How to Communicate Your Virtual Services to Patients

How to Communicate Your Virtual Services to Patients

The world of audiology has changed; and it’s never going back to the way it was. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted how patients look for your services as well as how they engage with you.  Add in health concerns, new technology, and unclear state laws, and there’s a lot of confusion on what the future of audiology looks like. 

But you can look at the situation, put your tail between your legs and hope the world goes “back to normal,” or you can seize this opportunity to advance your business and bring hearing healthcare into the modern world.  

Outdated technology and processes create challenges across an overburdened healthcare system. Practices can experience increased costs, alienated patients, and inferior outcomes across the healthcare system if updates are not made.

Virtual Services include:

  1. Tele-Audiology

Tele-Audiology is an opportunity to expand and grow your practice. Once you decide to offer tele-audiology, you may be wondering what the best way is to release this information to current and potential patients. Unless it is something the patient specifically needs, they often don’t know that their provider offers it within their services. If you don’t create and execute a formal announcement, you will miss a unique opportunity to bring in a lot more business.

This is where marketing and education is invaluable for providers.

2. E-Commerce

E-Commerce delivers automatic revenue; it has grown 241% since 2019, illustrating a clear opportunity for audiology professionals to capitalize.

By allowing patients to purchase through your website, you reduce the number of “drop-ins” (and non-revenue-generating activities are more important than ever, especially with sanitation requirements), people can get their supplies from the comforts of their home and with OTC hearing aids on the horizon, it’s also a great opportunity for your business to expand its product line and profit from these new additions. 

Plus, from a digital marketing perspective, e-commerce offers a ton of SEO benefits.

So, You Are A Virtual Powerhouse – How Do You Let Everyone Know?

Whether through signage and flyers, the practice’s website, referrals or online advertising, practices can reap the benefits of virtual services almost immediately. Promotion can attract new patients and generate additional revenue, provide convenience and more immediate attention to patients and furnish more affordable care options for patients.

Current Patients

You will want to let your current patients know that you are offering virtual services so they can take advantage of it. Their follow-up visits or check-ins can become much more streamlined. Prior to launch, you may want to collect emails or pull a list from your data base of current patients you will want to notify. If you don’t want to use email, you will probably want to consider mentioning this new service on your voicemail recording or by telling your staff to mention it every time they talk to a patient, especially if they are a regular patient who requires products to maintain their hearing health (they will probably be thrilled to learn they can buy all of their maintenance products from you!) You will also want to update your website. You can add a banner to the homepage or even add a whole new page entirely that details the new service.

New Patients

When you want to get new patients’ attention, having virtual services can make or break their decision. It is very important to be accessible! Regardless of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, you want your patients to feel like they can reach you. First, you will want to make sure you update your online listing with virtual service information so any new patients who are searching for information will see the virtual option quickly. You could also consider offering a “new patient deal” by allowing them to book a virtual consultation for free or a discounted rate; that way you can hear about their needs and determine the best course of action prior to an in-person appointment. Or you can offer a deal for first time customers who use your online store to buy their hearing-related products.

Overall Marketing

You will also want to announce your virtual services on your social media accounts. And be sure to use hashtags like “#telehealth or “#teleaudiology” to make sure you also trend in the right categories. Depending on your budget, you can also consider creating some online ads that can run on these channels to include information about your service, any deal you may want to offer and how they can best in get contact with you to take advantage of it. You may also want to consider some more traditional forms of local marketing and maybe get an ad done for your local paper.

Final Thoughts Of course, not all healthcare visits can be handled via video or phone. There are times when a provider needs to examine or treat a patient in person. But experienced telehealth providers say that’s the beauty of telehealth: They’re able to conserve time so that they have more time to spend with the patients who really need their attention in person. Don’t let the virtualization of your practice become intimidating. With the right platform and the right provider, you can easily incorporate virtual services into your everyday practice.

Renee Shumaker, MA-A

How to Stand Out as a Hearing Healthcare Specialist

How to Stand Out as a Hearing Healthcare Specialist

The past year has brought new challenges to you as a hearing healthcare professional—and I’m not just talking about those brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids, it has become increasingly difficult for hearing healthcare professionals to compete with big box retailers. You also have to compete with other professionals who promise better hearing with hearing tools and amplifiers. So, how can your business survive—and even thrive—in this competitive market?

The key is to stand out as a true specialist (which you are). Big box retailers may offer the convenience of over-the-counter hearing aids, but they can never truly compete with you when it comes to expertise and providing the patient with a tailored fit. As for the professionals who offer hearing amplifiers and other similar tools, you know those tools cannot offer the same benefits as hearing aids. You know that patients will benefit greatly from your experience, knowledge, and skill—so you need the patients to understand that.

 Here are four ways to set yourself apart as a specialist and expert in hearing healthcare:

  1. Write a book.

Writing a book may sound daunting at first, but it can actually be quite simple. You already have the expertise in the subject matter, and with the abundance of powerful self-publishing options nowadays, having a publisher is not necessary.

First, identify your topic. You can even use existing content you have created for your website, blog, or other resources to get started. Second, expand your content. A book will, of course, be more in-depth than a blog article. Your book content should be thorough and comprehensive. Third, create a book cover—either by doing it yourself or hiring a designer. Finally, upload your book to a self-publishing platform.

Don’t worry about making your book perfect, especially your first book. Simply publishing the book will give you experience in writing, will bring added authority to your name and practice online, and will work to establish you as an expert in the field of audiology.

2. Become an online teacher or coach.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many professionals to find new ways to do business and provide value online—and it also pushed consumers to the internet to find what they need and want. You can easily offer up your expertise online as a teacher or coach.

For example, if you are a hearing aid specialist, you could offer your personalized recommendations to hearing aid users on how to maintain their hearing aids, how to adjust them on their own, how to fix minor issues, or how to get the most out of their features. Or, if you want to position yourself as a mentor, you could offer up your experience in the audiology field to current students in audiology or new graduates as they start their careers.

3. Offer a video course.

One way to package your expertise is by creating a video course. Take a topic you would like to become a teacher, coach, or mentor on. Then you simply need to decide how to split up the subject matter into separate video modules. Record yourself addressing those topics, and you have your video course!

4. Take advantage of digital marketing.

You and your patients live in the real world, but that world increasingly relies upon the digital world. Each of the strategies listed above will help to improve your online presence and position you as a specialist in your field. (They can each be monetized on their own as well.) When people search for topics you have written a book about, taught about, or created a video course about, they will find you! Demonstrating your expertise and providing value are among the first steps in standing out in the hearing profession.

For more information about how you can thrive in today’s business world, we invite you to contact us AudiologyPlus. We are eager to assist you.

E-Commerce in the Pandemic

How the Pandemic Created and Continues to Create Explosive Growth in E-Commerce

Now that it has been over a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be starting to feel like the way we live life now is the only way we ever lived. But if you take a moment to think back to when the first lockdowns began—in March and April 2020 for many US, Canadian, and European residents—life has changed in many ways. Some of those changes require small daily actions, like wearing a face mask in public places. Others have affected entire industries, like the absence of in-person concerts, sporting events, and other performances.

As you think about what changed most in those early days of the COVID pandemic, your mind might gloss over one shift that certainly affected you and just about everyone else in the country: online shopping. In most areas, non-essential stores closed down. Restaurants closed for dine-in services and offered only pick-up or delivery. Essential stores, like pharmacies and grocery stores, reduced their hours, enforced (then new) guidelines like social distancing, and began offering more pick-up and delivery options. And what did the general population do? They shopped online more than ever before!

Recent statistics from the UK highlight the way e-commerce has grown in the past year. Here are a few remarkable statistics that illustrate the explosive way e-commerce has expanded since April 2020. (Many of these statistics are taken from the UK, but they are noteworthy even if your business is located in another country.)

  • UK January online retail sales grew 74 percent year-on-year. That is the largest rate of growth since the pandemic began in March 2020.
  • Of all retail sales in January 2021, online sales accounted for a record 35.2 percent.
  • Since the pandemic began, 46 percent of consumers in the UK purchased a product online that they had previously only purchased in-store. This highlights the huge opportunity for many industries that traditionally focus on in-person sales, like audiology, to “jump on the bandwagon” of e-commerce.
  • By 2025, global consumer mobile spending is expected to reach $270 billion. The pandemic increased mobile activity, which underlines the importance of having e-commerce options that work just as well on mobile devices as on laptops and desktop computers.
  • Cross-border e-commerce sales grew by 82 percent year-on-year in 2020. This shows that many people are looking internationally to find what they need. Small thinking will not benefit you in this e-commerce boom—your customers can be located all over the world!
  • In Q1 2020, US e-commerce penetration accelerated 10 years in 90 days. This intense acceleration illustrates the necessity of e-commerce, both for businesses and consumers.
  • 61 percent of fashion retailers say they are planning to reduce the number of SKUs in their inventory. You do not need to offer the widest variety of items via e-commerce; you only need to offer the ones your customers will buy. Using analytic tools can help you ensure you are offering the products your customers are looking for.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, buy-now-pay-later firms have seen a rise in interest and use of their services. Consider offering flexible payment options for your customers to accommodate their needs.

All of these statistics can be summed up in a single sentence: e-commerce is an immense opportunity that you simply cannot pass up—as a business or as a customer! To learn more about how to take advantage of e-commerce and use it to expand your business, please contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

How to Attract New Patients Online in 2021 and Beyond

How to Attract New Patients Online in 2021 and Beyond

Here is a question many of us are asking ourselves right now: Will the way we do business (and life in general) ever go back to the way it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? Probably not. The world, including the business world, has shifted in innumerable and remarkable ways. So, the way you attracted patients to your business in 2019 is probably not the most effective way to continue attracting new patients in 2021. However, generating and converting new leads can certainly be done in 2021 and beyond. All it takes is a little insight and flexibility.

Here are five effective ways to attract and keep more patients this year and in the future:

  1. Focus on building relationships.

More than ever before, your patients want to know that they can count on you for everything they need during uncertain times. And that kind of trust and loyalty does not come from how well your website performs in online searches or how eye-catching your practice logo is. That trust comes from building and sustaining a relationship.

From the time a patient comes in contact with your practice—whether they submit an online information or appointment request, call your office, or come in for their first appointment—you should start building that relationship. Many office management systems offer options for keeping in contact with your patients both before and after their appointments. Make sure your patients know you are there for them.

  1. Create website content your patients need.

As you know, your new (and existing) patients have a variety of needs. For example, some might be looking for general information about hearing aids because they think they might need some. Others might be looking to purchase a specific brand of hearing aids they already know they want. The goal is that your practice answers both questions and meets both of their needs. One way to do this is to provide quality content, as well as online shopping options.

  1. Cater to your returning website visitors.

If you attract a new website visitor, great! This is the first step to acquiring a new patient online. For some website visitors, however, it takes more than one visit before they “take the plunge” and schedule an appointment. A second-time or third-time visitor means they are certainly interested in your services. In fact, a 2017 study found that a returning visitor was nearly twice as likely to convert as a first-time visitor. Therefore, it is essential that you convert that returning visitor into a patient.

Be sure you are answering the questions you expect a returning visitor to have. Take advantage of tactics like remarketing to remind that visitor of the reason they were interested in your practice and your website in the first place.

  1. Use the power of video.

They say a picture says a thousand words. Then how many words does a video say? Video can be a powerful tool for capturing your website visitor’s attention and expressing things about you, your services, and your practice that might be difficult to translate into text. In addition, video has been shown to a very effective conversion booster. One study discovered that featuring a video on your landing page can increase conversion by 86 percent.

  1. Create attention-grabbing content.

Speaking of landing pages, take a look at your website’s landing page. Does it capture your attention within five seconds? Ask the same question as you look at your marketing email headlines, blog posts, social media posts, and other types of online content. If it does not capture your reader’s attention within five seconds, you have lost them.

As noted above, video can be a great way to capture your visitor’s attention and eventually convert them into a patient. Another tip to try is featuring real patient reviews and testimonials.

Generating and converting new leads in 2021 is not so different from before—focus on your patients’ needs, and you’ll come out on top. For more information about how you can attract new patients online and how to navigate online marketing in 2021, please contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are eager to help you grow your business.

Photo by Roman Drits / http://barnimages.com/

Is Pinterest the Future of Shopping and E-Commerce?

If this article were to list everything that has changed in our day-to-day lives between January 2020 and now, it would be an unending article. (And you probably don’t have time to read that!) So, let’s start by getting right to the heart of the matter at hand: the retail industry during and after COVID. It is undisputed that 2020 brought many changes to the retail industry and consumer behavior. What role will Pinterest play in the future of shopping and e-commerce, and how can you harness its power?

First, let’s review what Pinterest is and how it works. Although arguably less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Pinterest boasted an impressive 459 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pinterest works differently from other social media platforms. While you can still add friends and follow their posts, you are not sharing details of your life, recent activities, videos of yourself dancing (as is popular on TikTok), or “throwback” photos from your pre-COVID travels.

Instead, Pinterest allows you to share links from things you like around the internet. Pinterest calls itself a “visual discovery engine,” focusing on helping you find inspiration in images and links. Some of the most popular types of “pins” (or posts) on Pinterest include recipes, home decor, fashion, and more.

How does all of this play into the changes in the retail industry and consumer behavior in 2020 and beyond? Pinterest also facilitates online shopping. When you see a pin of something you like (whether it’s a sweater, a bookshelf, a hairstyling tool, or a lawnmower), you can click on that pin and be taken to the website where you can purchase. Brands can also purchase ad space on Pinterest, with the type of ads shown being tailored to each user’s preferences and behaviors.

Although Pinterest included this e-commerce functionality pre-COVID, the platform saw a huge increase in its use in 2020. In the first half of the year, Pinterest saw a 50 percent increase in users who visited places to shop on the platform. Pinterest knew they couldn’t rest on their laurels there—to continue to grow and provide the services their users need, the platform needed to continually adapt to new user behaviors. As explained by Milka Kramer, country manager UK and Ireland at Pinterest, “It is crucial for brands and marketers to align their efforts with this customer behavior and adapt their messaging. Many industries will see permanent changes in consumer behaviour after this period so the critical nature of insights will remain into 2021 and long after this is behind us.”

So, what is the future of shopping as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually move past it? Kramer believes the key will be to merge the best of in-store and online shopping experiences. E-commerce will continue to grow, and consumers will look for a shopping experience that is more than scrolling through products. Consumers are looking for inspiration and connection, and it is up to your company to give them that experience. To learn more about the future of e-commerce and how social media platforms like Pinterest can play a role in your company’s marketing, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to help you grow your business.

online reviews

Why Online Reviews Are Essential To Your Business’s Success

Let’s say you wanted to try out a new local restaurant. You find their website and see that their location is near you—how convenient! You take a look at their menu, and everything sounds absolutely delicious. You see some photos of both the interior and exterior of the restaurant—it looks clean and attractive. But then you take a look at their online reviews and see that with over 100 reviews, they average a 1-star rating. Many reviewers comment on the poor service they received, the unappealing environment, and the disgusting food. Would you go to that restaurant? It’s highly unlikely.

The same goes for your type of business—and most businesses in this day and age. A new report found that consumers are reading reviews more than ever before. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, life has been full of more uncertainty than ever before. In general terms, consumers trust real people more and big organizations less. This means that great online marketing for your business probably will not be enough to capture all of the new customers you want. You also need to harness the power of reviews.

Positive reviews have moved from “nice to have” to “essential” for your business’s success. Here are a few quick, important statistics to be aware of when it comes to how consumers use reviews:

  • 88 percent of consumers say reviews play a role in discovering local businesses.
  • 31 percent of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were pre-COVID.
  • 58 percent of consumers say they are willing to travel farther to visit a business with higher reviews, and 47 percent say they are willing to pay more to patronize a business with higher reviews.
  • 92 percent of consumers say they will not consider buying from a business with a 1- or 2-star rating.

The report also delved into how businesses can acquire new reviews, how to make sure those reviews are positive, and how to change a consumer’s mind if any reviews are negative. Consumers reported that having a positive experience with employees was the leading motivation to leave a positive review. According to the report, only 24 percent of businesses respond to negative reviews all the time, yet 56 percent of consumers say a business’s response has changed their perspective on the business.

It is apparent that online reviews are a necessity in today’s business world, and having positive reviews that are both recent and relevant are crucial to attracting new customers. However, consumers report that they are much more likely to consume reviews than to create them. To ensure that your business receives the positive reviews it deserves, you need to be proactive about gathering reviews. An automated review system can help encourage satisfied customers to leave a positive review for your business, which can, in turn, help attract new customers.

To learn more about how you can use a review system to take advantage of the power of reviews, or if you want more information on how to be proactive in both capturing and responding to customer reviews, we invite you to contact us at AudiologyPlus today.

How to Provide Audiology Services Without Face to Face Contact

How to Provide Audiology Services Without Face to Face Contact

The pandemic has forced a lot of changes in healthcare, but this is especially true for hearing professionals. Through these changes, hearing professionals have the unique opportunity to develop meaningful patient interactions and provide services to those who may otherwise have no access to much-needed care. In-person appointments are imperative to properly evaluate those with hearing difficulties. But what if things can be easier? What if things can be different?

In May 2020, a group led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking to include provisions of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act in COVID-19 relief packages.

“As COVID-19 forces many seniors into isolation, outdated Medicare requirements limit their ability to access the audiology services they need,” the letter states. “Unlike other government programs and private insurers, including Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare currently mandates that beneficiaries obtain a physician order before they are allowed to access an audiologist, even for a hearing test.”

“Medicare laws have never been updated to reclassify audiologists from suppliers to practitioners,” the letter continues. “Due to this shortfall, audiologists are excluded from health professionals who are authorized by statute to be reimbursed for services provided through telehealth.”

Hearing health and balance are essential, just like other aspects of a person’s health and wellness. Maintaining hearing and balance enables someone to participate in daily activities, prevent injury, and promote a high quality of life. Just as they should not delay seeking care for other health conditions, patients should not delay seeking and obtaining professional hearing assessment and treatment.

Here is how you can move forward with virtual options in hearing services.

Adopt Virtual Tools

Pioneering clinicians are tackling access limitations—via mobile apps, virtual video and more—and finding that patient outcomes are not only just as good as face-to-face interactions, but potentially better in providing greater patient satisfaction.

  1. Tele-Audiology (also generally known as “telehealth” or “telemedicine”)

A large volume of research reported that telehealth interventions produce positive outcomes. The most consistent benefit has been reported when telehealth is used for communication and counseling or remote monitoring in chronic conditions.[1] You can perform consultation appointments, follow-up appointments and troubleshooting appointments over video; you can reserve your in-person appointment time for hearing evaluations and hearing aid fitting appointments.

Tele-audiology doesn’t require much to implement. With the right software and training, audiologists have an exciting opportunity to be on the forefront of e-health as our nation moves toward non-traditional methods of care.

  • E-commerce – An Important Option That Delivers Products Safely

E-commerce allows you to sell products to anyone, anywhere, any time. With e-commerce, buyers can access your store on-the-go or from the comforts of their own home.

You may be thinking, “Ok, e-commerce SOUNDS simple, but it’s probably not that simple” and honestly, you are right; e-commerce takes a lot of work if you want to create a store from scratch. You will need to develop an online store, manage inventory, and ship goods regularly. All of this can create a lot more work than you would like to take on. But there are some e-commerce applications that come complete with a full range of popular audiology products, preloaded onto your e-commerce store. They also take care of shipping and tax, so you don’t have to deal with any of the complicated behind-the-scenes details. Plus, with OTC hearing aids on the horizon, you should seriously consider incorporating e-commerce into your practice.

Offer Support For Digital Services

Technology may not be every ones’ cup of tea; for example, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by transitioning to virtual service options. But that is OK! A lot of these digital options have additional support to help you and your patients feel comfortable using them.

Additional forms of support can include:

  • Website pages with more information about the virtual services and how they work
  • More content including FAQs
  • Add a link that allows patients to make their own virtual appointments based on your availability

For your current patients, you will also want to consider creating an email campaign letting them know that they have this service available to them.

For new (and current) patients, you will want to release this news on social media and maybe add a banner to your website so they can’t miss it.

Collaboration Is Key

With anything new, collaboration is so crucial to ensure success. And hearing professionals are not the only ones’ who have been navigating virtual services; device manufacturers and other suppliers will make virtualization that much better.

Prior to the pandemic, work and product design supporting the delivery of audiology services without face-to-face client interactions was just a bonus to the continuation of hearing health care services. Now, it’s almost essential.

In the article 2021 Audiology Outlook: Leaders Weigh in on Key Issues Impacting the Industry, ADA President Victor Bray, PhD said, “It is not uncommon in a crisis to create a new environment where what was an optional, low-utilization tool suddenly becomes a critical high-utilization tool. Such is the case for the practice of audiology and telehealth, especially regarding the remote assessment and programming of hearing devices.”

Virtualization is fast-approaching and not just because of the pandemic; it will enhance and modernize the way hearing professionals do business.

Face-To-Face Appointments Can Still Happen, But Virtual Options Streamline Your Business

The point of this article isn’t to convince you that all in-person appointments are no longer a possibility; this article is meant to educate you on the possibilities that come from virtualization.

While adopting telehealth has been slow due to these reimbursement concerns, there is change happening. Recent policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced barriers to telehealth access and have promoted the use of telehealth as a way to deliver acute, chronic, primary and specialty care. [2]

It is imperative to recognize when there are opportunities for face-to-face time or telehealth and that spending some time addressing the digital literacy gap will only help patients become more effective users of the technology necessary to access care remotely.

There is no doubt that audiology private practices can thrive with more virtualization, but it is up to you to adapt and embrace the changes.


[1]Annette M Totten 1Dana M Womack 1Karen B Eden 1Marian S McDonagh 1Jessica C Griffin 1Sara Grusing 1William R Hersh 1 Telehealth: Mapping the Evidence for Patient Outcomes From Systematic Reviews (2016). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27536752/

[2] Using Telehealth to Expand Access to Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic (June 10, 2020). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/telehealth.html

Everything we “unlearned” in 2020

Guiding Principles for Digital Marketing in 2021

What did you learn in 2020? If you followed some of the trends inspired by life during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have learned how to bake banana bread or sew fabric face coverings. When it comes to your business, you might have learned how to conduct virtual audiology appointments or use e-commerce.

While you might have learned a lot in 2020, you probably also had to “unlearn” a few things when it came to business. This might apply to how you communicate with your patients, how you sell to your customers, how you attract new patients, and how you keep your patients. If 2020 taught us anything, it was that we cannot predict the future. Keeping that in mind, here are a few guiding principles for your business in 2021:

  • Selling does not look like it used to.

Before the pandemic hit, you had a system for how you sold services and products to your customers. You could predict much of your clients’ purchasing behavior. Then everything changed. You might have stopped conducting in-office appointments for time, or at least you limited them. Many clients changed their behavior, preferring to do their appointments and their purchasing online.

In 2021, this will not change. Many people will likely continue to limit how much they go out into public spaces, even as vaccines are administered. For some of them, it is an issue of health risk. For others, they discovered new ways of doing things that they actually like, such as e-commerce purchases and virtual audiology appointments. You will need to cater to these clients in order to obtain and keep their business.

  • You will probably need to change your tactics (again).

Now is the time to evaluate all of your tactics and see how well they work in today’s world. Check everything—your marketing emails, your appointment reminders, your website and its offerings, your e-commerce options, your mobile pages, etc. Make sure everything makes sense for the “new normal” we are living in and caters to your clients’ current needs and preferences.

Keep in mind that nothing is set for 2021. Changing your tactics now to accommodate what works today (as opposed to what worked before 2020) does not mean you won’t need to change your practices again.

  • Data is shifting.

If you previously had data on your target market, it is now outdated. You will need to continue to gather new data for how patients find your practice, how they interact with you, how they use your website, and much more. Data will continue to be in flux this year, so monitor your data regularly and adjust your business and marketing practices accordingly.

We learned a lot in 2020 about how quickly business practices and consumer behavior can change. 2021 promises to be a year of learning and growth as well. To learn more about how to navigate today’s business world and help your audiology practice grow, please contact us at AudiologyPlus today. We are prepared to help your business succeed, no matter what this year brings.

Reasons for Optimism in 2021

Reasons for Optimism in Audiology in 2021

As we begin 2021, you may be thinking that this year feels oddly similar to last year. Many people had hopes that 2021 would be completely different from 2020—free from the worries caused by a global pandemic and other far-reaching events. Although January 1, 2021, was not a magic date that ended all of the challenges, difficulties, or stress that began in 2020, there are many reasons to be optimistic in this new year.

2021 may indeed bear some similarities to 2020, such as adapted ways of doing business and living your day-to-day life thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, audiology leaders foresee a bright year in which audiology professionals around the world will continue to provide high-quality, personalized care to their patients. Here are a few reasons you can feel optimistic in 2021:

  • Greater access to hearing healthcare through telemedicine

One of the first challenges that arose at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was how to care for your patients when it was a potential health risk to you, your team, and your patients to see them in person. A huge portion of audiology professionals rose to the occasion by adopting new technology that makes telemedicine not only possible, but a convenient, safe, and simple choice for providing your patients with personalized care.

While in-person visits will never be obsolete, telemedicine gives you a way to care for patients who cannot come to your office for any reason.

  • Highlighted importance of hearing health

Many areas of the country and the world have experienced lockdowns. In these times, when people had very limited contact with anyone outside of their household, it quickly became apparent how important hearing is. With more and more people turning to technology like video calls, making sure you can hear those you are speaking to is essential. This highlighted to many people that they had been neglecting their hearing health and encouraged them to seek the professional care they needed.

This trend will continue in 2021 as video calls and other technologies remain the norm for conducting business, attending school, reaching family members, and more.

  • Decreasing the stigma surrounding hearing aids

With more and more people realizing that they would benefit from hearing aids or other types of hearing health care, the stigma surrounding these devices is fading quickly. Hearing aids are continually being made smaller, more discreet, and easier to use, and people find them easier to accept in their lives. As hearing aids become increasingly acceptable to the consumer, more people will feel comfortable seeking the hearing healthcare they need.

  • Increased collaboration with other healthcare providers

It would be a great understatement to say that the healthcare industry was under stress in 2020. Challenges arose that most health professionals had never experienced before. The response, however, was one that impressed the world. In 2020, audiology professionals began collaborating with other healthcare professionals in unique ways. This will continue to grow in 2021, with ever-expanding opportunities to move the industry forward and better deal with new challenges.

  • Growing patient control over hearing devices

Hearing healthcare technology has improved immensely in recent years, and it is not slowing down now. One of the greatest innovations seen in 2020 was that more patients were able to adjust their own hearing devices through their smartphone or computer. Giving patients more control over their devices allows them to make the necessary adjustments without the need for an in-office visit. While 2021 may bring its own challenges, and you may still be working through some difficulties that began in 2020, there is no doubt that this year is full of new opportunities. To learn more about how to continue to grow your business in 2021, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

Social Media - How Important Is It To Your Business

Social Media: How Important Is It To Your Business?

You have probably arrived at this article (welcome!) because you are wondering if social media is really THAT important for hearing professionals. Some questions you may ask yourself include:

Why is Social Media Marketing so important for my Hearing Clinic? 

If I do it myself, am I sharing the right content? 

If I pay someone to do it, are they sharing the right content?   

Why is original content better than 3rd party content? 

Can I have a platform that allows for both professional management and allows for me to share content as well? 

With so many questions, you may be unsure if you are doing the right thing. Let’s review the basics and make sure you are investing the appropriate time and resources into your social media strategy. 

Social Media for Hearing Professionals 

Social Media is the reason many businesses, including audiology and hearing clinics, have seen such rapid growth. Here is why:  

  • Overall, about 49% of the world’s population has a social media account. That’s 3.8 BILLION users across the globe. (Source: Emarsys) 
  • Broken down, that number is approximately 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers use social media in some form. (Source: eMarketer) 
  • Also, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products and services before they buy. (Source: GlobalWebIndex) 

Products and services are exactly what we as hearing professionals are providing. How many times have you had to explain why the $199 amplifier advertised on TV or Facebook is different from what you are providing? Sometimes, the ad on Facebook will reflect some negative comments about said product. In the same way, you can be generating positive comments. 

A few years back, we could do some cold calling, send some direct mail advertising, and maybe even some emails and the leads would come pouring into our clinics. Not anymore. Conventional marketing methods are not only no longer effective, and even pay-per-click advertising can be so expensive that the return on investment isn’t worth it! 

Social Media – A Place For Business To Grow 

The likelihood that a consumer will recommend a brand (or provider) on social media to others after having a positive experience is about 71%. (Source: Ambassador) However, we need to ask for it and provide a place for them to leave the reviews and comments. It makes sense, if people are going to voice a concern or a compliment, they want to do it where they’ll be heard, and get a response.  

Social media is the first place people go to voice their opinion, good or bad. And the effort you make on social media could make or break your reputation online. 

Social media is also an ideal place to enhance your content marketing; content marketing is more important than ever. A few great articles, carefully (with professional SEO) shared over social media platforms, inform, and add value. They help build trust and add value to the products and services YOU are providing. So, you can take the opportunity to post information on social media that shows potential patients what makes you unique. This is a chance for you to connect with your audience. 

The Bottom Line 

How easy is it for people to find your business online? If you are relying completely on your website, it’s very difficult. And what about your name? Does a search provide the correct results? You may think that has nothing to do with social media, and it can all be very confusing, but it all ties together. 

It is very important for you to have a simple way to access and track this data (preferably all in one place). You don’t have time to be searching through emails and reading reports. You should be able to see what is going to be posted to your social media accounts, add to it, and monitor it, or leave it alone and know that it is doing exactly what it is designed to do – engage your current clients and customers, all while driving more clients and customers in your door. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with this: 

“Add up everything you spend monthly on traditional marketing and digital ads. Now look at that number and realize that you could have reached at least a 100X more potential customers through strategic social media marketing. 

Let that sink in. 

It’s true that most of those views and interactions wouldn’t actually translate into leads, but it’s the same with the conventional methods – not every phone call turns into a warm lead, nor does an ad read signify a sale. Spend your marketing dollars where they count. Right now, they count on social media platforms.” – quote from assetdigital.com. 

Renee Shumaker, MA-A

Sources: 

https://www.zendesk.com/blog/customer-service-through-social-media/

https://assetdigitalcom.com/social-media-and-small-business-latest-statistics-2020/

https://www.audiologyonline.com/ask-the-experts/social-media-important-for-marketing-13184