Patients don't choose a clinic, they choose a doctor.
But they don't make this choice based on qualifications, degrees or "Top Doctor" awards (everyone knows those are paid placements, by the way…). According to Donald Miller, author of Building a Storybrand and creator of the Storybrand framework, patients (customers) are looking for a guide who will help them overcome their current challenge.
In every story, the guide is the strongest character. Not the hero.
It's the guide who has been in the hero's shoes and made it through who calls the hero into action, and gives her a plan.
Therefore, you position yourself as a guide by demonstrating empathy and authority.
Unfortunately, most doctor websites position the doctor as the hero (by only talking about their skills, awards and qualifications), and completely lack empathy.
Empathy brings your patients closer, making them more likely to choose you over your peers.
Empathetic statements you can use in your website are:
- We know what it's like having to check for the nearest restroom every time you go out (meant for patients with Crohn's).
- I feel your frustration when all the tests come back normal despite feeling weak and tired (meant for patients with Lyme).
- I know getting back on the court is all that matters to you (for athletes dealing with an injury).
The goal of empathetic statements is to get your potential patient to think "yes, that's exactly it".
Empathy alone is not enough. A guide has to also display authority for the hero to follow
Your patients are not just looking for empathy.
Sure, they need to feel understood. But most importantly, they need a solution to what ails them. This is why they are considering you. So you need to step up and guide them.
You display authority by demonstrating you've solved their problem before.
Statements you can use in your website to demonstrate authority sound like:
- We have helped more than 1000 patients with Crohn's.
- I have been working with the Lyme patient community for two decades.
- We have helped athletes like so and so make full recoveries and be back in the team for the playoffs.
The goal with these statements is to get potential patients to think "I want that too!"
Now that you know, look at your website and see whether you're positioning yourself as the hero, or the guide.