Sharing this great article by Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher from Dynamic Chiropractic
Have you heard about how “beacons” are transforming the way businesses interact with their customers? Beacons are low-energy Bluetooth devices that have the ability to send information to a smartphone app.
Beacons reach consumers in specific locations through their smartphones.1
Beacons already are being used by a number of retailers (e.g., Target, Macy’s, Walmart, GameStop), as well as supermarkets and hundreds of shopping malls. Soon, they also will be in many museums, airports, stadiums and restaurants.2 Suffice it to say beacons are poised to play a large role in our lives.
The Power of the Beacon
According to one report, “half of American adults already utilize their mobile devices in stores. Consumers could also use them to inexpensively automate their homes. For example, beacons could turn on lights in a room as soon as someone with a [smartphone] has entered them, or open doors or window shades.”3
Here are the early reports on consumer use of retailer beacon apps:4
- Sixty percent of shoppers open and engage with beacon-triggered content sent by retailers.
- Seventy-three percent of shoppers surveyed said beacon-triggered content and offers increased their likelihood of purchasing a product / service during their store visit.
- Sixty-one percent of shoppers said they would visit a store engaging them with beacon marketing campaigns more often.
- Sixty percent of shoppers said they would buy more as a result of receiving beacon-triggered marketing messages.
The Beacon as a Practice Tool
From a chiropractic perspective, beacons allow you the ability to communicate with your patients directly through their smartphones using an app that specifically includes your practice. As these beacon networks grow, they will include other health providers, beauty salons, restaurants and most small businesses.
While the statistics above relate to the retail use of beacons, there are at least seven reasons you will want to have a beacon app for your chiropractic practice:
- Your Own App – Let’s face it, showing your patients you are a cutting-edge doctor, particularly in terms of technology, will enhance your image, particularly with younger patients.
- Patient Education – Provide weekly chiropractic information direct to your patients’ smartphones. It’s the next generation of patient newsletters.
- Automated Patient Reactivation Reminders – Increase the frequency of treatment visits with automated reminders for future visits. This could be particularly effective for patients you haven’t seen in a while.
- Reception-Room Welcome – Your beacon will sense when your patient enters your office, greet them and provide them with information you select to help them better appreciate your care.
- Increased Local Awareness – As the beacon network grows, it will include other businesses in your community. Consumers who join the network with other businesses will be given the opportunity to add your practice information as well.
- Open Schedule Opportunities – Your beacon can be set to reach out to patients whenever they are near your office, alerting them to convenient appointment openings. This capability can be especially effective for reactivating former patients who may be nearby and have a few minutes to come see you.
- Cost-Effectiveness – You can have your own practice beacon communicating with your patients for less than $60 per month. There is currently at least one company serving the chiropractic profession that doesn’t even charge a setup fee.
These are just the initial features a beacon app will provide your practice. Beacons will enhance your relationship with your patients on a new level as they continue to develop.
Beacons are simple communications tools that can be easily automated to reach your patients on their smartphones with timely information regarding their care and appointments. They will soon become as normal as having a cellphone. This is a great opportunity for doctors of chiropractic to be early adopters and take advantage of the practice benefits beacons offer.
- “What is iBeacon? A Guide to Beacons.” Ibeaconinsider; iBeacons News Everyday.www.ibeacon.com
- Korber S. “Retail’s ‘Beacon’ of Hope: Shopping That’s Personal.” CNBC.com, May 26, 2015.
- Danova T. “BEACONS: What They Are, How They Work, And Why Apple’s iBeacon Technology Is Ahead Of The Pack.” Business Insider, Oct. 23, 2014.
- “Swirl Releases Results of Retail Store Beacon Marketing Campaigns.” Swirl.com, Nov. 25, 2014.