Using Empathy in Care Provider Marketing
The best way to do this is through empathy-based marketing.
Empathy-based marketing is all about seeing the world through the eyes of your customers, which allows you to place them at the centre of your marketing strategy and work outwards. But it's important to note that being empathetic means being genuine, not manipulating customers with what you think they want to hear.
You must be authentic in your communication with your customers. This will help you build trust and organic relationships, which is particularly important post pandemic. As Tony Banks mentions in the latest season of our podcast, during the pandemic, “…the media, rather than act responsibly, acted irresponsibly in whipping up a frenzy of fear, of investigation… of pointing the finger at care homes”. This has left the sector a little bruised and it can seem daunting, from a marketing perspective, to try to recover.
However, below are 3 quick tips and ideas to get you started on using empathy in care provider marketing:
1. Understand your customer's pain points
We've mentioned the importance of putting your customer first and getting a feel for what it is they need right now from care providers.
Due to the pandemic and perhaps a little due to the negative press, people may be reluctant or fearful towards care homes as places for themselves or their loved ones. You, as a care provider, can do certain things to be empathetic and reassure them.
For instance, you can highlight the importance of PPE, show them what measures you have in place to keep their loved ones safe, share Covid secure visiting arrangements, as well as how residents can be kept busy with things that will enhance their time there.
If you can step in and show that you understand their worries, whilst putting their mind at ease, you will be making a powerful connection with your customers.
2. Spend time listening and observing
This may seem like an obvious recommendation, but it is often overlooked.
Anyone responsible for your marketing should be spending a lot of time listening to and observing your customers' behaviour. For instance, record (if possible) and listen back to phone calls made to your business by those looking for care, paying close attention to how the call handler is showing empathy and giving reassurance to the person calling. Your customers should feel comfortable and taken care of.
You should also make it a priority to learn how potential customers are actually using your website. This can provide a behavioural layer of insight to your understanding and it can help you figure out what things are working well, which things may need a little improvement and which things may be missing that you could add. If you are struggling, check out our recent blog post on how to make your website fit for purpose.
It will pay off to pay close attention to your customers' behaviour and be attuned to their needs.
3. Take a visually engaging and educational approach towards your content
Your content needs to be valuable to customers if it's going to enhance their experience, so an educational approach may be ideal.
Customers want content that is fun and attractive to look at, but that also increases their understanding of the sector. You, as a provider, have plenty of knowledge and insight, so share it! Your customers will thank you for it and above all it will make them trust you. Impart wisdom and help potential customers when you can.
You can also update and re-purpose older pieces of content that may have outdated information, but can evoke the right emotions.
Another way to educate your customers is to find that spot where your business' expertise and what your customers are interested in learning overlap. That is a wonderful place where you can really make a difference. For instance, you can make some content about ‘The Top 5 Things To Consider When Looking For Care For Your Loved One'. This is a perfect example of a piece of content that will allow you to share your knowledge and also make potential customers' lives easier.
Empathy may seem like a small thing, but it can go a long way in marketing. It builds credibility, creates trust and is the key to making lasting connections.
Above all, it is a way for you as a care provider to give reassurance to many, during a time full of uncertainty.
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