What are the pros and cons to having an educational lobby video loop in your practice? Would having a lobby video be beneficial to your medical practice’s bottom line?
Let’s be honest with each other for a second: waiting around is a large part of the patient experience when they come to your office.
I know, I know – you do everything you can to maximize efficiency and minimize wait times for patients, blah, blah – who doesn’t? The fact of the matter is they still wind up waiting. Whether it’s for 60 seconds or 25 minutes – what are you doing during that time to keep them informed and entertained? Aside from magazines and brochures, many offices have a television in their lobbies. The question then becomes, is it worth it to have custom content created?
The answer, unfortunately, is not clear cut, depending on several factors we’ll explore below. In my professional opinion (whatever that’s worth) patient waiting time – no matter how long – should be turned into a valuable learning experience. Whether that means posters, brochures and/or a professional video loop is up to you, your budget and your staff.
Informed Patients Equals Increased Appointments
The two biggest benefits to having a lobby video for your practice are that informed patients will generally make more appointments because they know what’s available to them, and on top of that, they’ll stay loyal because they feel as if they know you. Videos are a great way to splice in entertaining patient education pieces, facts about your practice and all the services you offer your patients never knew about.
It’s also an easy way to gently repeat a call to action telling them to schedule their next appointment several times in just a few minutes.
You Get What You Pay For
If you choose to do custom videos, you’ll obviously want to make sure they’ll hold your patient’s full attention and contain professionally produced, high quality clips. This is one of the most difficult aspects of choosing to do a custom lobby video because if the patient doesn’t pay attention you wasted your money. You’ll want to go with a reputable company that has experience producing these kinds of videos for healthcare offices so that you are all on the same page, trying to reach the same audience with the same message.
The video clips should be tastefully produced, easy to understand, visually interesting and brief. You’ll lose interest if your videos are longer than just a few minutes so keep in mind the sheer quantity of clips, tips and health information you’ll have to prepare to have a decent video playing if you’re doing it all on your own. That said, when your content achieves the goals it set out to do, it can be one of the most important in-house marketing pieces you’ve ever invested in.
Alternatives to Completely Custom Videos
Although you’ll be able to stress your exact message in a completely custom video, they are rather expensive (not to mention the headache of trying to coordinate footage and interviews with multiple doctors in one practice). The alternative to custom video is semi-custom loops, which are already created. There are two options if you’re interested in this route: subscription services and DVDs.
Subscription services allow you to pull from a library of “canned” content and splice in your own – either text or video based, depending on your service provider and the plan you have with them. Most of them will even impose your logo on the videos to give it more of an authentic feel; and you have complete control over what clips and facts are displayed to patients. The downside is that the content can be limited and you may not be able to create a message that cross-promotes your other services. These services will also require that your TV(s) of choice be hooked up to a high-speed internet connection.
The other option is to order DVDs that come complete with content. These, like the subscription services, show canned footage and clips with your logo imposed on them. This is the cheapest route to take and thus the least customizable. In other words, to change the DVD content, you’ll have to order more. Some services will allow for you to send in information and clips to help cross-promote or show interviews with doctors/patients, but that option comes with a steeper price tag. Some positives are that the DVDs are set to continuously loop and all you’ll need to play them on your respective TV(s) is a DVD player.
Things to Consider
If you choose to have a lobby video, make sure it’s long enough so people in the waiting room don’t see the content more than once. That’s when they’ll start to get irritated and, no matter the length, suddenly feel as if they’ve been there forever. You should also consult with your staff – you know, the people who will have to hear the video 10 times a day. If they’re unhappy or annoyed, odds are their attitude will trickle down to patients.
After reading this article about the pros and cons, ups and downs and lefts and rights of creating a lobby video, hopefully you now have a better idea of what you’re going to do.
Now the only question you have to answer regarding a lobby video is if it’s really worth it to you.