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5 Things That Make or Break a Brand

Although traditional medical providers don’t want to believe it, along with their medical practice, THEY themselves have a unique brand.  Perhaps this doesn’t apply to many of the savvy aesthetic medical providers in our industry who’ve already chosen to take advantage of that concept and build astounding brands and reputations based on specific treatments, ostentatious ‘personas’ or expert marketing.  However, as the majority of business people and patients, like myself, can attest, a physician or medical spa’s perceived brand or lack thereof can be the deciding factor as to whether we choose them for an aesthetic treatment.

If every aesthetic practice has a ‘brand’ and every brand has a perceived promise, what is your ‘promise’ to your patients? 

As an aesthetic provider, what does your “promise” convey to your patients and prospective patients? What about your promise of your expertise or experience?  Do you promise high-quality service and luxury?  Or do you promise easy booking, great prices, fast service?  Each of these “promises” communicates a very UNIQUE brand to your prospective customers.

Assuming you want to maintain your brand, your reputation, and the positive opinions of your patients, it’s critical to consider all of the things that can keep you teetering on the brink of success or distress!

Appearance Matters.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant where the floors were dirty, the tables were unclean, and nobody seemed to do anything about it?  If so, did it make you want to eat at that restaurant again?  I think we know the answer to that riddle…Absolutely NOT!  An aesthetic medical practice is similar in that your appearance (i.e. the condition of your practice, the reception or waiting area, and the overall aesthetics) matters to existing and prospective patients. While it’s not necessary to have a professional design team re-do your office space, it is important to remember that your patients visit you to enhance their appearances.  If you can’t maintain your own…and this includes your practice AND office staff, you’ll slowly drive patients away.

Service. Service. Service.

This is NOT a new concept.  A little customer service goes a long way.  Treat your patients like they’re unique…they’re special to you and your business.  If they have a question that you can’t answer, find the answer and get back to them.  If they have an anniversary as a patient (or are perhaps celebrating one), acknowledge it. Go out of your way to provide exactly what your customers want and what they don’t KNOW they want, but will eventually need.  This is the key to gaining lifetime loyalty.

Quality Over Quantity.

Customer service is one thing, but quality service is entirely different. If you want to be known as the best, the quality of your work MUST be the best (or at least pretty incredible).  You won’t do this by cutting corners.  I’ve met dozens of aesthetic business owners who think it’s okay to use injectables that aren’t ‘fresh’ and a few who’ve diluted their product to save margins.  I’ve also met some who’ve skipped important aspects of a patient consultation (like setting up expectations and discussing post-treatment protocols) to increase the quantity of patients they could see that day.  This type of quality of service is doing a disservice to the patient and the practice, and it screams poor quality! 

Expecting Patients to Have the Right Expectations

Before you became a medical provider or entered the aesthetic medical business, did you know what to expect from every treatment or procedure?  Probably not. This type of information comes from an advanced education and years of experience.  Manage a patient’s expectations so that you can ensure they’ll feel satisfied with the results of a treatment.  Sometimes the best you can do for you brand and a patient is to say ‘No’ to a patient who expects a result that is unrealistic.  Not only will you avoid creating and unhappy patient, but statistically speaking, you’ll avoid the loss of 30 others who are reading their bad reviews online!

Staff: Hire for Personality, Train for Skills!

It takes only seven seconds for us to judge another person when we first meet them.  Your employees are no exception. They can MAKE or BREAK your brand.  Their appearance (#1 on my list), the customer service and quality of service they provide (#2 & #3), and their ability to provide realistic expectations to patients (#4) are all included in your patients’ experience and perception of your business. If your newest employee rarely smiles, rushes through treatments, and never engages with patients, do you think you’d want someone to judge YOU based on their impression of that employee?  Treat your staff as an extension of you, your business, and your brand…and choose wisely! 

Jamie Parrott, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of MedResults Network

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