I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I often write this column
based on something that gives me marketing inspiration. This month’s
column has been inspired by Dino Scanio, CPO, treasurer of the Florida
Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists (FAOP)and who, along with his wife
Lisa, organizes the FAOP/Florida Chapter American Academy of Orthotists &
Prosthetists meeting. I just returned from presenting at the FAOP/FCAAOP
meeting last week and while I am always impressed with the meeting and the work
Dino and Lisa do, I saw something that pushed me over the edge and I just had
to write about it.
Teeny, tiny buffet line.
I can hear you yelling. “What is she talking about?!”
Kids eat too
Friday night is the banquet. Families are always a big part of the
FAOP/FCAAOP meeting and this meeting was no exception. We walked into the
banquet hall and there, next to the adult buffet lines, was the kids’
buffet line. Sure, it had macaroni and cheese, burgers and all the usual kid
food but … it was only 2 feet high! It was absolutely adorable and from a
marketing perspective it practically screamed “we were thinking about
While it was the kids’ buffet line that inspired me, I took a look
at the meeting again. It was held at Marco Island, Fla. at the Marriott right
on the beach. So what did we get in our welcome packet? Collapsible bag with a
handy zippered attachment (good for the beach), waterproof plastic room
key/credit card holder, sunscreen, water bottle, tiny fan (with batteries
included). Everything said “we were thinking about you and we want you to
have a nice time at the beach.” Of course, everything had a logo on it, so
attendees won’t forget who was so thoughtful. Loved it.
Let’s not stop with Dino and Lisa. I was standing in line waiting
to check in at the hotel and the line was starting to get longer. The front
desk manager, Flo, came out with her iPad, and introduced herself to each
person in line, verified their reservation information on her iPad and made
some pleasant small talk. What a nice way to keep people from complaining that
they have to wait to check in. She may not have been doing anything
particularly useful, but from a marketing perspective she absolutely was.
It’s a good idea to be proactively nice when you see a situation unfolding
that isn’t so nice, like a big long check in line. Flo wanted to make sure
I knew that she was thinking about me and how I don’t enjoy standing in a
big line waiting.
How do you show your customers you are thinking about them? I can think
of a few:
- Dog bowls filled with water if you have a lot of service animals
that accompany patients;
- Plenty of handicapped/accessible parking that is clearly marked;
- Kid size furniture if you have a lot of pediatric patients.
- Someone who actually gets up and comes out from behind the glass if
a line starts forming at the window even if it is just to acknowledge the wait.
These are just a few of the small, inexpensive, yet thoughtful gestures
that assure your patients that they are in your capable hands and will receive
your best care.