Things are different.
And as many of us come up to take a breath after months of stress, difficult decisions, and tireless working hours to get through the challenges that were presented by COVID-19, we find ourselves in somewhat of a new world.
- Businesses of all types have had to redevelop their offerings.
- The way they interact with customers has had to change.
- And they’ve had to explore new ways to support customers remotely.
But most importantly …
… the past 4 months have showed many people – especially older generations – that there is a new way to do things through utilizing technology.
A recent report by the US National Library of Medicine shared how COVID-19 has impacted consumer behavior, with embracing digital technology being one of the key changes on society.
“Out of sheer necessity, consumers have adopted several new technologies and their applications. This has dramatically changed the nature and scope of word of mouth advices and recommendations as well as sharing information. Impact of digital technology in general and social media in particular on consumer behavior is massive in scale and pervasive in consumer’s daily life.”
The question is, will the older generations quickly go back to old habits or has this period of relying so heavily on technology to communicate, buy, and research changed their behaviors for good.
Only time will tell.
But one thing is important …
If your business’s online presence and website still represents who you were in the “old world” before COVID-19 – then you run a large risk of not being relevant in today’s world.
In this article, I share six important changes that you need to make to your website to ensure you’re relevant in today’s world.
This has been one of our key focuses with our “Inner Circle” members with the introduction of new models, new value propositions, and new revenue streams.
#1 – Your Safety Protocols/Procedures
This is the most obvious thing that you need, and this was one of the first things that many hearing care clinics rushed to put into place.
The important thing to understand is that this will be in place for the foreseeable future, and this should evolve to share your most updated protocols/procedures at all times, no matter what the future looks like.
The way that we have done this with “Inner Circle” members is to share all COVID-19 protocols/procedures as part of a time-stamped blog.
There is then a banner on the homepage of the website that links through to the most recent set of protocols. This ensures that you’re able to keep your policies up to date in a way that is evergreen and doesn’t require complicated web design every time you want to make the smallest of changes.
#2 – Introducing Teleaudiology
I’ve seen that many hearing care clinics openly share that they offer this when speaking to them, but their website has no reference to this in any way.
The truth is, teleaudiology is going to be a part of the way that you care for patients going forward, and is going to become an expectation of patients in the future.
Ensuring you build the appropriate web assets into place today will ensure that you’re future-proofed, speaking to today’s market, and have an offering that is highly attractive to the younger demographics that would prefer a more technology-focused remote way of receiving care.
For our “Inner Circle” members, there were four steps to building a strong teleaudiology offering into their web presence.
The first was developing a page that introduced this service, explaining who it’s for and how it works, with a clear call-to-action to allow people to schedule an initial consultation online.
The second was to build this as their key messaging on their homepage and “why us” page to add it to the list of ways that they are different and better than their competitors.
Third was to document the launch of teleaudiology through a time-stamped article/blog, as well as a series of social media posts explaining how it works and how patients can schedule.
Finally, a press release was created and shared with local journalists to share how they have come up with an innovative way to continue to care for patients during the challenging times posed upon on them.
These four combined steps raised local awareness, strengthened their value proposition, and ensured that if COVID-19 does cause closures or further challenges in the future, the work has been done to continue to have a lead-generation and conversion channel.
#3 – Developing a Curbside Offering
Curbside offerings were introduced by many as a band aid solution to allow them to care for patients, but some patients have realized that it’s far more convenient and a preferred method.
From what our “Inner Circle” members are seeing, it looks like it’s going to be another part of their offerings for the foreseeable future.
That’s why it has been built into a key part of their website, value proposition, and messaging.
But unlike teleaudiology, many of our “Inner Circle” members have been able to have much more fun and put their businesses’ personality into their curbside offering.
For example, as well as building a curbside offering page into their website with detailed instructions, an “Inner Circle” member from Massachusetts has also built a process to capture patient experiences and images of curbside patients.
This has developed into a library of over 40 images that is now used as a tiled background of happy patients on their website.
Another “Inner Circle” member in Texas decided to focus on making their curbside customer experience amazing.
They have introduced a drinks menu upon arrival and created a “Curbside Chronicles” newsletter to be handed to all patients while they are waiting in their vehicles.The smart step is noting the drink choice of every patient to ensure that they can have the exact same drink prepared for when they next arrive.
This has all been documented through their website, messaging, social media, and blogs.
#4 – Documenting How You Have Supported Your Community
As soon as COVID-19 hit, many clinics went into hiding mode. They left their patients without support and tarnished their reputation.
But for the clinics that innovated, increased their levels of patient care, and went above & beyond to support their communities, they need to shine a spotlight on the work that they did.
Many of our “Inner Circle” members documented the work that they did and our ‘Execution Team was able to help them create nifty graphics to be used throughout their blog and social media to share how they were there for their community.
Here’s an example:
By documenting the great work that you did during difficult times, it justifies that your existing patients made the right decision by working with you AND it shows future patients that you stood up and delivered (when everybody else disappeared into the shadows).
It documents that you are who you say you are, and that you truly care for your community and patients through your actions.
#5 – Developing Your Convenience Assets
Making your patients’ experience as simple as possible has never been more important.
The question that you should be asking yourself in this “new normal” is what processes do you have in place that are an inconvenience for either your team or your patients.
For example: For many of our “Inner Circle” members, we’ve completely digitalized all patient forms. This means that paperwork is no longer required when a patient enters your office and it can be completed quickly and easily online.
For some of our other members, we’ve built a process for collecting outstanding payments online, where patients can complete a form to share how much they owe and add their credit card information.
The more you can build convenience into your website, the easier it is for technology-savvy patients to work with you.
When convenience is at the forefront of every marketplace right now, please make sure that you’re making yourself easy to work with in today’s world rather than in “the way it has always been.”
#6 – Imagery for Today’s World
Your website’s imagery is a prospective patient’s window into what it looks like to work with you.
For this period, having relevant imagery of you/your team wearing face masks is an important part of showing that you’re relevant and your web presence is built for today’s world.
The more this can be documented through your homepage imagery and through your social media posts, the more you will be relevant.
You don’t need to use a professional photographer right now – a picture on your phone is more than enough.
Finally, the Most Important Thing to Remember
This is not a piece of work that needs to be done once.
It needs to be continually reevaluated and improved to be relevant in whatever the future looks like.
If things change, then your website messaging needs to change.
Your website is a project that is never completed.
If you would like to learn about the “Inner Circle” and how our members gain access to our expert Execution Team as well as trainings, calls, expert guests, and resources to help them become the number one provider in their area, then please click here.