I’m going to share a bit now. About 6 months ago I was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. I was out of the country and decided to wait until I got back to Boston.
So here’s how it all unfolded.
1. Search Engine Optimization: I went onto Google and did a search for “Umbilical Hernia Repair”. Doctors who perform this procedure may want to consider being in Google’s top ten. I used the information for educating myself about what needed to be done. Then I refined my search to “Boston Umbilical?Hernia Repair”. Surprisingly no adult doctors came up. Imagine all the business that these doctors are missing out on?? What to do now?
2. Branding:?I reverted to thinking of what are considered the best Boston Hospitals (brand image). Boston is arguably the best city for medical care. Beth Israel Hospital?immediately came to mind. So, back to Google.
3. I found Beth Israel’s website and went onto their “find a doctor” feature. But surprisingly they don’t have anything listed for hernia doctors. Now what?
4. Phone call: Yup, I actually called. And I because I did my research on Google I asked for a Laparoscopic Hernia Doctor. Presto, there are only two. I got their names and went back to Beth Israel’s website where I did a search. I finally got to Dr. Benjamin Schneider‘s main page
Wow, Beth Israel really needs to get up to speed on this stuff. But I persevered because of their brand image. Ultimately it was Beth Israel’s brand image that lead me to Doctor Schneider.
5. Service: I met with Dr. Schneider and my number one priority was how I was treated? Was he going to care about me as a patient/client or was I another surgery in his rotation. I must say that he was really patient and caring. He answered all my questions, gave me recommendations and we scheduled the surgery for July 2nd.
6. Blogging: I just had my follow-up visit today?with Dr. Schneider. Once again he took the time, explained what he had done and looked after me. Now, did he know that I’m a branding guru with a pretty good size blog readership? No, not when we scheduled my surgery. But you see in today’s Internet world anyone can be a blogger and everyone can therefore share their experiences.
Doctors need to realize that a post on a blog positive or negative can affect their business, brand image and overall career. In Dr. Schneider’s case it’s a very positive experience.
7. Word of Mouth: My friend Ken and I spoke about my surgery. Unfortunately he also has an umbilical hernia. I strongly recommended Dr. Schneider. I explained the entire process to him as if it were coming directly from Dr. Schneider.
Now it would have been a whole lot easier if Beth Israel understood search engine optimization, or if doctors in private practice understood it. They could potentially increase their revenues exponentially. Furthermore internal search engines like the one Beth Israel has must work much better. I finally had to break down and call, which in my Internet world is nutty.
But if you apply a few solid tactics, you can really reap the benefits of a successful business:
1. Branding – Build a strong brand image
2. Search Engine Optimization – gets the customers to your virtual doorstep
3. Website – Professional, easy to navigate website is key
4. Service – Provide superior service
5. Blogging – ask your customers if they blog, if so ask them to blog about their experience with you
6. Word of mouth – If you came through for them this is your reward