Health is such an important part of our lives. There are millions of people that are searching for health tips and advice online for a healthier better way of living.
I will take the simple task of finding and going to a dentist as an example. Well you would think this is a simple task however what I have found begs to differ. I wonder are all dentists completely oblivious to the needs of today’s consumer demands? Do they care if their clients leave them for another? Not to mention the loss of any potential clients searching for a new dentist. I raised these questions after a personal experience trying to find a dentist in my local area. A couple of months ago I was suffering from an excoriating tooth pain. I was all over the web searching for a good dentist via Google, Yell, Twitter and Facebook but to no avail. I eventually came across a dentist that was near me on Green Lanes however he didn’t have a website (I really can’t understand this) and no social presence what so ever, although I did find some comments on Yell, one user wrote the following:
“Very bad dentist, worst one. Lot of pain, without caring about their patient. Never again. When I said I wasn’t satisfied they were not bothered even to ask me why”
Needles to say I did not go there, instead I found a dentist that declared on their website that they were very friendly. Their web presence wasn’t perfect but at least it existed, so I went to pay them a visit. It was a bit far but definitely worth it. If all businesses cared more about their customer’s needs and presented this out there for people to see, wouldn’t the world be a much better place, well at least it would be easier.
In contrast to this there is a splendid example of online presence of a dentist in Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “The Thank You Economy”. A dentist, Dr Vaksman opened the channels of communication by striking up conversations with potential clients online via social media platforms. As Gary explains he never met Dr. Vaksman but as far as he can see it appears that her patients love her, her staff, her spa-like office and the amazing ‘movie goggles’ they can wear to distract them during procedures. How does he know this? Because people talk and share online, Yell and Facebook but to name a few, It is out there for all to see.
In an age when over half of the adult world of online users are turning to online reviews and commentary to help them make informed decisions about their well being, it is only logical that professional health care providers should be there too, online and ready to talk.
Below are some interesting facts that I believe practitioners may find interesting about peoples online habits and activities that they will carry out at least once whilst surfing the net:
- Read someone else’s commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, Yelp, Facebook, Tweeter, website or blog. (A live example of myself above)
- Consulted rankings or reviews online of doctors or other providers.
- Consulted rankings or reviews online of hospitals or other medical facilities.
- Listened to a podcast about health or medical issues.
Besides Dr.Vaksman’s information on Facebook you can also find information on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Dr. Vaksman uses these various social media channels to share information, educate the public and making herself available to clientele whenever they have a question, comment or concern.
So I ask all dentists in The United Kingdom, where are you? In today’s economy it takes more than just hard work. From my own personal experience I only found two or three dentists that had a WOW web presence, which is vital of course as mentioned in my previous articles. But having a WOW web presence and speaking online is not enough. You have to open conversations and engage with people online as you would do offline.
Countless companies lose so many opportunities that may present themselves online. I tweeted that I had a #toothpain, I asked a question, but not even one dentist replied. Below are seven tweets that are there for you to start off:
Don’t say I didn’t warn you when one day you will be out of appointments. I believe businesses that do not care about their clients and about their online presence, should be out of business. This day will come, new business owners are here, ready to work hard, engage, create conversations and take on your business. Do you think your clients will not stay around your business when they can be treated better online and offline by others?