Just read a LinkedIn post that commented that a discount online GP service was ‘devaluing’ GP services in general.
I have to say that while I have some sympathy for the plight of GPs & the pressures they face things are a little different when viewed through a consumer lens.
In fact as a consumer I’m delighted to see bulk-billed or low cost services, and I’m delighted to see technology used to facilitate rapid delivery of commodity-type services.
You as a GP or Practice Owner may be worse off as a consequence but many consumers are better off not only financially but in terms of speedy service.
If you are a provider or a practice owner and feel that discount service providers are devaluing your service then you need to consider market economics & customer service through a wider lens.
I don’t care what industry you are in - it is not the responsibility of consumers to value what you do. It’s up to you to demonstrate and deliver that value.
There is room in the market for ‘cheapest’ just as there is room in the market for ‘best’ (with pricing to match).
If you are concerned about a ‘race to the bottom’ dragging down your profitability and want to charge higher fees then focus on providing superior service, superior outcomes or superior anything and justify why you are worthy of your higher prices.
Personally I will pay a premium for faster or better medical services where the skill & expertise matters and the provider demonstrates superior value in their service offering.
Additionally it bears mentioning that the ‘service’ from a consumer perspective is about the Total Customer Experience, not just the consultation itself.
These days I’m very much in health consumer mode and I greatly appreciate when practices treat their patients like valuable customers. It means I walk into the appointment feeling respected and grateful before the consult even begins. It’s a very good foundation for a therapeutic alliance and a great differentiator from ‘in and out’ low cost services.