Although running a business can be incredibly complex, it all comes down to one thing: giving your customers what they want. So, what do your patients want? Although the main purpose of your business (to provide excellent hearing healthcare) remains the same, the answer to what your patients want does not stay the same through the years.
In fact, the answer shifts constantly. In the last year, the way we all live daily life has changed, and with it, what your patients want and how they want it has changed. Right now, consumers want it “their way.” Here are three things your patients want now and how you can give it to them their way:
- An easy-to-access provider
Although telehealth has existed for several years, many patients did not take advantage of it until they were forced to during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Once they got their first taste of telehealth, many patients preferred it to in-person visits. Telehealth has many advantages, such as eliminating the need to travel to and from the practice and removing the potential health risks of being in an office with other people. Virtual appointments are often easier to fit into your patients’ busy schedules.
Because telehealth appointments also cut down on the time your team spends in the office (no need for patient check-in or cleaning a room in between patients), they can also optimize your team’s time. Offering telehealth and virtual audiology can be a huge step forward in giving your patients an easy-to-access provider.
- Digital communication and updates
The key right now is to change, and one of those changes is to offer digital communication and updates for your patients. Gone are the days of calling them on the phone every time you need to remind them of an appointment, reschedule, give them an update on a device purchase or repair, or provide treatment updates. Most patients prefer digital communication that easily fits into their busy, digitally driven lives.
Here’s a personal example from the life of this writer: I had appointments in the last month with my dentist, my primary care physician, and my child’s pediatrician. Of the three medical practices, only one of them called me to remind me of the upcoming appointment. The other two sent me texts and emails to remind me of the appointments. As a busy working parent, reading a text or email is much easier and faster for me than answering a phone call to simply confirm an appointment. (I also received a “happy birthday” email from one of the practices. That’s a nice personal touch!)
- Management tools for their health
Patients are now seeking ways to more actively manage their health using tools like health tracking apps and hardware. This includes tools for their hearing health. Many people with hearing aids now like to use apps that can adjust their hearing aids and notify them of any new issues.
As technology continues to advance, more and more tools will become available for patients to manage their hearing health. There are already apps being released that can help you hear better in noise, personalize your sound experience, and more. Companies are also developing sound devices that are not hearing aids, but are rather earbuds or headphones that correct audio for hearing loss. To continue to meet your patients’ needs, you will need to stay current with the latest developments and tools that can help your patients manage their health. As you adjust your services to meet give your patients what they want “their way,” your practice can continue to grow and flourish. To learn more, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.