One of our clients was looking for waiting room videos and had a friend recommend a company called Channel D. We’d not heard of it but on investigation Channel D looked like a compelling offering: access to more than 100 bite-sized, light-hearted animations that create interest in treatments, with free customisations, for £135 a month. So we spoke to director Michael Sernik to find out more. Michael is a former dentist who was partner of Prime Practice, the largest practice management company in the southern hemisphere, until starting Channel D three and a half years ago. He was also the main trainer at a Las Vegas institute for post graduate dental studies.
Michael, why haven’t we heard of Channel D?
We’re growing in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand but we haven’t done any marketing in the UK or continental Europe yet. However, the word has spread, and we do have a handful of UK and European clients.
What’s Channel D’s USP?
Over the years I have looked at all the dental videos and felt that they all focused on how treatment was done. Telling patients HOW an implant is inserted doesn’t make them want one. The real challenge that dentists face is getting the patient to WANT the treatment. These videos are designed to create that interest. We think conversations lead to better treatment choices, so we create videos that create curiosity which leads to conversations and ultimately better choices. That’s why Channel D’s content looks different from other patient lounge videos.
How are your videos received by patients?
Channel D is perceived as a personal communication from you to your patient. Many of our videos feature photos of you and your team. Patients compliment you on YOUR videos because they think you commissioned them. One client said that he has patients who don’t want to leave the patient lounge. “It’s like they are binge watching”. Channel D is silent. Having a voice track makes videos sound like commercials. Playing commercials is intrusive and most practices turn the sound off because of the complaints.
How do your clients get the files?
Channel D is an app on Google Play, so if your TV has Google Play you log in and access the content. If not, we send a Channel D media stick that connects your computer to our server. It’s small, half the size of a phone, and fits into the back of any TV, even against the wall. You curate your playlist and upload images you want to be inserted into videos on your computer through your account. Channel D is not just a content creation system. It’s also a video delivery system, so if you want to add other videos to your playlist, that’s simple to do.
How do D Channel videos perform as a communications tool?
We’ve designed the videos to be graphically surprising and attention grabbing. The humour helps attract attention. People remember things that are funny. We also try to create curiosity, and this leads to more conversation. Patients tend to make comments and ask questions when they’ve watched these videos. If everyone understands how to continue these conversations with patients it improves treatment choices.
How did you figure out your price point?
We’ve tried to get the pricing right down to remove any barrier to entry and we give everyone a 60-day free trial. At less than £5 per day it falls into the petty cash category – like free coffee, magazines or flowers. The difference here is that it will grow the practice.