To increase foot traffic and interest in your medical aesthetics clinic and its offerings, it’s important to know what prospective patients prioritize. Conducting surveys among current and past patients can help to identify where your business could stand a little polishing to better pique prospective patients’ interests, but before creating a survey, it’s important to understand what attracts patients in the first place. To help direct you on the right path to bigger business growth, consider the following top factors patients consider, aside from services, cost, or proximity, when picking a medical aesthetics treatment provider.
The “decision journey” refers to the long and winding path consumers now take before making a purchasing decision. Generally speaking, with so many resources available online, it may take prospective patients less time to locate the information they need to make the decision to book a consultation appointment, but they’re still not making any snap decisions. The bigger the investment, the longer the patient’s decision journey will be. The majority of consumers gather information regarding a purchase through multiple online and offline sources—think online reviews, conversations with friends and professionals, general information gleaned from online resources, and social media to start. All of these resources help consumers narrow in on their top choices before even approaching your clinic. One survey reports that 61% of respondents said they utilized reputable online review sites to evaluate a potential treatment provider, 60% sought out the provider’s website for information, and 34% utilized online health sites for information regarding potential treatments. Simply put, consumers value informative articles and content that isn’t created just for a sell, making blogs and informative social posts influential to your business being found along the consumer’s decision journey.
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the top factor in influencing consumers to head to a treatment provider in 2018 was a dermatologist’s recommendation at 51%, followed up closely by friends at 40%. Prospective patients are looking for an expert in the procedure they want, with the appropriate credentials and certifications. It only makes sense then, that prospective patients trust the recommendation of another trusted medical professional. While creating a referral program that rewards current patients for referring their friends and family may increase your likelihood to attract new patients via referrals, building out your professional network may also be a worthwhile tactic to ensure you’re top of mind when another medical provider’s patient requests a medical aesthetics referral. Likewise, a professional network may offer you options of other medical aesthetics professionals, dermatologists, and more, who you may recommend to prospective patients that may not be the best match for your clinic.
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, patients consider their aesthetic preferences to be a top consideration when researching medical aesthetic treatment providers. If they’re looking for a subtle touch-up, they want to know that their results will appear natural and vice versa. In this area, a quality portfolio of before-and-after images of previous patients in the area of treatment they’re seeking, alongside consistency in results, is what patients want to see. In fact, according to the ASDS 2018 survey, a fear of not achieving the results they’re looking for is one of the top three reasons patients hold off on committing to an aesthetics treatment plan. Likewise, 83% of consumers won’t consider contacting a treatment provider for a consultation if they don’t have before-and-after images posted online.
Similar to before-and-after images, consumers value online reviews as an effective determinant in assessing your medical aesthetic clinic’s results history. A survey on consumers’ purchasing habits by Pew Research Centre reports that 82% of all consumers at least sometimes read reviews before making a purchase, while 53% of millennials—a growing demographic in the medical aesthetics space—claim they always read reviews first. While general opinions are important, prospective patients want to hear that past patients have been treated in a way they’d like to be—namely, that patients felt comfortable, heard, valued, and respected and that these feelings didn’t end the moment their treatment plan did. By earning the trust and respect of current patients, you may subsequently earn the trust and respect of prospective patients via online reviews.
Finally, according to a recent RealSelf survey, the majority of prospective patients begin their decision journey by researching procedures that will help them achieve their personal aesthetic goals. In fact, a whole 40% of survey respondents admitted they spent more time researching a potential treatment than the provider they chose to perform it. Appeal to this type of prospective patient by keeping your medical aesthetics technology from becoming obsolete and sharing content that addresses your cutting-edge service offerings. Patients will appreciate the educational focus in your content marketing materials while conveying the message that your clinic is more invested in ensuring they make an informed decision that’s right for them, rather than simply getting their business.
Avoid obsolete technology and appeal to discerning prospective patients seeking the most up-to-date and effective treatments on the market with Venus Concept. We pair the sale of each medical aesthetics device with ongoing clinical and marketing support alongside easy software updates, an easy device upgrade path, and extended warranty options. To learn more about the long-term benefits of a Venus Concept partnership, contact an expert today.