When creating a new product or launching a new service, the first question you ask yourself is whether it will be successful and you will be able to sell it. Marketing theory says that you start with the user’s needs and then build products/services to meet them. In reality, after the launch it doesn’t work like that anymore. You already have your solution and want to find a way to match it on potential customers’ needs. As soon as you can sense any opportunity there, you can start building your approach.
In this first article of the series, we will start with medical practices. Imagine a medical partnership with a couple of practitioners and a couple of nurses in a small office, a receptionist, and a legacy telephony system.
Take the empathy highway, it’s the right way!
If you could switch roles for a second, you would be able to understand that, no matter how complex and smart your service is, for someone who doesn’t deal with it 24 hours a day, it is very hard to follow the technical insight it delivers. And why should they? It’s time-consuming and quite a turn-off. All they need to know is that it serves their need without much effort on their side. The easier it is for your potential customer to understand how your service works, the closer you are to winning them over.
Also, don’t forget that these potential customers are in the business of delivering medical services. The key word in such an industry is empathy. So, speak the same language, take the empathic approach.
Focus on people
The first question to ask yourself is: Why would they need my hosted PBX solution? Now, it’s time to find out what they want and how your service can meet that.
- They want to be easily reached. They can be just as easily reached with a traditional phone system. True, under a few conditions – they don’t leave the office; x patients (where x>1) are not calling all their office numbers at the same time; there are no emergencies outside working hours, yet there usually are. Not that hard to build the counter-argument here, let’s see the next one.
- No matter how fancy their traditional phone system is, it is reduced to making and receiving one call at the time, taking voice messages, and keeping the staff tied to their desks – in short, it’s still outdated.
- The receptionist needs to handle all incoming traffic. It’s her job alright, but while handling some of the incoming calls, a lot of other patients are calling too and they get a busy tone. Their problems remain unsolved and that affects business and customer satisfaction.
- The monthly bill is high, fixed phones need to be maintained and that comes with extra costs and extra-headaches.
Build your case clearly
Now we’re getting to thew fun part where you start building your case. From each of the reasons above, you can build a selling point. Not an argument, but a reason-to-believe. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it’s true in most cases. If you strongly believe in your service and in its power to serve and you have the ability to communicate this, your enthusiasm will spread like a spring shower and will make the business bloom. Transmit your knowledge in simple words and build everything on facts. Don’t forget that medical doctors are relying on cold, hard facts, so go ahead, speak their language. Again 🙂
Going back to our medical practices, how can your service make their life better?
- It allows doctors to be easily reached. A hosted PBX system, such as VoipNow, has telephony features that transfer calls to mobile or to voicemail. If the doctor has some critical patients that cannot be left unattended while he is on vacation, for example, with the Incoming Call Rules feature he can configure the system to have critical calls only transferred to his mobile or to another doctor that fills in and can attend to them. It is not necessary to go through all the features, simply illustrate those that allow their patients to easily reach them. You can even bring the VoipNow Mobile app into discussion – respectively, how doctors can use their VoipNow account on their iOS device and thus stay mobile and within reach for patients.
- It is a cost-effective solution. Point out to what extent a hosted PBX solution can be effective: little to no investment in hardware, no need for in-house IT personnel to handle the telephony system, both hardware and software can be easily managed by one and the same person – the service provider. If desk phones are not compatible with the software, you may offer them VoipNow Mobile or suggest a bundled solution, emphasizing on how convenient it will be to have a single point of management for separate services and resources. Do not give them too many desk phone options because it will only make it more difficult for them to choose. It’s better to suggest a bundled solution that has already proved successful with your customers. Last but not least and equally important, point out the big cost reduction they will see in their telephony bill. It can be with almost 70% and that is huge!
- It enables them to handle more patients with less resources. In other words, it delivers higher productivity. Although this is a very powerful word for a company regardless of its size, people usually want to hear a different story. Explain how an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) feature can handle heavy incoming traffic and how it can help prioritize calls, giving the receptionist more time to handle in-office activities. If the receptionist’s phone would be an IVR extension, it could triage calls according to the doctors’ criteria: prescription renewal can go to voicemail, as they do not require immediate reply from the doctors; appointment schedule or reschedule calls can go directly to the receptionist; emergency calls can go directly to the doctors. With phone capabilities such as this, patient calls are least likely to be missed and their service satisfaction clearly improved.
The conclusion is clear. No matter what arguments you use, always build them on top of what the potential customers think they need and what drives them. Because even if they make the purchase for their business, their decision has a strong emotional background. And yes, doctors are humans too 😉
So, how would you convince a medical practice to switch from a legacy phone system to your hosted PBX solution? Please use the comments to share your experience.