This is a guest post for the Aventive Studio blog written by Eleanor Hecks.
Few things are more potent than a global pandemic to make businesses realize they have to change and adapt to a shifting world. Wellness businesses, in particular, had to make some tough decisions and implement new policies to meet the needs of their clients better.
People around the globe have focused more on wellness in recent years, even before COVID-19 appeared on the scene. Statista estimates the health and wellness market will reach $87 billion by 2027. If people focused on ramping up their immune systems and making healthy options pre-COVID, you better believe the post-pandemic numbers will be even higher.
Yet, business as usual wasn’t working for any industry. So wellness businesses had to adapt (for the better), and here is how they did and how it might impact this niche moving forward.
1. Streamlining Waiting Times
Social distancing meant offices couldn’t leave people in waiting rooms while the staff ran behind. Many doctors’ offices had to figure out ways to keep patients more informed about seeing the doctor.
One solution was to have people check-in via SMS and wait in their cars for an all-clear to come inside and see the healthcare professional. Offices looked at the scheduling aspects and began spacing out appointments a bit more.
The healthcare industry may be one of the last business types to figure out excellent customer experience (CX). Before COVID, people wasted hours on a single appointment. With additional options now available, you need to ensure any face-to-face interactions are efficient and positive.
2. Adding Signage and Direction
Have you ever visited a doctor’s office and felt uncertain about the check-in procedure and protocols? If COVID-19 taught us anything, it was to have clear signage about expectations and processes.
If your office is set in an unknown location or hard to find, a sidewalk sign points people to the correct building. If you prefer people text you and wait for word to enter, hang a notice on the door and place a sidewalk sign people can see when they pull into the parking lot.
3. Moving to a Remote Model
According to McKinsey, telehealth went from 11% to 46% between 2019 and 2020. Thus, virtual healthcare rose out of necessity. However, as people realize how much more convenient telehealth is, they will continue to seek those options for their healthcare needs.
Although some wellness businesses are more challenging to take remote, companies such as Peleton saw a massive bump as people stayed home from gyms and personal trainers in favor of at-home workouts.
If you run a brick-and-mortar wellness company, consider how you might offer at least some of your services via a telemed model.
4. Branding Your Business
Why should your customers buy from you instead of one of your competitors? Branding allows you to share who you are and what causes you believe in. Once people get to know you, they’re more likely to buy from a business with a strong personality.
Figure out your core values and share them on your website. Think about which causes you believe in and how you might invest in charities. You’ll attract socially conscious customers who care about the same issues.
Strive for consistency anywhere your brand message appears. By sending out the same vibe over and over, you’ll create authenticity and reliability.
5. Becoming Proactive
You may have seen a surge in canceled appointments at the height of the pandemic. People set up times to see their wellness providers and then grew scared about going out in public. Anyone who meets with clients knows missed appointments eat up your schedule.
You could better use those time slots to see someone else and keep busy. One thing many wellness businesses began doing is being more proactive about setting, confirming and rescheduling appointments.
A quick email, phone call or SMS message lets you ask if the person is still planning to come to the appointment the next day. They can reply with a simple yes or no. Use software that automatically cancels appointments and sends another message about rescheduling.
6. Updating Your Website
The pandemic created a lot of emotions for people everywhere. Upgrading your website helps you tap into people’s needs. Even the background color of your site might impact the way someone feels when they land on your page. Each color creates a psychological impact on visitors.
Make sure you include information on processes due to COVID-19 or any other viruses or concerns coming along in the future. In addition, people should know at a glance what precautions you take and what their role is.
If you offer new services such as appointments via video apps, make sure you list the option on your website.
7. Adding to Your Services
Your business may have lost clients during the pandemic. One way some companies adapted was by adding to their services. For example, if you own a gym, you may have added some online classes people could watch from home.
Think about the types of services you already offer and how you can expand on them and keep them pandemic-proof. Adding educational features, books, and webinars are all intelligent ways of tapping into the digital market. Of course, you can still offer the same services you always have. You’ll just expand on what’s available.
Pay Attention to Trends
Study what the big players in your industry add to their offerings. You can learn a lot about what customers want by asking them. How can you better meet their needs and calm their nerves?
Some new ideas may flop, and that’s okay. Try creative solutions and stick with the ones working best for your business’s needs.
About the Author
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.