Introducing women’s wellness into your practice can be a different and very rewarding move. However, it is critical to build a strong marketing foundation for long-term success.
Women’s sexual health has become an increasingly developing area of wellness, particularly with the range of non-surgical devices trailblazing the market for everything from urinary incontinence to sexual dissatisfaction.
It may seem a bit daunting to develop a plan to introduce a new treatment into your clinic, particularly one that relates to such private and intimate concerns. However, introducing non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation into your practice (if you haven’t already) will be bringing a new approach to an underserved women’s health and wellness need. Regardless of the nature of the treatment, building a strong foundation with clear goals is critical.
Construct a marketing plan
Having a clear vision and solid marketing plan are essential when introducing any new service to your practice. Not only to ensure nothing gets overlooked but also to ensure the success of your new projects by consolidating your current business and your new investment in women’s sexual health.
Remember that your current business is very important and focusing on existing patients, whose trust and loyalty you have already earned, will play a significant role in the success of your new investment. If you solely focus on acquiring new patients, you will risk a significant amount of time and money.
Place focus on existing opportunities – that is, your current database of patients who know and trust you. This may involve making contact with the patients who you know will be good candidates for the treatment, and perhaps making a list of special ‘VIP’ patients and providing them with information via email or phone in a subtle and ethical manner.
Part of bringing this new investment into your practice is considering if any of your patients would be willing to openly discuss their experience with others. Women’s sexual health is very much still the white elephant in the room – everyone is aware that it’s there, but no one wants to talk about it. Identifying a select group of influential clients who will speak openly about such an intimate subject, especially to other patients, is a great way to spread awareness about a new treatment for sexual wellness.
Once you have prepared the foundation through strategic planning and preparing your practice, you can then reach out to new patients through well-thought-out arenas, including local media or guest speakers. Ensuring every aspect of the client-facing business is in line, including marketing, administrative and sales, will secure better results.
Whether dealing with medical aesthetics or sexual wellness, many clinics are not sufficiently prepared to talk about a new treatment and, as a result, patient conversion and expensive marketing activities suffer.
Staff must not only be enthusiastic about the treatment, they must also be able to feel comfortable talking about intimate matters in detail before they start speaking with patients about such personal issues. If they appear uncomfortable discussing these topics, it will become obvious to the patient – who will already be nervous to begin with.
Your staff knows your patients (sometimes better than you do), so they are in the best position to start a conversation with them about a new treatment. The key is to make sure they are ready to start that conversation, especially when it involves such an intimate and private concern. Education is an important part of this process, so your staff need to be well informed in the broader field of sexual wellness and understand its importance.
Women’s sexual health
Until recently there was a consistent lack of clinically proven treatments for women dealing with loss of sexual sensation due to childbirth, ageing or other natural causes.
A common condition usually associated with vaginal childbirth as well as natural ageing is Vaginal Relaxation Syndrome (VRS), a condition described as a loss of optimal vaginal structure. Pregnancies and births contribute to a worsening of the VRS condition, as does the onset of menopause, which causes a decline in hormone levels and vaginal atrophy. This can result in a decrease or loss of sexual pleasure.
Stress urinary incontinence is quite common in women after their first birth (24-29% of women suffer from this condition). It is a form of urinary incontinence caused by loss of support of the urethra, which is usually due to damage to pelvic support structures as a result of childbirth or frequent exercise in high-impact activities.
Up until recently, these conditions were considered an inevitable consequence of female ageing and treatments were undergone only in very rare cases.
The rise in vaginal rejuvenation treatments and cosmetic concerns has allowed other treatments in women’s health to surface, addressing issues with discomfort during sex for postmenopausal women, like atrophy and lack of lubrication. Now we’re seeing the shift into female sexual function, which is a different area, especially for the patient.
With a range of treatments available, it can become quite confusing, so it is increasingly important that staff familiarise themselves with sexual wellness, the treatments your clinic offers and what is happening in the marketplace. This will make sure your patients are comfortable discussing their concerns and they receive the correct information about sexual wellness, which is critical.
It goes without saying that your clinic should deliver an ambience that is both welcoming and pristinely clean.
In terms of marketing material, consider placing pamphlets or brochures where a patient can access and review them privately, such as the treatment room or bathroom.
Remember to update your website to make sure the new treatment is easy to find from your home page and create a new dedicated page with all of the relevant information about the treatment. It’s also good to post the new treatment on your social media page and also to update your clinic brochures and menu of services.
Patient tracking is vital for these types of treatments. Happy patients won’t always come back to you and share their results; so patient tracking is an integral part of your patient care process.
Follow up with your patients at one-month, three-month, and six-month intervals to check in and keep a record of their progress. Some devices only require one treatment, so it is of even more importance to touch base with the patient and discuss their progress. If your patient is happy at the six-month mark, she will be more inclined to have further treatments and also to recommend them to her friends.
Although it may be a very different area for your practice, the topic of women’s sexual health is becoming more openly discussed and there is high demand for these procedures. If undertaken correctly, it can be a very rewarding move. It can help enable suitable patients to lead a more confident care-free life, as well as opening up a whole new subset of patients for your practice.