Why Transparency Matters for Your Practice
Transparency essentially comes down to being clear and honest with patients, so it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that transparency leads patients to trust their doctors even more.
However, without a clear idea of what transparency means, how it improves performance, and the ways podiatry practices can be transparent (or fail to do so), actually showing this quality can be a mysterious puzzle.
So let’s look at this topic and see how you can use it to boost your podiatry marketing!
Trust Is Everything
The simple reason transparency matters is this:
Customers (including patients) will almost always decide to do business (including making appointments with medical professionals) with a brand they trust.
That should be easy enough to grasp. After all, a restaurant with a better reputation and slightly higher prices than a similar restaurant will earn more than enough business to compensate for the lost revenue from those who want to save the most money possible.
In a free market, it’s only fair that businesses who are the most trustworthy and who treat their customers with the most respect would earn the right to charge more.
See, people hate getting food poisoning, or having to call customer support, or having their used car break down a month after buying it, or any of the myriad things that come from choosing a product or service that doesn’t serve as advertised.
The mere implied security of a human and trustworthy brand can set you apart from opaque competitors who aren’t providing patients with the transparency they deserve.
Delivering Maximum Value
This is the key to knowing whether something should be made transparent to your patients:
If doing so adds to the value of their experience.
Put yourself in a patient’s shoes and consider what you would like or dislike about an experience with your practice.
Show how much you value a patient’s time and attention by being direct and cutting out any unpleasant surprises.
For example, consider an advertisement for free delivery on orders above $50. If the business put the detail that the order must be $50 in tiny print that you could easily miss, you would trust that business less. If the over $50 rule is just as clear as the advertisement for free delivery, however, almost no one would take issue or feel deceived.
Perception in life is everything, you know?
Fear of Exposure
Transparency means admitting to flaws, explaining everything people should know up front, and in general behaving like a trustworthy brand, but the common fear holding some podiatry practices back is the exposure of such an approach.
Could admitting to faults or being honest to a potential fault really benefit a practice in the long run?
Well, it turns out that’s exactly the case, as the strengthened reputation improves patient retention, word-of-mouth recommendations, and other things that are the lifeblood of a growing venture.
There are many stories of big-name brands re-inventing themselves by admitting to faults in the name of correcting them, such as the 2009 Domino’s Pizza campaign which shared harsh reviews of their old pizza in order to create a new and intriguing contrast against their reinvented recipes and methods.
This kind of behavior is the scariest thing for most businesses, but ironically is the best thing to do. (Domino’s stock went up from under $8/share before the 2009 campaign to almost $300/share at the start of 2020.)
Transparency is powerful enough to wipe the slate clean, so consider the benefits it can pose for your practice’s brand – which likely isn’t facing the same harsh, nationwide criticism as the pizza company had been!
Avoiding Showing Conceit
Like obscenity, transparency is one of those ethereal concepts that people know when they see it, which means that trying too hard to appear transparent can easily backfire.
Remember not to force your appearance of transparency, or to push an image of your brand without living up to it.
It’s easy to draw attention to your brand to push the idea of transparency, but this inorganic approach will lead to resistance. Inspire people to support your efforts by looking like an honest practice that could use that support.
Fortunately, there’s a great way to still gain the same amount of attention while not regularly promoting your practice:
Given the fact podiatric concerns can affect so many different demographics, you have lots of outstanding opportunities to do this. For example, you might want to highlight an inspirational story on your social media accounts or put the spotlight on a local business that sells running shoes, etc.
You will quickly find there are all sorts of people who deserve attention that will pay back greatly by making your brand uplifting.
Actions Over Words
The reason transparency is so attractive to customers is not merely because it’s the right thing to do.
There’s also the rarity factor.
It’s surprising to see businesses—even within the greater medical community—with nothing to hide.
Conversely, while it’s rare to find a fully transparent business, it’s all too common to find businesses claiming to be honest, transparent, and ‘customer-first’ with little backing it up.
This is the same as giving yourself a participation award for not scamming your patients, and it’s this kind of words and actions that you want to avoid.
If you want potential patients to open up to you more easily and develop trust as soon as they see your marketing, one of the key things to remember is to “walk the walk.”
More accurately, any opportunity to show transparency is inherently more powerful than claiming to be transparent. Any practice out there can whip up some marketing copy about putting trust at high priority, but everyone’s heard it all before.
Find real opportunities to express transparency that are specific to your practice and business goals and accomplishments. It’ll take more effort, but your patients will realize you made that effort and will tell others.
Growing Your Practice with Transparent Marketing!
Transparency matters because if you don’t clearly and honestly present your practice and what it stands for, your patients will decide for you, and potentially with a less than flattering mindset.
These tips are important to remember when directing any marketing or copywriting efforts, but above all, great content is what converts highly targeted prospects into new patients.
If you want to achieve the best results with each email, blog post, and social media campaign, you should trust the writing role to professionals with experience serving podiatry practices just like yours. (And, to be fully transparent, VMD Services happens to have an amazing writing staff…)
Fill your waiting room with the kinds of patients you want to treat.