There are effective strategies for attracting new customers that can be very effective for most if not all audiology clinics and hearing centers. We’ve highlighted 5 below that can be implemented quite easily with little to no business disruption.
7 Strategies to attract (and keep) new hearing care customers
More than 1.5 billion people (almost 20% of the world’s population) have hearing loss. That’s a lot of potential customers. Read on for the 7 strategies to attract new business and retain existing customers.
Strategies for Attracting New Customers
Differentiate from the competition
When it comes to attracting new customers, standing out from the competition is essential.
Offer personalized service
It’s important to recognize that audiology is not a “one size fits all” endeavor.
A lot of people don’t buy because of fear of the possible risks associated with that purchase.
Offer convenient hours
Convenience has to be a priority for any business that wants to attract customers.
When it comes to attracting new customers, standing out from the competition is essential. Hearing care centers are no different. So, what can you do to make sure potential customers choose your center over the others?
- It's important to offer a comprehensive range of services. This will show that you're able to meet the needs of a diverse group of people.
- You need to make sure your center is convenient and easy to access. This means being located in a busy area with good public transport links.
- You need to offer competitive pricing. This doesn't mean being the cheapest, but it does mean offering value for money.
- Offer a free consultation so that potential customers can get to know you and your staff. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and build trust.
- Make sure your website is up-to-date and easy to navigate. Potential customers should be able to quickly find information about your services and schedule an appointment online.
- Take advantage of social media to reach a wider audience. Regularly post helpful content and respond promptly to any questions or concerns.
By following these simple tips, you can differentiate your hearing care center from the competition and attract new customers.
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2. Offer personalized service
It’s important to recognize that audiology is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. Each customer has their own individual needs and level of hearing loss. It’s critical that you don’t just “go through the motions” and conduct the same tests – and offer the same solutions – to all customers.
When you provide a customized experience for your customers, it increases patient satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Additionally, it can help differentiate your centers from the competition.
Make your customers feel special throughout the entire journey. Make it easy for them to schedule an appointment with your clinicians. Greet them warmly when they walk through the door. Make notes about each customer’s family and hobbies in your practice management software (in addition to notes about their hearing loss) so you can ask about their children or grandchildren, or talk about their photography, bird watching, or knitting passion.
Demonstrate that you see and appreciate the whole customer, not just their ears, and show that you’re committed to exceeding their expectations.
3. Build trust
Approximately 50% of the customers who want to buy a solution don’t do so because they fear the possible risks associated with that purchase. Conversely, nearly 75% of buyers who see personal value in buying a product make the purchase.
Train your clinicians to work hard to overcome each customer’s fear of risk and other common objections (e.g., the hearing aids are too expensive, they’re too big, they’re just one more thing to worry about).
To do this successfully, your clinicians need to build trust by connecting with customers on a personal level and understanding what motivated them to visit your centers. It’s also essential to get customers to trust in your clinicians’ knowledge, expertise, diagnosis, and counsel.
You’ll need to spend time and energy to build trust with each customer. Try to understand each customer's perspective. Be sympathetic to their concerns and objections. Be authentic and honest.
Finding common ground with your customers will make them feel more comfortable. Sharing success stories of customers who overcame similar circumstances is a great way to engage a customer and to show them that the path forward is not one they have to blaze.
4. Offer convenient hours
Convenience has to be a priority for any business that wants to attract customers, regardless of the industry. If you’re not open when customers need you to be, they will find an alternative.
"I have hearing loss and I’m considering getting hearing aids, but the hearing clinics near me are only open during the workday and are closed during the lunch break. With my job, it’s too much of a hassle to try to take time off to get my hearing tested and get fitted for hearing aids. I’d be much more likely to go to the hearing clinic if they offered some evening or weekend appointments – as my optical and dental centers do – to make it more convenient for working professionals,” said Rikke Rytter, a 54-year-old working woman who lives in Denmark.
One of the smartest things you can do to expand your customer base is to offer convenient, flexible hours. Recognize that not all customers or prospects can visit a hearing center between 9am-5pm during the weekdays.
Expand your hours and offer regular evening and/or weekend appointments to attract the younger, working crowd, as well as others who might volunteer or care for kids/grandkids during the week. Offering expanded hours will serve as a differentiator for your centers and will result in more business.
5. Perform regular community outreach
Conduct free hearing screenings out in the community. Generate leads and drive more traffic to your centers by using an iPad screener, like Auditdata’s Engage, to conduct hearing screenings at community locations and events in your area.
An iPad screener is portable and easy to use, it’s an ideal tool to use at health and wellness fairs, film screenings, theater productions, road races, sporting events, senior center activities, Veterans’ Clubs, and more. Speak to community members about the importance of hearing health, and the consequences of untreated hearing loss.
This is a great way to meet (and engage with) prospects, answer questions, overcome objections, and explain the many benefits of hearing aids. Explain that the portable hearing screener is quick, easy, and accurate and that people can get screened in just a few minutes – without an appointment.
If the screener indicates that someone has a hearing loss, encourage them to come to your centers for further evaluation and a suitable solution. Using Engage together with Auditdata Manage allows you to easily book appointments, even from remote locations.
Strategies for Retaining Existing Customers
Net new customers are great and create a new pipeline to tap into for growing your business but it is the repeat purchasers and lifetime value of a customer that truly defines success for a hearing care center. Your customers have options, lots of them. Don’t give them a reason to survey those options.
Prioritize long-term customer retention
It’s worth the effort to retain as many customers as possible to keep your business strong and successful.
6. Prioritize long-term customer retention
Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Therefore, it’s worth the effort to retain as many customers as possible to keep your business strong and successful.
Building loyalty is essential: more than 20% of audiology customers say they will go elsewhere when it comes time to repurchase hearing aids, and approximately half of the customers forget where they originally purchased their hearing aids.
Show that you appreciate your customers and are doing everything you can to help them get a solution that’s appropriate for their individual hearing loss, expectations, and lifestyle.
7. Follow up with existing customers
It’s essential to establish strong, positive relationships with existing customers to make sure they’re happy and keep them coming back. An effective way to do this is to stay in touch through a targeted email campaign. Periodically send informative, valuable information about hearing aids and accessories. Check in when it’s time for them to schedule another hearing examination, send warm wishes at the holidays, etc.
Regular communication helps your center stay top-of-mind and allows you to stay connected to your customers. With Manage, you can export client lists and enable automated “check-ins,” follow ups, and other communication, making it quick and easy to stay in touch with your customers.
All the strategies outlined here can help you acquire new customers and retain them. Build trust, offer personalized care, understand their concerns and motivation, and treat them like individuals.
Auditdata helps hearing care providers improve clinical care and drive their business performance and growth. With our data-driven, connected solutions we cater to customers in all stages of the hearing care lifecycle, from attracting new prospects to providing the most appropriate solutions to treat each customer’s hearing loss. We work with hearing care professionals to improve hearing, ear by ear. For more information about Auditdata’s integrated, intuitive, user-friendly tech solutions for audiology centers, please contact us.
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