Engagement with your Business
You need to handle the first contact with your business carefully. You must train your staff to handle all possible questions well. You also need to prepare them to encourage the caller through the process to an appointment. Once your staff book the date, you have the opportunity to provide the prospect with what we have called inspirational communications.
In the case of the pre-test phase, you could send them documents like:
- How hearing works
- What to expect at the hearing test
- Hearing aid technology levels and how they work
These communications have value to the prospect at this stage; they also allow you to begin a broader engagement. They tell the prospect what to expect and set the tone and terms of reference for you as a professional.
Testing and Recommendation
Again, your staff need to be carefully trained to welcome everyone who enters the business. Think carefully about your reception and waiting area, is it warm, comfortable and welcoming? Is it well furnished and decorated? Your business environment needs to reflect who you are as a brand. The welcome you deliver needs to validate their decision to come and see you.
Asking open questions during your consultation allows you to understand the prospect's problems. Using probing questioning ensures that you get all the information you need for a recommendation and it also drives engagement. Remember, you will build customer intimacy with open-ended questions and an un-hurried nature.
Remember to show empathy and spend time over the prospect's concerns and problems. Listen to them and react appropriately, ask them how situations or issues make them feel. Document their problem areas on a C.O.S.I. If the prospect feels that you care and are aware of their problems, it encourages trust. The consultation is one of the most significant parts of the customer experience; don't forget that because you do it every day.
The Fitting Period
When a prospect has become a customer, it is crucial that you ensure that everything you do validates their decision. As we have said before, all of the data shows that best practices in both testing and fitting lead to higher satisfaction rates. They also validate trust in your professionalism. Nothing should be allowed to undermine the confidence that you have built.
We believe that onboarding communications will help you to both confirm their purchase decision and drive outstanding customer experience.
While much of the onboarding material is generic in nature, customisation of the content for the customer will drive engagement and a deeper connection. Onboarding material at this stage would be:
- Printouts from the manufacturer software detailing the programmes and specifications of the devices
- A practice branded customer notebook to document outcomes and notes
- A copy of the C.O.S.I to act as a self-report of hearing aid outcomes
These documents have real value and relevance to the customer at this stage. They also have real value for your business because they will drive the customer experience.
As we have said before, we believe the follow-up or aftercare period is just an extension of your sale process. During the aftercare period, you should ensure that you deliver all planned visits for experience impact. Plan each scheduled visit carefully, the processes involved, what tests you will perform, even down to the conversations you want to have. When a customer shares something personal about an upcoming family event or how their son or daughter is doing this or that with you, make sure you add the note to your practice management software.
At the next visit, refer to it and ask them how they got on, what happened. This type of conversation will always drive intimacy and heighten the perception of the experience. Ensure that all communications you have with your customers during this period are relevant to them, and the part of the journey they are on.
Instead of relying on four-year new technology letters, consider yearly newsletters on changing trends in hearing aid technology. Make those newsletters aspirational enough, and you will inspire customers about new technology without appearing threatening. Designing a customer experience is not as hard as you think, the real difficulty is ensuring that you deliver the experience.
At Auditdata we are aware that time is limited in a busy hearing healthcare business. That is why we have designed and continue to develop features that will help you automate your processes and customer journey to deliver an experience that will ensure customer retention and referral.