One of the challenges in marketing healthcare services is offering meaningful calls-to-action. Unlike selling clothing or shoes, in which a BUY NOW button closes the sales cycle, healthcare requires a more complex process for achieving ROI.
Which is why we love promoting on-line physician directories for our clients. Physician directories provide health prospective patients a resource for finding and selecting a provider to care for them and closes the sales cycle. In the research we’ve conducted across the country with health audiences, we find that health audiences have varying degrees of provider needs at any given time, such as:
- Not being satisfied with her current primary care provider and would like a new provider relationship for herself or her family members
- Knowing she should see a specialist about an ache or pain but has put it off, such as with orthopedics
- Putting off an elective surgery but knowing she should have the procedure done
In all these cases, we have prospective patients who have reached a tipping point – and the job of healthcare providers is to be there at the moment of need and to offer solutions.
Enter online physician directories.
Every online physician directory should offer the basics:
BASIC PHYSICIAN DIRECTORY TOOLS:
- Physician contact information including phone number, office address and insurance covered
- Be searchable by name (first, last) and specialty
- Photograph of the physician (human beings like to “see” who their physicians are)
Physician directories can also offer intermediate tools to help the user experience.
INTERMEDIATE PHYSICIAN DIRECTORY TOOLS:
- Maps/directions (integrated with Google Maps or other map provider)
- Languages spoken (important for urban areas with diverse populations)
- Alternative contact number for physician referral (such as the health system’s referral service vs. office number)
There are also several advanced tools to make the physician directory have even more impact for prospective patients.
ADVANCED PHYSICIAN DIRECTORY TOOLS:
- Notification if provider is accepting new patients (updated in real time)
- Online appointment requests and/or booking appointments in real time
- Biography videos of the providers – Just as Zappos.com uses video to showcase its shoes, web video featuring physicians helps to make a connection with providers and prospective patients
We recently launched for our client, Pardee Hospital, PardeeSelect.com, which allows health audiences to look for providers with tools mentioned above, plus a unique personality profile. Health audiences take a a short personality profile to be matched with physicians who share similar personality traits and outlooks on life.
Screen grabs are below and you can visit the site here.
What trends are you seeing with physician directories? Are you offering online appointment tools or other advanced technologies for engaging your prospective patients? We’d love to hear from you.