Remaining relevant in a digital world

As global connectivity soars, generational shifts are poised to play a more important part in determining behaviours than socioeconomic differences. As true digital natives, Gen Z are able to exert influence on scale prior generations could only imagine.

In years the difference between Millennials and Gen Z may be small but the gap between them is huge. Immediacy is key in an era when the customer journey has never been more complex. Everything is now available at the touch of a button, and that button is rarely more than
arm’s-length away on mobile device. Just how do you get ahead of a generation that always appears to have arrived first? How do you grab and retain a Gen Zer’s attention whose world is equal parts physical and digital, otherwise known as phygital?

In this phygital world, it is important to ensure you are relevant to consumers in both dimensions. You have to go beyond their expectations, both delighting and exciting them every time they enter the practice. It’s essential to build a practice that provides both excellent clinical care and extraordinary experiences in equal quantities. Surrounding a patient with technology that is both impressive and functional is essential to retain patients who are continually searching for the next best thing.

Keeping your patients engaged is just as important as attracting new ones. Gen Z has the world at its fingertips; as individuals they don’t make a phone call to book an appointment or wait for someone to reply to their queries in a few days’ time – they want everything to happen at an instant. Leaving a patient to their own devices for too long will result in them being picked up by somebody else who is ready to help them now.

A quick scroll through social sharing sites like Instagram will show you the need for shareable experiences. Whether your patients are going to share online or not, you want to leave them with a lasting impression that they can share with their friends. What is your practice providing that makes a patient excited to share their experience with the world?

It’s unrealistic to give every patient an individual experience, but it is something that patients are beginning to expect. Gen Z expects everything to revolve around them, so it is, therefore, crucial to at least create the illusion that this is the case.

The SmileView app is an excellent example of how technology can engage and excite a patient before they even get into the chair. SmileView is a mobile, web-based tool that enables consumers to take a selfie and visualise how their smile may look following treatment. Peaking a patient’s interest before they get to the chair, not only excites them to the prospect of what their smile could look like, but also minimises time in the chair trying to ‘sell’ the patient the treatment – the hard part has already been done, they can see the results and they want it.

If you’re interested to learn more, you can try out the SmileView app for yourself here.

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