Alright, let’s do a quick check-in. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and Canada in March 2020. Now, over a year and a half later, things have still not fully returned to “normal.” With the possibility of more virus variants in the future, it is difficult to know when things will go back to normal.
However, according to a new survey, many consumers don’t want to go back to normal when it comes to how they interact with companies. As much as we might all long for the “normal” life that existed before March 2020, the old normal is gone. Truth be told, many pandemic-driven changes are even better than the old normal! Those are changes that consumers want to see stay for the long run. In the “new normal,” the name of the game is making things easier, more convenient, and more accessible for your customers.
Do you remember the days when you had to actually go to a store, in person, to buy something you wanted? While e-commerce existed before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, companies have seen a huge shift to e-commerce in the last year. During lockdowns, in which many retail stores and other companies were closed to in-person business, consumers simply had no other choice than to use e-commerce for any necessary purchases. Now that most areas of the world have opened up to in-person business again, however, many consumers find that they prefer e-commerce.
The e-commerce trend is not restricted to retail stores. The audiology field (and other healthcare fields) can also benefit from the growing e-commerce trend. E-commerce enables you to serve more people, provide them with more convenient options, and bring in greater revenue.
It is no secret that virtual meeting and event platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Team saw a huge boom in use in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. While people may no longer be holding Zoom parties or game nights, these platforms (and others like them) are still being used to conduct business. Thanks to the increased usage over the last year and a half, virtual meeting and event technology has improved and been refined for a smooth and simple user experience.
Although many companies are now conducting in-person business once again, consumers are not remotely ready to give up the convenience and accessibility of virtual events and meetings. Take advantage of this by offering telehealth for your patients. All of your meetings, from your initial meeting with a new patient to their routine appointments, consults, and follow-ups, can all take place virtually. Patients love telehealth because it eliminates the need for a commute to and from your office, saves them time, and makes it easy to access the professional care they need. And for your part, it saves time for you and your team, too.
Patients not only want their appointments to be virtual, but they want their communication to be virtual as well. In the past, you might have called your patients or sent them newsletters to update them on your business. Today, however, consumers want everything to be virtual. It’s simply easier! Improving virtual accessibility can include digital communication with your patients (via email, SMS, and social media platforms), virtual updates on your business, and virtual follow-up for their appointments and treatments.
Life will never fully return to the “normal” we knew before the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not have to be a bad thing. For example, 43 percent of consumers said they switched to digital interactions with companies (such as e-commerce, virtual events, and virtual accessibility) due to greater convenience and availability, not because of the pandemic itself. Now is the time to take advantage of this trend and offer the convenient, streamlined digital services your patients want.
To learn more about how to seize the opportunity to give your patients what they want in the post-pandemic world, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.