How often do you receive an unsolicited telephone call trying to sell you something? Too often! But today I spoke with a DME/HME dealer who I met last year at Medtrade. He described how successful his company was because they instituted a “Thank You” phone call program.
His message is: “Most people seem to feel that telemarketing from homecare providers constitutes fraud and abuse. That is not true! Yes, there are constraints which must be observed. By correct “telemarketing” you can establish an excellent means of communicating.
“When any customer, Medicare, Medicaid, HMO, or cash obtains a piece of equipment, an opportunity is presented. They would call them on the phone the day after a delivery was made to check if they were satisfied with the equipment. They also asked if there were any problems they wished to discuss.”
This is an opening gambit. “If they ask you about new or other items, the opening is there. Keep track of the date of the call. Place the customer on a mailing list and periodically send them a mailing with a product which works well with what they bought.”
I suggest a second call. If the product purchased is for short-term use, make the call in two weeks. If not, make the call after a month. This should be a very friendly inquiry about how they are faring and if the equipment is doing what they anticipated.
Be sure you do no solicit during these first calls. They are to establish communication. When the caretaker or the patient needs something else, they will remember the caring dealer who called to inquire about “how they were doing?”
Well, this is not telemarketing in the traditional format, but it sure can be effective. I know that when you establish a relationship, your customers will remember you and call your company first.