Welcome to the second half of our two-part blog series on Boling Vision Center (BVC), and how their practice not only survived but thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Part 1, we focused on how they created a safe and enjoyable patient experience by developing new processes and services in addition to modifying old ones. In this blog, we will examine how they were able to cost-effectively achieve record numbers by executing an aggressive social media and community outreach initiative during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Capitalizing on Social Media
“When the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, we knew it was important for us to stay true to who we are as a practice and that we had to find ways to connect with our community,” said Heather Gerlach, BVC's Director of Operations. “We wanted to be a positive force, a light for our community in a difficult and uncertain time.”
To achieve this, the staff of BVC worked together to produce content for Facebook and social media that would help their patients and other viewers stay positive during the lockdown:
- Ball of Amazing – The team worked separately during quarantine to produce a “Ball of Amazing” video. This was a fun, positive, lighthearted video to help viewers feel encouraged during a time of difficulty.
- Practice Update – This video was a clear and calm message explaining what services BVC was offering after their return from solely seeing emergency-only patients.
- Safety Measures & New Procedures Update – With a core message of “We’re Here to Serve,” the providers and staff of BVC produced this video to explain the practice’s new safety measures as well as offer a step-by-step guide for their new appointment procedures.
While their social media content was a great way to maintain communication with their patients and community, the team at BVC knew that true patient engagement only happens through interaction. So, they put their heads together (virtually, of course) and began executing community outreach projects such as the following:
- Virtual BINGO – The team at BVC hosted a “Virtual Boling BINGO” event online, providing participants with an afternoon of fun interaction and prizes.
- Notre Dame Tributes – To show their appreciation and support for Notre Dame Women’s Basketball, the BVC team participated in a virtual congratulations to Coach Muffet McGraw on her retirement as well as to say “good luck” to Coach Niele Ivey on taking over the role.
- Parade of Cars Events – BVC participated in several “Parade of Cars” events, in celebration of special occasions (that could not be attended in person) such as local high school graduations, birthdays, etc.
Cost Effective Marketing with Amazing Results
After all the hard work they put into executing these patient and community engagement campaigns, BVC experienced tangible results. In fact, June 2020 was the biggest month in BVC history for patient volume, which resulted in BVC exceeding their typical pre-COVID monthly goal for patients served by nearly 10% and a call volume spike of 45% year over year. Hayley Boling, BVC's CEO, stated that, "After we closed our July books, we were pleased, although not surprised due to our very intentional efforts during this challenging time, to see that even with being nearly dark for 6 weeks due to COVID, we finished July down only 2% YTD. This demonstrates that a strategic and deliberate approach, along with a desire to turn tragedy into transformation, is the key to tackling any challenge no matter how big or small."
The team at BVC recognize that their community is their livelihood. When COVID-19 struck, they knew that being there for their patients and the surrounding community was crucial. Though they experienced financial gains from these social media and community outreach programs, achieving monetary rewards was but an effect and not the primary goal of these campaigns.
“Take care of your community and they will take care of you,” stated Gerlach, “This is true, now more than ever.”
To learn more about how Nextech’s solutions have supported practices like BVC before and during the pandemic, fill out this form and a member of our team will be in touch soon.