Healthcare may be recession-proof historically, but that doesn’t mean your customers feel like they are recession-proof. In fact, they are likely under immense stress and making decisions to buy – or not – accordingly. That makes it even more imperative that you understand your customer and what is on their mind. So ask yourself, is your healthcare customer worried about recession? The odds are, the answer is yes.

Put yourself in their shoes.

If ever there is a time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, it’s when the economy gets shaky. Especially if, as now, the shakiness is coming after years of pandemic chaos, staff shortages, and rising costs. If you’ve already invested in voice-of-customer research, then you are in a good position to move forward. You can build on the research you’ve already done to create new messaging.

If you have not yet implemented a voice-of-customer approach, it’s not too late to begin. Here are three steps that will help you get started:

1) Listen.

Listening is the essence of the voice-of-customer method. It cannot be overstated how much we miss when we assume we understand our customer, as opposed to just listening to them in the first place. Even if your customer is fretting over an issue you know for a fact will not be a problem, you still need to address it. You always have to start where your customer is because, if you have not listened to them, how can you expect them to listen to you?

It should be noted that listening does not mean nodding briefly and then jumping in with your solution. It means actually listening, being patient, and empathizing with your customer’s situation. Misery shared is misery halved – so let your customer relieve their stress by telling you about it. This gives them mental and emotional space to take in new information. And it gives you insight into what they need in order to consider partnering with you.

2) Speak to their pain points.

If you’ve listened well, you will know what your customer wants to learn from you. They may want to start with your pricing because that’s what’s on their mind. Or it could be that a rough technology implementation a few years prior still hangs over them, and they want to make sure this will be different.

Whatever is on their mind, start there. There is no point in talking with your customer about what you want to talk about; you need to talk about what they want to talk about. If you’re still not sure what that is, keep listening. There will be plenty of time to talk later.

3) Be flexible.

When customers are nervous, they may want to do things a little differently. Maybe they’ll be averse to spending money but be okay with a contingency model. Maybe they’ll want a staggered implementation so they can spread the costs out.

So, again, listen. If you are attentive, your customer will tell you what they are looking for. Obviously not everything can be accommodated but, where changes are feasible, it can make a big difference.

Show your customer you are on their side.

Customers who are worried about finances are looking for partners who are willing to work with them. The more you can step up to the plate and help them out, the more interested they will be in working with you.

Photo by Lucas Kapla on Unsplash.