The biggest global health crisis in living memory means the world has changed, it means that people’s behaviours have changed, and it means that businesses of every type need to change to meet the expectations of their customers.
Here are six key trends that have implications for clinics and for us at Chrysalis Finance. They underpin why we offer the finance products we do and why you should offer your patients payment plans.
- Living for the moment
The EY Future Consumer Index has identified five consumer segments, one of which is termed ‘Experience First’. This segment is characterised by a desire to live for the moment and make the most of life while you can. It’s an understandable reaction in such uncertain times.
For you as a clinic, this means some of your patients are less inclined to wait until they have saved enough for a treatment. If it is going to measurably improve the quality of their life, they would rather have it now and build the cost into their monthly outgoings. Hence, monthly payment plans are ideal for their needs.
Furthermore, ongoing uncertainty around changing Covid regulations adds urgency. With waiting lists for treatments growing, any delay in getting started could be hit by further delays if restrictions are deemed necessary again to curb rising infections. Again, payment plans can allow patients to bring their treatment forward and minimise the risk of it being cancelled.
- Putting health first
Another key consumer segment identified in the same research is people for whom the pandemic has turned their focus onto health and self-care. This could be as a way of feeling some control in a world where Covid 19 can strike at any moment. It means more people prioritising health and dental treatments, so it is important to be able to offer your patients a way of spreading their costs so that they can address this priority in a way that doesn’t have a dramatic one-off impact on their finances.
- Having a financial buffer
Many people went into the pandemic with little or no savings. In consumer research by Forbes, 85% of people stated that they have taken some action to create or build savings. For many people this is about a sense of security. It’s not a fund they intend to spend unless they absolutely must. By offering your patients the option of spreading the cost of their treatment, you can stop it eating into their rainy-day fund and their sense of security.
- Enjoying a simpler life
The simple pleasures of life have become more important to people. Backing up this trend, Social media consultants, We Are Social, have identified a growth in online engagement in nature, gardening, family and community. The pandemic has shown us that friends and family are more important than ‘stuff’ and that we should enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Addressing the need for medical or dental treatment is part of that trend. If we can reduce pain, enjoy the confidence of a beautiful smile, or take the plunge on a cosmetic procedure we have long considered, then it helps us to enjoy life more. Payment plans make this possible, removing the wait and allowing people to get on with what matters to them.
- Asking ‘Can we afford it?’
The EY research shows that more than ever, price and affordability are important factors in purchasing decisions. 78% of consumers are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their finances and 53% say price has become a more important consideration on purchase decisions. Spreading the cost of expensive but necessary items such as dental or medical treatments allows people to factor it in their monthly budget calculations. With Chrysalis, you can offer short-term interest-free payment plans or longer term, lower payment, interest-bearing plans, giving your patients more choice and greater control over their finances.
- Seeking trust and integrity
Perhaps most important of the consumer trends is the increasing emphasis on integrity. This is evident across many recent surveys including the EY research and it is borne out by our own quarterly consumer focus groups. Patients need to feel confident that they can put their trust in their practitioner and that any finance they take out is with a trustworthy organisation. Having been through such worrying times, this is only natural, and the good news is that at Chrysalis Finance we have a solid infrastructure which underpins our Patient Promise – a six-point assurance that gives your patients confidence we are responsible lenders whom they can trust.
Payment plans are an important part of your patient offer
There is no doubt that some of these trends are here to stay. And while payment plans for dental or medical treatments are not exactly front of mind for most people, they are part of a bigger picture of changing consumer wants and needs. Contact us today to make sure you are moving with these shifts and offering your patients finance to make their lives easier.
Find out more at https://chrysalisfinance.co.uk/partner-with-us/
Call us on 0333 32 32 230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org