In my last post I talked about providing good customer service being of paramount importance. The first, most obvious way to serve your customer is to give them what they want when they ask for it. These days we “ask” with Google, and as Jens Monsees of Google Germany pointed out, if you’re not there when they Google you, you’re product is not “on the shelf” so why should they buy you?
Aaron Uydess spoke his usual customer-focused sense and had a nice chart mapping customer needs against business needs, and recognising that we should focus our online services in the sweet spot where customer needs and business needs intersect. It is possible – we have content we want to share and we can organise it in ways that HCPs want to access it. Aaron encouraged us to “do small things and do them really well”. For example, offering a service to doctors so that they can download useful patient content and email it to their patients as a service from themselves. This is just one of the offerings of the NovoMedlink portal, that allows users to rate content and share it with colleagues.
Laurence Sherman (@meducate) of Prova Education pointed out in characteristic pithy style that in digital education as in all online communication, we have to be interactive, entertaining and engaging. It is not sufficient to expect doctors to read text documents online. He asserted that we can offer relevant eCME at the point of care that can stimulate better clinical practice. He also told us that finally the EACCME (the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education) has indicated it is providing credits for online CME in Europe. (Ironically enough the EACCME’s own website looks like someone has hit “save as HTML” on a Word document…happy to lend a hand if you like, folks).
Given that 1.5bn people the world over use search (mostly Google), and that health topics still rank highly (Peaks in 2009? “Swine flu” was second only to “Michael Jackson”), regardless of whether you engage in social media or not, you should most certainly (said Jens Monsees) sort out your Google profile. Get your digital assets in order (by which I think he meant build a good site), search engine optimise it and, for the places you can’t compete organically, buy Google keywords. Pretty basic stuff. But still important. As far as doctors and patients are concerned, this is still MUCH more important in terms of sheer visibility than social networks. But watch this space.