Having a handle on how your actions appear to others can be tough. That’s true for our interpersonal relationships, and all the more true when you run a practice with many moving parts, where multiple staff members and digital identities are interacting with the buying public.
Actions you intend to be speedy and efficient may be interpreted as negligent, sloppy and abrupt to consumers. In other cases, actions you avoid out of concern they come off as overbearing and obsequious may be interpreted as caring, thoughtful, and great customer service.
Here are six instances where you might be surprised at how your actions are being interpreted by consumers.
1. Following Up With Inquiries Who Haven’t Booked
Aesthetic consumers shop around for providers—most will reach out to two or three before making a decision. When you receive a call or email inquiry, it’s perfectly fine for your staff to ask for permission to follow up with them if they’re not ready to book a consultation.
Following up might feel uncomfortable if your staff is not used to this type of outreach. But remember: that consumer reached out to you searching for a provider and trying to make sense of their options.
Work with your staff to plot a thoughtful reengagement script, and designate specific times to make followup calls. More often than not, inquiring consumers will be grateful that you’ve helped to facilitate their search.
Learn more about how to approach inquiry followups in our “Masters Series” interview with a practice manager from Maine who helped scale practice growth by making dozens of inquiry followup calls weekly.
2. Firing Off Bare-Bones Autoresponders
Just because your auto responders are automated doesn’t mean they should seem thoughtless.
Your practice might trigger autoresponders for every email inquiry before a staff member follows up, or you might trigger them during off hours when staff aren’t available. In either case, they are an important touch point in consumers’ communications with you. A perfunctory-sounding message (.e.g. “Thank you for inquiring. A member of our staff will respond ASAP.”) might sound soulless, unhelpful, and even dismissive to consumers, leaving them in the dark about what to expect next.
A thoughtful auto-responder can do a lot of heavy lifting for your practice and establish a strong rapport with potential patients. Consider creating automated responses that:
- Have personality. A simple salutation, like “Greetings,” can be a good start. If you’re comfortable, you’re also welcome to try a more colloquial approach (“Hey there!” “Howdy!”) so long as it comports with your practice’s personality.
- Express gratitude. Tell inquiring potential patients that you’re glad to hear from them.
- Convey your creed. What does your practice believe? Why do you exist? It only takes a few short words to express this in your auto-generated email.
- Set and meet expectations. Tell consumers when they can expect to hear back from you—then deliver on that promise. (We recommend an hour or less, but you should publish a time that your practice can commit to today.)
- Give them more to do. Empower consumers to find more information and connect with you. That means linking to your social media, promoting a recent video, and linking back to Q&A, before-and-after photos, and reviews on RealSelf.
We’re so glad you reached out to Anthony Visage & Associates, where we combine excellent patient service, cutting-edge technology and top-notch technique to deliver results that empower our patients to live more confidently.
One of our practice managers will personally follow up with you within 4 business hours to discuss exactly how we can help you. Until then, you’re welcome to explore these resources:
- See our before & after photos
- Read our patient reviews
- Watch our practice intro on Instagram Highlights (then follow us!)
- Subscribe for our monthly newsletter, “The Visage Vision”
We look forward to talking with you soon!
Anthony Visage & team
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 pm.
3. Posting Off-the-Cuff Social Media Videos
Publishing video content can help potential patients get to know you better. Still, you might be reticent to get started because you’re afraid that the time and expense required to create a professional-looking video are schedule- and cost-prohibitive. After all, you’ll look ridiculous and shame your practice if your video isn’t picture perfect—right?
Actually, no. Effective social media videos can be shot with a cell phone and feature little to no editing. At a time when buttoned-up advertising is losing some of its power to convince (Gen-Z has been called “advertising-resistant”), creating videos that look authentic will win you credibility with consumers, and save you time and money.
There’s a place for professional video. But if your goal is to get content for your social media account, dip a toe in by recruiting your office staff to grab footage of you answering an FAQ or reacting to a review.
4. Leading With Credentials in Your Bio
You worked hard for the letters behind your name, and the time you spent acquiring those credentials are part of the reason why aesthetic consumers can confidently choose you as their provider.
So those types of credentials do have a place in your biography, just not up front. And on RealSelf, remember that your credentials, what you’re board certified in, and your detailed CV already have designated placements on your profile. There’s no need to repeat them in the limited space you have to relate to consumers in your bio.
Rather than lead with your credentials, association memberships, schooling, fellowships and similar information from your CV, consider injecting more humanity into your bio by discussing why you practice, your approach to procedures, and/or conveying what consumers’ experience with you might look like.
Dr. Antonia Visage is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She a member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
I’m proud to be still be an innovator in breast, facial, and body contouring cosmetic procedures 30 years into my career. I listen closely to patients’ objectives, walk them through their options, and personalize my treatment recommendations based on what will work best for them.
5. Asking for Reviews
If you think you look nettlesome when you ask your patients for reviews, think again. 70% of people will leave you a review if you ask, and our data indicates that your patients are all too happy to pay them forward, in particular since there’s a good chance other patient reviews helped them in their process.
We have a great RealSelf University webinar that spells out a step-by-step process for getting more reviews. Learn that formula by registering to watch it on demand.
6. Using Graphic Images in Your Social Media Posts
Faces and/or bodies are your forte. You’ve seen it all, and in conveying your services to potential patients, you may want to give them a detailed picture of what procedures might look like by showing your work—literally.
There are some consumers who will appreciate this level of detail. But for others, bloody or otherwise graphic photos or images might be off putting. Our digital media manager, Mark Sandritter, advises against displaying graphic content on your public social media pages, as they can cost you followers, choking off opportunities to convert those followers into potential patients.
If you want to dive into the intricacies of your work, opt instead for whiteboarding and using diagrams so that you can dive into the nitty-gritty without scaring off your more squeamish followers.