Many local newspapers, magazines and radio stations hand out “people’s choice awards,” in which individuals in the community nominate and vote for their favorite businesses in various categories. The Rockford (Illinois) Register-Star holds an annual Best of the Rock River Valley promotion, for example, in which readers vote for their favorite hospital, chiropractor, dentist, family practice, and emergency room, among other categories. Supporters of businesses like the Dogwood Pet Resort are encouraged to spread the word to increase voting using social media and promote the fact that they’ve been nominated in a quest to garner votes—and attention.
The benefits of participating are threefold for the urgent care operator. First, the nomination and voting process engages customers in promoting the business. According to The Ultimate Question 2.0, the number-one predictor of future business success is a customer’s willingness to refer a business to friends and family. Second, being nominated or winning in a category serves as an outside endorsement of the business’ service quality; somewhat like a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,” it affirms that others in the community value services provided by the business. Third, winning comes with its own free advertising and publicity, especially in the publication that sponsored the contest. Often, consumers will hang on to “best of” lists for the remainder of the year as a reference when they have future service needs.
Typically, publications or media outlets put out a call for nominations several months in advance. Be sure to monitor your local media for such announcements, encourage customers to nominate your business, and once nominated…encourage your customers to vote!
Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
Practice Velocity, LLC
Practice Management Editor
JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine