and halt all revenue-generating activities. In fact, that could hurt you more than help. Get creative on what you can do right now for your patients. Perhaps offer consults to assess skin care products they need, or consults on treatments that can be booked in the future. Be sure to maintain a sense of hope — let your patients know that they can learn from you now, and book in the future once things normalize.
4. Stay Busy On Social Media
This is without a doubt the most important item on the list. Staying active and being tactful in your social media strategy can make or break your business during this time. Simply staying active is not enough, it’s imperative that you rework your social strategy to address the current situation. For example, posting your “spring botox specials” would be an immediate turn-off and can leave a bad taste in the mouths of current and future clients. Right now, patients are looking for education and comfort, here are some samples of great social media strategies for medical practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
5. Offer Virtual Consultations
Virtual Consultations are yet another way to stay connected with your patients. There are a number of HIPAA compliant virtual consultation platforms out there that allow you to connect with your patients virtually. Whether you’re a recovery center, medical spa, a plastic surgery center, or anything in between, there are a number of benefits to having video consultations for your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you decide to add video consultations to your business, make sure your patients know! First, send an eblast out to all of your current patients inviting them to try out the virtual platform with instructions on how to use it. Then promote it through social media posts, story highlights, and even digital ads. It may even be worth putting together a short blog with instructions and information on video consultations as this is likely something new and foreign to your patients.
6. Stay in the know
The coronavirus is new to everyone, yes everyone. More information becomes available on a daily basis and companies of all shapes and sizes are learning how to navigate the new environment. It’s important to stay on top of the latest COVID-19 updates, but also incredibly imperative to pay attention to changes that other companies are making that may impact your business.
Google, for example, has temporarily removed certain features from Google My Business pages in an effort to protect their staff members and reduce the need for employees. These updates are important for all small businesses to be aware of during this time, especially medical practices. As other companies are forced to restructure their operations, other changes may occur that will have an impact in one way or another to your business. Stay vigilant with your research because new information is arising by the second.
This is not the apocalypse, so it’s important to keep in mind that people have an expectation that things will soon return to normal. Even more importantly, during this pandemic people are still searching, engaging, and seeking information more than ever before. It’s up to you to recognize this and do everything in your power to stay active, be a source of information, and provide an opportunity for the engagement that people are seeking. When things return to normal, your business and loyal customer base will be stronger than ever.