Customer financing: Offer options as advantage

Q. There are so many HME providers. How can I stand out?
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Friday, May 31, 2019

A. In a crowded market like medical equipment, it can be hard to stand out. As customers are faced with more choices, identifying and understanding the target audience for your products is important. Recently we completed a generational health study which shed light into how each generation pays for care. We learned that customers in each generation can struggle to pay out-of-pocket healthcare and equipment costs. When insurance coverage for equipment decreases, customers may be more inclined to shop around to find the best price. Some customers may even delay or decline a purchase simply because they don’t have the cash on hand. When you understand your customers’ purchasing behavior, you can address affordability concerns which may set you apart from the competition.

One way to attract customers in each generation is by offering them a way to pay for the medical equipment they want and need. By offering a third-party financing option (such as a health, wellness and personal care credit card), you can help your customers fit equipment purchases into their budget and give them a clear reason to choose you over the competition. A payment solution like this can also encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, as customers can use their available credit for future purchases.

The key to making financing a competitive differentiator is being sure customers know that you offer this benefit, especially when they may be shopping around. For example, promote financing on various pages of your website, no matter where customers are in the buying process, they have the opportunity to learn about available financing options. Including financing prominently in your advertising, email and direct mail campaigns, and of course in-store signage is also a great idea. When you understand your customers, enhance their payment experience and demonstrate your commitment to helping them bring home the equipment and supplies they want or need, you can stand out and see a positive impact on your bottom line. That’s a win-win.

Tim Donovan is senior vice president, Synchrony and CareCredit CMO. Learn more at carecredit.com/HME2019