ecommerce is a must for audiologists

E-Commerce Is a MUST for Hearing Health Professionals

What do you think of when you consider e-commerce? Your first thought is probably of e-commerce giants like Amazon. However, e-commerce is an important business opportunity not only for sites like Amazon, Walmart.com, and Target.com, but also for hearing health professionals like you. In fact, e-commerce should not be regarded as simply a good opportunity for hearing health professionals—it should be seen as a MUST.

E-commerce provides endless opportunities to your hearing health practice that you cannot afford to miss out on. Here are only a few of the reasons you should invest in e-commerce:

  • No need to refer elsewhere, which increases patient satisfaction.

Referrals are a normal part of healthcare. Dentists, medical doctors, and of course, hearing health professionals—all of them use referrals. But what if you could reduce the volume of referrals you give?

First, you would be keeping more business for yourself. By offering e-commerce products at your practice, you can increase your revenue by selling products you previously did not offer. Second, your patients will appreciate being able to meet more of their needs in one place, without the need to go elsewhere. Not only will this boost patient satisfaction, but it can also increase patient loyalty to your practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that customer loyalty is increasingly associated with online purchases—if you can make the experience personalized and streamlined.

  • Your patients already trust you, so allow them to trust you for their purchases, too.

Your patients come to see you for their audiology needs because they trust you as a healthcare provider. You likely know from your own experiences that finding a healthcare provider you trust is not always easy. So, since your patients already trust you, they would prefer to be able to feel that same sense of trust when they make their hearing health-related purchases.

Because you, as their hearing health professional, already know their specific hearing health needs and preferences, you can also personalize the e-commerce experience to them. Enabling your patients to buy directly from you will increase their sense of trust and satisfaction.

  • Prepare for over-the-counter hearing aids.

You are already aware that over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids will soon be available. This means that patients will not need to see a hearing health professional, like you, in order to purchase hearing aids. Do not wait until OTC hearing aids are available to begin reacting to this change—start preparing now!

Establishing yourself as a leader in your area in both hearing healthcare and e-commerce can set your practice apart when it comes to consumers’ options for purchasing hearing aids. To do this, you need to offer the products your patients need and demonstrate the value of your professional care. Show your patients that not only will you provide the products they want via e-commerce, but you will ensure the proper fitting and adjustment, which they will not receive with OTC devices.

To learn more about the importance of e-commerce in hearing healthcare and how you can get ahead in this essential field, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are eager to help your practice succeed.

Man contemplating information on computer - Shift in consumer behavior due to Covid-19

The Pandemic Forced a Shift in Consumer Behavior

As a business owner, you know that due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, it has not been “business as usual” for nearly a year. With widespread lockdowns across the world, consumers and businesses alike have had to increasingly turn to digital solutions. This can be seen in lifestyle shifts like increased usage of meal delivery and grocery pick-up services. While these particular changes might seem small, the truth is that the shift to digital business models has been revolutionary for companies worldwide.

While businesses around the planet have scrambled to adjust their business models and find solutions that work for today’s reality, one form of marketing has proven time and again to be both efficient and measurable: search engine optimization (SEO). Both Google and SEO grew immensely during the last financial crisis. Here are just a few reasons why SEO is indispensable in the age of COVID-19 and beyond:

  • SEO reflects the voice of the customer.

If you track and measure the searches that bring visitors to your website, you will see which search terms and phrases are being used most often and how well your website answers those queries. This gives you valuable insight into what your customers are looking for. Put simply, they search for what they need.

For example, if you notice that searches are increasing for how to fix a damaged hearing aid, or how to adjust a hearing aid’s volume, you can take this as a cue to play up these services and highlight them both on your website and in your practice. Few other forms of marketing provide you such a direct glimpse into the voice, needs, and desires of your target market.

  • It is cost-effective.

While some people might think that SEO is completely free, it often is not. For maximum optimization for your hearing healthcare website, you will likely need to work with a professional who knows all of the ins and outs of SEO for fields like audiology. Certain search marketing tactics cost as well, such as Google Ads. But while SEO might not be totally free, it is cost-effective. When done right, SEO can give you a huge return on a relatively small investment.

  • SEO is constantly evolving.

Yes, this is a pro, not a con! The world of SEO is always growing and shifting to better meet the needs of consumers. Of course, this means that you cannot have SEO “done” for your website just once and then leave it be for years. SEO is fluid and, as noted, responds to the voice of the consumer.

These constant shifts allow for greater opportunities. New technology, like artificial intelligence (AI), is moving into SEO to give better responses to customers’ queries. Because SEO will always respond to consumers, you will have frequent opportunities to sharpen your blade and make changes to your website and optimization efforts in order to gain new customers. For more information about the recent shift in consumer behavior and business marketing, and how you can take advantage of these changes to grow your hearing practice, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

Responsive design & virtual options for audiologists

The Necessity of Responsive Design & Virtual Options

As a hearing professional, you have a lot on your plate—especially now. Of course, your top priority is still to provide the best possible care for your patients. You are also likely looking to grow your practice and attract new patients. As the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues and people continue to learn how to navigate the new “normal,” your strategies for finding and serving patients may be a bit different from the tactics that worked in the past.

One of the most obvious changes is that virtual options are now more important than ever before. In fact, they are not only important; they are crucial. These virtual options to offer your patients may include a website for your practice, social media pages, and online reviews. You may be focusing more on finding new patients online through targeted ads. And perhaps most important for your patients, you may be offering telehealth and eCommerce options that allow them to receive the care, services, and products they need from their home.

When considering virtual options, it can be all too easy to look at design as an added expense. However, you should consider it an investment in your practice and your patients. With many people limiting their contact with others—particularly if you serve high-risk communities like the elderly—your business is not the only one stepping up their game online. The truth is that customers have multiple options, so you need to make yours the best one.

One way to help your practice come out on top is to invest in the design of your website. Patients prefer options that are sleek, modern, and accessible. If your website is outdated, difficult to navigate, or does not function properly on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, you may lose potential patients before they even get to know who you are and what you offer.

The key is a responsive website—which means that your website design and formatting responds to the device the website visitor is using, whether it is a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This ensures that your website functions optimally, no matter how the potential patient accesses it. Responsive websites can also make sure that the most important information, including your phone number, location, and other contact methods, are presented prominently and clearly.

Once you have a responsive website, along with other virtual options like telehealth and eCommerce, is your work done? No! To ensure that you continue to bring your patients the best possible online experience, you need to continually reevaluate your online offerings and their performance. Do patients tend to spend a long time on certain pages? If so, make more like them! Do they hit the “back” button quickly on other pages? That page might not be presented optimally. Continue to make certain that it is easy for patients to access telehealth appointments and your eCommerce offerings. And of course, website design trends change every few years as well, so you cannot rest on your laurels for too long.

In a time when virtual options are essential, you can continue to grow your practice by prioritizing your online presence and offerings. At AudiolgyPlus, we are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive, streamlined services that make it easy for you to upgrade your practice’s virtual options. To learn more about what we offer and how our services can help your business grow, we invite you to contact us today.

professional gives speech to group

7 Free Marketing Ideas for Your Hearing Practice

Considering that over 48 million Americans would benefit from the use of hearing aids, it can be surprising to learn that hearing practices often struggle with marketing their services. Indeed, marketing an audiology business or hearing aid center is anything but easy. And with over-the-counter hearing aids fast approaching, the challenge hearing practices face will only continue.
The good news is that small businesses like hearing practices have more options than ever when it comes to cost-effective marketing. From the incredible versatility that digital marketing offers, to the many ways to reach people for free, there are several avenues for promoting your services to those who need them most.
To make this easy, we’ve compiled 7 free audiology marketing ideas that you can apply in your office no matter what kind of hearing services you provide. All of these ideas have one thing in common: to reach the people who need hearing care and let them know how you can help. Because the truth is, healthy hearing changes lives. And it’s up to you to show people what’s possible.
Elevator Pitch
Every hearing professional needs a 1-minute elevator pitch ready and waiting. Ideally, you market yourself everywhere you go. In line at the grocery store. At your aunt’s birthday party. Your best friend’s wedding. And everywhere else.
Don’t worry — this doesn’t mean you have to bring up hearing loss wherever you go. But it does mean you’re always on the lookout for a chance to mention how modern hearing technology is transforming people’s lives and the relationships they cherish. Breaking the stigma around hearing loss means people like you find ways to talk about it more. And getting more patients in your office means raising awareness about what modern hearing aids can offer.
Community Outreach
Sharing your knowledge in-person with your patients is a powerful way to overcome resistance to hearing treatment. Misconceptions and stubborn hesitance often melts away when you’re able to address questions and concerns directly.
For this reason, speaking to groups is often a very effective way to bring new patients in. Consider offering a free hearing screening and informational talk at local senior centers, nursing homes, and even company gatherings for relevant industries (i.e. construction, auto shops, arborists, etc). Come prepared to answer common questions and try offering a limited-time offer to encourage people to visit you before the impact of your talk fades over time.
Referral Network
If you have yet to reach out to professionals in your community, you could be missing out on a significant source of patient referrals for your practice. Consider reaching out to other professionals who work with your target population and letting them know what services you provide, along with the kind of success you have with your patients. Including testimonials or actual patient statistics from your office can be a persuasive way to become a reference for professionals who don’t know you. Dropping off this information in person can also be helpful.
Not sure who to reach out to? Begin with those professionals who interact with your target market enough that they might recognize an untreated hearing problem. Consider doctors (especially those with a specialty in geriatrics), any other health professionals (i.e. therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapist) who work with older patients, physical trainers at gyms or tennis clubs where retired populations frequent, and hearing screeners at schools if you work with pediatric hearing loss.
Open House
For the most direct marketing opportunity, schedule an Open House event at your office. Invite the public to visit your office, get a free hearing screening, and try on hearing aids. Put flyers around your community and spread the word for free online through social media. You could even schedule this in October, as an “National Protect Your Hearing Month” event. To make it even more appealing, consider offering limited-time discounts for those who come in.
Write Everywhere
Although marketing is your focus, spreading awareness of hearing health is your effect. And you can do this everywhere, through conversation or through writing. We’ve already emphasized the importance of having an active blog on your website, and the power that guest posting can have on your visibility online.
Now consider reaching out to local publications where you could offer valuable information about hearing health. A free publication for seniors is common in many cities, as well as free health-oriented magazines. Check your nearby senior center or library to discover the kinds of small, free publications available in your area, and then reach out to them to pitch a few ideas of topics you’d be willing to write about for an upcoming issue.
Special Offers
Consumer behavior has been evolving for decades, but one trend has remained strong from its inception: discounts. The power of a limited-time offer of cost-savings is not to be underestimated, even if the offer is not very steep. Even offering a “free hearing aid trial” can be enough to bring those in who might otherwise be putting off caring for their hearing needs.
Stay Connected
Across every healthcare sector, one rule remains true: it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep patients you already have than it is to recruit new ones. Despite this, few hearing professionals make the extra effort to nurture their current patient base with regular communications beyond the typical “It’s time for a check-up” notifications.
You can easily keep your services top-of-mind for patients by sending out a monthly email newsletter. Include a short review of a hearing topic of interest, or just link over to your most recent blog posts, to offer value in each communication you send out. Mention any news coming from your office (i.e. new staff members, upcoming events, etc) to help your patients feel connected to you and your practice.
Marketing doesn’t have to be hard work. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. With the right mindset and a focus on sharing the results you provide, it quickly becomes a task of simply getting your message in front of the right people at the right time.
We specialize in maximizing our clients’ marketing potential, and we do this through digital marketing. Your potential patients are online, and targeting them is easier (and less costly) than ever before. Contact us to learn how digital marketing can meet your budget and your needs.