With all the competition in the healthcare world, it is easy to get caught up in what your competitors are doing. But in the end, all you can control is you. So here are three great ways to differentiate yourself from the competition – and one you want to avoid.

1) We do the hard part for you.

A client of mine helps hospitals increase their revenue by going through their charges. It’s a great offer – but a complicated process and very time-intensive. Luckily, they have a great differentiator – they do all the grunt work for you.

When you use this as a differentiator, it is harder for your competition to do the same. Unless they were doing it all along, they are unlikely to be able to whip together a team and process that can take on all that work. Which means this is a solid differentiator that has staying power.

2) We offer more.

Another client of mine provides information to parents of children with a rare genetic disorder. What sets them apart is the depth of the information they provide. The others in their specialty give only the most basic – and often least useful – details. To differentiate themselves, my client dove deep and created several ebooks on the nuances these parents would need to know.

What makes this a great differentiator is that your competition cannot quickly increase their knowledge and add tons of content. And even when they start to catch up, you can easily add new information to stay a step ahead.

3) We are easier to use.

Years ago, I was Director of Marketing for a physician scheduling platform. Our platform was great but not as easy to use as our biggest competitor’s. Their platform was more user-friendly, their icons were more intuitive, and they made it far simpler to call up whatever you needed quickly. (They eventually bought the company I was working for.)

For any IT platform, “easier to use” is a solid differentiator because it is very hard for your competition to match it. If your competitor wasn’t user-friendly from the beginning, it will require a big push to change all their graphics – let alone any of the underlying database organization. That keeps you ahead of the game.

And the one you want to avoid …

The absolute worst differentiator is price. This is especially true in the healthcare world where the big players can undercut your price in a heartbeat.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t be less expensive – just don’t lead with it. If you’re in the lucky situation of having a great product that costs less than the competition, treat the lower price as a fabulous bonus. Lead with another differentiator and then mention the lower price as icing on the cake.

Another common approach in the healthcare world is to use a contingency model. This is when a customer only pays you if you get them results. This, too, is great as an extra – but not one strong enough to lead with.

Select your differentiator with care

When choosing a differentiator, focus on your value and what is fundamental to your business. If you’re stuck, a little voice-of-customer research can help you decide which differentiator is best for you.

Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash.