Commodity Practice

Why Make It So Easy for Your Competitors?

January 28, 2014

Yesterday morning, I took my car to the dealer for service. I left several messages in the afternoon to see if the car was ready. No one returned my call.

Every day, your group’s physicians treat patients. I’ll assume, as do your patients, the referral sources who send you work, and the hospitals at which your group might have contracts, that the medical care you provide is top-notch.

But how are your services perceived? And what are you doing to influence that perception?

If you are not actively enhancing perception, you are leaving it to chance. And, for all practical purposes, that means that you are fostering the conditions that lead to poor perception.

In many medical specialties, notably anesthesiology and radiology, large competitors have sales forces and even telemarketers. In other specialties, competitors make regular, personal pleas for referrals that have, to date, been coming to you.

I called the service advisor three times, the dealership cashier once and finally, not having received any response, went, at the end of the day, to the dealership in person. The car was ready. The repairs were made properly, but that’s not of much importance to my perception – my perception that they took my business for granted, that they are dysfunctional, that there’s no leadership.

Funny, but that’s how many medical group competitors paint every incumbent group. Sometimes they’re way off base. But oftentimes it resonates with hospital administrators and referral sources.

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