Practice Management Tips - An Interview with Andre Riley
The following content is an interview conducted with DoctorLogic’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Andre Riley. This content was used in an article published in The Aesthetic Guide Magazine. See the full article here.
What are some of the top-level, “mega trends” in practice management / practice marketing for aesthetic practices?
Today, people are very quick to jump on the latest marketing trends, but because best practices change nearly every day, it can be overwhelming and exhausting for a business owner. Take a step back and recall that marketing only exists because of the services and products you provide - that part hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. When you put a focus on your service, everything else falls into line. Place an emphasis on your technique first, then surround yourself with friendly, intelligent people and your story becomes easy to tell.
Andre Riley, Chief Revenue Officer
For over 10 years, Andre has been helping small & medium-sized businesses grow their revenue through online marketing.
How can successful practices stay current in best practices in both business and marketing areas?
One of my favorite techniques is to follow industry experts online. Chances are, they are already sharing many of the links they read and found valuable, so you can then passively gain from the research hours they have invested, rather than digging for news yourself.
If you are interested in discovering new things yourself, try using subject-based reader applications. Apps like Feedly and Nuzzel for your phone, among others, are great aggregators of articles. These apps allow you to follow subjects you might be interested in, like digital marketing or customer service. Every day, these apps will give you the best articles across the internet. I spend a few minutes in the morning with a cup of coffee reading Feedly to stay up-to-date.
In what ways has staffing become a major concern in these practices?
Often, we hear that acquiring new personnel is one of the hardest challenges for practice owners. “How can I find someone to work our social media page? Who is friendly enough on the phone, but knows how to say no?” When searching for new people, hire for talent, not for specific skills. Natural problem solvers might have never used your EMR system before, but will likely figure it out to help them do their job. It’s more important to look for those who are willing to learn what it takes to get the job done.
In what ways has the Internet and the “more informed consumer” put pressure on the aesthetic practice to develop an online presence across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)?
The most important thing to do is to keep your customer in mind. We all know the Internet has made information a commodity and it only takes a few clicks for someone to find you, no matter what social media platform they are using. Realize that customers will want to shop in the way they are used to and they want to do research before contacting your practice.
Knowing customers want to shop before contacting you actually works to your advantage. When developing an online strategy in today’s landscape, realize the audience on each platform is different. Facebook is great for re-engaging your existing customer base (fans) with specials or other promotions. Instagram is best for showcasing the culture of your team, quality of your work, and to show you are trustworthy. Twitter is best for sharing articles and other industry trends.
More importantly, make sure your website also contains relevant information about the procedures you perform and direct customers to your contact information. This might mean linking to your contact form or it could mean placing a phone number in your social profiles.
In what ways do your services help practices achieve their management/marketing goals?
We think of DoctorLogic as a tool you can use to amplify all the hard work you’ve already invested in your practice. Our software takes your past work, your patient reviews, your experience, your locations, and much more to make your practice discoverable online. We do this by intelligently combining everything together into thousands of keywords and targeting customers at all stages of the buying cycle. We deliver your work in an organized way so consumers can be easily informed and we use deep customer research to influence them to conversion when they contact your practice.
Most importantly, DoctorLogic gives our customers the freedom to know their practice will stay up-to-date with all online standards. This includes making changes to keep up with Google best practices and adding free technology upgrades to stay relevant for your patient’s online experience.
How can practices better utilize online / social media and other new media for patient recruitment and retention?
We think your website should be the homebase for all your marketing efforts - whether that be getting new customers or keeping existing ones engaged. Your website should make you discoverable for new people (patients looking for a particular service in your area), which can be supplemented with paid advertisements (print, radio, tv, etc.). Your website should inform the patient about the procedures they are interested in and it should sell this procedure by showing off how well you’ve done it before using patient reviews and photo galleries. Your website should make it easy for people to contact you. From there, use other channels like social media as auxiliary means of directing business back to your practice. Social media sites are perfect for re-engaging your current customer base, but efforts here will not open your doors to people who don’t already know your name.
With Yelp/Realself/Google+ reviews being so abundant, how should practices deal with reputation issues?
Online negative reviews usually occur because the patient did not have an opportunity to share their feedback with a practice privately. Never underestimate the power of a simple follow-up phone call. Asking a patient for feedback privately can go a long way to limiting your practice’s exposure to reputation issues. Make it clear to the patient that you want their feedback both good and bad because your practice genuinely wants to improve.
If reputation issues do occur, it’s always best to hire someone who specializes in handling reputation repair. A simple response could put the practice in legal trouble or exacerbate the situation further.
Manage your patient reviews easily with the DoctorLogic Review Tool. Learn more here.
How valuable is creating online videos when growing / maintaining a practice?
Video is becoming a more popular medium for consuming information. While I still would much rather read a page, more people find it easier to watch a video instead. For growing your practice, realize that you are missing out on a significant portion of your potential customer base if you neglect to create video content.
Videos are often thought to be expensive and cumbersome to produce, but many of the most effective videos are filmed on an iPhone and uploaded directly to YouTube. Just like when blogging first became popular, some failed to get started out of fear that their posts wouldn’t be perfect, but you are better off getting any kind of video out on to the web than holding back.
Is there anything you would like to add?
You worked hard to get where you are. We believe doctors should focus on treating their patients and changing lives. It’s important to stay current, but like any business, you should evaluate if the amount of time you are spending to keep up with marketing trends is worth it. It may best for you to partner with a company who will take care of marketing for you and let you focus on being a doctor. Countless doctors tell me how they were being charged outrageous fees for website updates, like making their website responsive. I believe as a marketing company, it’s our responsibility to keep you up-to-date with the best practices and standards in online marketing. Find a partner you can trust: one that has your best interests at heart, wants to help you save money, and most importantly save time.