We all want to drive more profit into our industry whilst still being able to provide that high quality service to our patients.
However…I’m NOT an expert in your field, but that’s just it, I don’t have to be the expert in your field, because YOU’RE the expert in your field.
And that’s why we’re such a great match, as I have something you don’t… an outsider’s perspective.
In this article I’m going to uncover a couple of details that most people overlook within their private practice that are counterintuitive to their revenue; a couple of details that, should you pay attention to, could see you override your peers by quite some length.
As I’ve stated above, I’m not like you, I’m an outsider.
- I’ve never dispensed a hearing aid
- I probably couldn’t replace an earmold
- And I’ve never had to deal with any patients.
To many people (including a fair few people in industry Facebook groups, to my recent discovery), this disqualifies me to any form of opinion.
Yet here’s the superpower that I have, and you don’t…
It’s being able to look at this industry from an outsider’s perspective yet have enough insider’s perspective to make observations…
…and I have two observations that I want to share with you today.
Both of these are things that you see as completely normal within the industry, but from the outside, they are far from normal and somewhat illogical.
Best of all, by repositioning some of these, I hope that you see some untapped profits that you’re currently missing out on (because it’s the way “it’s always been done”).
It will make sense as we go, so let’s jump in.
#1 – Weird Charges/Discounts/Prices
Let’s be honest, the way that many of us have traditionally priced our hearing aids/packages is by taking a combination of what the manufacturer has told us, how our last job used to price, and what our competitors are doing.
It means that clinics sometimes have some very weird and illogical prices, charges, and discounts that they see as completely normal.
Let me give you some examples.
I recently reviewed a clinic’s pricing, and they had a small asterisk at the bottom of their pricing sheets that stated that the patient would receive a $200 discount if they paid for their devices upfront.
They had been doing this for the past five years, and it has always been seen as “normal.”
Yet, it’s totally illogical.
First of all, giving a discount to somebody for paying upfront gives the impression that most people don’t pay upfront and that doing so is weird; it causes needless friction.
Second of all, can you think of another industry that rewards people for paying upfront? If your dentist gave you a savings for paying upfront, you’d consider it weird. So, why do we do it?
Worst of all, in this example, this asterisk was tiny, so patients had already seen the price, made a decision to commit, and then they were told about the $200 savings.
When we broke it down and delved into this further, we calculated that it had meant that this clinic has been losing out on $200 per transaction for the past five years – some quick math later – and it added up to over $500,000 of lost revenue (and essentially, pure profit). It’s now been removed, and guess what…?
…It’s made no difference to the close rate, yet it has increased their average transaction fee by $200.
Another great example is not charging an increased fee for custom hearing aids.
Many clinics charge the exact same price for customs as they do for the off-the-shelf option, and with my outside hat on, I find this baffling.
Imagine buying a custom version of something in any other situation in your life. You’d expect to pay extra, right?
Want your car to be customized? Pay extra.
Want your clothing to be customized? Pay extra.
Want your jewelry to be engraved/customized? Pay extra.
Yet in the case of hearing, custom is often the same price.
From a patient’s perspective, I believe it’s more surprising when a custom version isn’t an extra charge.
These simple changes are a smart way to get paid extra for the additional work/organization. It’s free money if you accept it.
#2 – Believing the Patient Understands What They Need
Here’s another one I commonly see.
Given how engrossed we naturally are in the industry, it’s easy to believe that the average person understands things that we consider to be obvious.
Honestly, I believe if you asked most people in the street what “audiology” was – they’d tell you it was digging up dinosaur bones.
Yet I’m seeing a growing number of websites (intelligently) offering the option for patients to self-schedule their appointments through in-built schedulers on their website.
The problem with this is that they ask the patient to select the type of appointment that they want to schedule with 5+ different options.
They include options such as:
- Hearing Aid Evaluation
- Hearing Assessment
- Hearing Screening
- Consultation and Second Opinion
- Hearing Aid Service
To you and me, this all makes sense, and we understand the differences.
However, to somebody that isn’t engrossed in our industry, it’s likely to confuse them.
It’s the equivalent to scheduling your car for a service and being presented with options such as:
- Oil change
- Tire rotation
- Brake inspection
- Fluid checks
- Air filter replacement
- Battery check
- Belt and hose inspection
- Suspension and steering check
- Exhaust system check
- Spark plug replacement
We don’t have a clue what we need, right? That’s why we’re visiting the car garage.
It’s the same with your clinic, so, if it’s not too blatantly obvious to say, please ensure all your communication to new patients is focused on simplification.
Remove Those Glasses
Please note, none of this is your fault.
I’m also guilty of this in the world of marketing; I end up saying acronyms with a belief that everybody understands them.
I know I’m being a pain in the arse, and even polarizing some people with this, but it’s all with intention, it’s to help you to see an outsider’s perspective and empower you to make changes that will put more money in your pocket.
The more you can look at your clinic from an outsider’s perspective, the more you’ll see the areas of growth/opportunity.