Studies have shown that around 90 percent of word of mouth is off-line, rather than on-line. This is surprising because all the hype right now is around the explosion of social media.
This means a therapist should be focused on gaining positive off-line word of mouth. If properly harnessed off-line word of mouth is an extremely effective way to draw in clients. In a special report by the Keller Fay Group, the average person is reported to have 114 word of mouth conversations in a week, about 79 different brands. In this survey, conversations about health care fell right in the middle of lists most popular topics.
With this in mind let's take a quick look at two areas that can generate positive, and if you ignore them, negative word of mouth. There are several areas of initial contact for most therapists which are creating an impression with every potential client who interacts with them.
Here are a couple of the contact points and some questions to help you examine the impression you are giving out:
Answering the phone
For many people this is their first direct contact point, often after coming across your website. Do your clients talk to a real person that can offer them answers to their questions? If they get a machine, do they receive a return call in a timely manner? Remember the frustration you experience when you have to keep pushing buttons to try to leave a message. Try to avoid making your potential clients navigate through voice mail purgatory. Return calls within 24 hours.
Do you have potential clients calling and dropping in but then they don't contact you again. The problem is most likely in regards to the initial impression you are creating. Their first impression of you will come from the way your office looks. Also your regular clients experience your office every time they come to see you. Is it clean and inviting? Do you have dÃ©cor that creates the right atmosphere for your clients? Do you have business cards and brochures available? Is there a place you can promote your speaking engagements and other events? Are the magazines up to date?
There is a lot to examine when it comes to evaluating the first impressions your website is making with your clients. We'll take a closer look at this next week.
These points really just scratch the surface of what I believe is a crucial factor in the success of any business. I am always interested to hear if you have insight. Feel free to contact me at 1-877-763-4779