Whenever talking to a potential client about using the BuildMyBod Health platform on their website, I run them through an online demo via GoToMeeting. While doing a demo today, I had an interesting conversation with the CFO of a practice chain interested in the platform. He expressed concern with the commoditization of cosmetic surgery by using our platform. While I totally understand his/their concern, I disagree and here’s why!
The Commoditization of Cosmetic Surgery
My understanding of the CFO’s concern is this. He worries that if the consumer can check pricing on the doctor’s website, this will drive patients to find the cheapest doctor and therefore pressure the doctors to lower their prices. Thus leading to the commoditization of cosmetic surgery. While I agree that listing your pricing as a simple menu on your website is dumb AF, my rebuttal is two-fold when it comes to the benefits of using a Price Estimator that provides an automated estimate for the consumer in the process of generating a lead for the practice.
Consumers are already calling doctor’s offices asking about pricing. So if the consumer is in fact looking for the cheapest price, they’ll find it eventually. This is occurring with or without the existence of the BuildMyBod platform.
The difference between the “old way” vs the BuildMyBod Price Estimator is that with the current/old way, the consumer calls the office and the office staff has to dedicate several minutes explaining what goes into pricing. Maybe they tell the patient they have to come in for a consultation to get pricing. Maybe they tell them it’s too complicated to explain pricing without seeing the patient first. In other words, the front office staff beats around the bush because their physician-bosses are traditionally weirded-out when it comes to discussing pricing over the phone.
So what ensues is the office staff either 1) refuses to give the information over the phone which aggravates the caller (terrible customer service) or 2) they tell them the price over the phone and then the caller hangs up…without the office staff ever knowing who the caller was or the ability to follow up with them.
Before moving on, I want to point out that it’s not unreasonable for the consumer to want to know cost. It’s the same for buying a car or a house. Why go to the open house or dealership unless you know whether it’s in your budget? Cosmetic surgery, or healthcare services in general are no different. And just because someone is asking about price doesn’t make them a price shopper. Patients appreciate that level of transparency and will reward you for it.
An automated system like the BuildMyBod Health Price Estimator doesn’t in and of itself commoditize cosmetic surgery. That fault lies with the office’s decision to compete on price. If your goal is to focus on patients searching out the least expensive procedure, then that’s your decision. But just because you use a Price Estimator to allow consumers to automatically check pricing in exchange for their contact info doesn’t magically cause prices to drop.
So what’s the benefit of getting the consumer’s contact info in return for providing automated pricing information? You can follow up and explain what differentiates you from other practices and why you’re worth it. If they don’t care, then they wouldn’t care no matter how they received the pricing information. But better they find out ahead of time so they don’t come in and waste you and your office staff’s time on a consultation that ends in sticker shock!
To check pricing from Dr. Kaplan, click here.