Your Practice Can Achieve Pumpkin Spice Success With Hearing Aid Marketing

Pumpkin Spice defines fall in 2019. Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin-flavored everything; however, the true star is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The PSL made famous by Starbucks was and is a marketing “Rockstar” for the ages. It is right up there with the best marketing campaigns of all time such as “Got Milk”, Apple’s “Get a Mac”, Nike’s “Just Do It”, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World.” The PSL has gone viral on social media, and because of that, Starbucks has been getting free advertising from millions of people. Starbucks debuted the PSL in 2003, and they make roughly 100 million in revenue each FALL. People will spend $4.50 for a 12 oz coffee and not bat an eye. This throws the pricing argument right out the window. There are cheaper options for coffee, even pumpkin spice coffee; but, the millions of coffee drinkers still go to Starbucks. What can your practice learn from these marketing gurus? Let’s find out!

  1. Get It Before Its Gone:

Exclusivity is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing book. Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a season, and it does not last long. People cannot wait until Starbucks releases it for the upcoming year and are disappointed when it’s gone. There is a feeling of if I don’t buy now, I may miss it. If my opportunity is missed, I will have to wait an entire year before I get another chance. Urgency is created.

How can your practice use exclusivity for hearing aid marketing? 

No, you don’t have to do one big promotion every year, although it may not be a bad idea. If you pick your “slow” time of the year and create a creative (draw, sale, or event) that will get people talking, you may create your one of a kind #PSL season. The other thing with exclusivity to consider is consistency. If your big promotion is the Month of March in 2019 for example, it needs to continue in 2020, 2021, etc… and only offer that special event in March.

When it comes to direct mail for audiology marketing, we suggest you mail your territory quarterly. You can still work exclusivity into these campaigns. Have special promotion dates where clients can get a discount on a purchase of hearing aids or offer a gift card to them for booking an appointment. Create a sense of urgency where I (as a customer) cannot wait to get my hearing checked.

  1. Know Your Audience

Starbucks has done an incredible job of targeting the correct market for their product… millennials. They have accumulated a vast social media following by running countless campaigns. Their posts are entertaining, comical, and trendy! They also effectively utilize the hashtag campaign of #PSL so followers can interact with each other and show off their favorite fall drink.

When setting up a hearing aid marketing campaign, we suggest targeting the age range of 60-85 with your direct mail campaigns. The key to direct mail is making it stand out in the mailbox. Out of ideas? Try a different format like a plastic card or try a larger format than a standard 8.5 X 11 trifold. Another way to make your hearing aid marketing mail piece stand out is with a visually appealing design. Having a design that will catch the attention of the customer is critical for open rate percentages. Plan your next campaign around a Holiday or a particular season for the best results. Try using bright colors like red, orange and blue. Lastly, you can try a different colored envelope to help increase the open rate.

With hearing aid marketing, we suggest mixing direct mail and having an online presence. Are you emailing your clients with information and new offers? By emailing clients as little as once a month you are staying in “constant” communication. This makes your customers feel valued and appreciated, especially if the message is tailored to them. Does your practice collect reviews from your clients? Reviews are a great way to build rapport, as well as establishing a good online presence. When a customer Googles “Hearing Aid Practice Near Me” the practice with the most reviews will show up first. Lastly, you need to be using social media. Your target market (seniors) has become very active on Facebook and other social media platforms. They want to stay up to date with their friends and family. A lot of seniors are doing this through social media. Your practice can run ads, and boosted posts to market to these seniors online, and create awareness of your practice. Your practice should also be active on your social media accounts. Post pictures of the office or employees, share industry information, post reviews, and interact with clients who have visited or bought hearing aids. Can your practice create its own hashtag campaign?

Everyone is always searching for the next great idea in marketing; or in our case, hearing aid marketing. Every idea won’t be as successful as the pumpkin spice latte campaign, but it does not mean your marketing efforts aren’t worthwhile. You have to be bold, creative, and consistent. Stay current, and watch for industry trends… or even better, start a trend, and your practice can achieve pumpkin spice success.

5 Tips for Answering the Phone to Book Hearing Appointments

5 Tips for Answering the Phone to Book Hearing Appointments

  1.   Don’t Talk Price.
  2.   Answer the phone during business hours
  3.   Answer the phone with your name and the practice name
  4.   Understand your current promotion
  5.   Keep calls short, simple, and to the point

Every call is an important opportunity for your practice. These tips come directly from our call analysts who personally listen to every one of the calls your practice receives when you do a mailing with us. We want you to schedule as many appointments as possible and implementing these 5 tips on the phone should help! Let’s break them down even further:

  1.      Don’t Talk Price

Why would a customer turn down a FREE hearing test? If the customer is told the cost of hearing aids without learning the value in it. The conversation of cost needs to happen; however, we suggest it happens in person with the audiologist or trained hearing instrument specialist after the test has been administered. Even by giving a range of prices over the phone, that high number can put your potential customer into “sticker shock” especially when they have not been informed of the value of what they are purchasing.  It is too easy for your potential customer to simply say, “I can’t afford that” and write you off. If you get people in for a test, and they realize how bad their hearing is and the importance of treating a loss, now that number may not seem so unreasonable. Hearing is important, and it matters, especially to your target market. Don’t kill the lead before they step into your office.

  1.      Answer The Phone During Business Hours

Time and time again as our call analysts are listening to calls and building reports, we are noticing more and more missed calls during business hours. The people calling in are interested in booking an appointment. If you miss that call, most likely, next time they are calling your competitors. If they do leave a voicemail it is critical that you call them back ASAP. With every phone call being a potential hearing aid sale why would you not pick up? If you are a small practice and can’t answer the phone when administering a hearing test, look into hiring a receptionist to help you answer phone calls during the day. The reception staff can handle scheduling and make sure the calls are  answered promptly; while you focus on administering hearing tests and selling more hearing aids. The position will pay for itself!

 

  1.      Answer The Phone With Your Name And The Practice Name

When you answer the phone with “Hello” or “How can I help you” it throws the caller off. First, the caller doesn’t know if he or she called the right number, and secondly it makes your potential customer feel awkward to have to start the conversation. Establish rapport with the caller by immediately providing your name and practice name. Try to your caller’s name during the call, make he or she feel valued. Hearing loss can be a sensitive subject to most people. The call is your first impression to your potential customer. The more comfortable they feel with your practice, the better.

The last thing I say on most phone calls is not, ‘Goodbye,’ but, ‘Thank you’.” Marshall Goldsmith

 

  1.      Understand Your Current Promotion

When clients call in mentioning the offer from your promotion, your reception staff needs to understand the promotion. Your efforts need to be coordinated to get clients in the door. Print out your digital proof of your most recent advertisement and have a copy by the phone.  The person answering your phone should never have to ask someone about the current promotion.

Is the customer asking about a previous promotion? Don’t ever say “Sorry, we aren’t doing that.” The rule of thumb is never turn anyone away. Apart from a “Lunch and Learn” or other very specific date for an event, there should be no reason not to honor a promotion. It is very common for people to save your mail piece but forget to call until the “promotion” has ended. In fact, the “after the fact” caller may be even more valuable due to the fact that he or she saved the advertisement and called back weeks later!

  1.      Keep Calls Short, Simple, And To The Point

As the person answering the phone, your job is to bring the caller in for a hearing test.. If you talk too long, or give away too much information, they may have no need to come into the office. To accurately assess the potential customer’s needs, all questions should be answered in person in the office as much as possible. By answering every question over the phone, the client may see no need to come in for a hearing test. Also, if you are a smaller practice with one phone line, a long call will tie up the line blocking any other calls that may be coming in. Get their info, schedule an appointment, and get off the phone so you can move on to the next call!