While first creating the Available Psychologists website a colleague said to me “Really, another psychologist directory?” It’s an understandable reaction. At a quick glance there’s already around 4 major psychologist directories in Australia. So why do we need another one? Today I want to share with you the reasons I think it’s high time we had a different type of psychologist directory in the mix:
Many potential clients were shocked this year to discover waitlists to see a psychologist were often in excess of 8 months in some regional areas. This mean that clients had the unenviable task of either ringing around for hours to try and find that one miracle therapist with a free spot, or just put up with a ludicrous wait.
From the psychologist’s perspective this was often equally frustrating. Despite having no real availability many kept getting phone calls from potential clients. sometimes quite angry about the runaround they were doing. To make matters worse, many in the psychological community didn’t really know which of their colleagues had availability either. This meant having to toss clients back in the hopes that they’d chance upon someone that happened to have free spots.
Obviously there was a need here!
Most of the directories are just representing society membership. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but potential clients don’t ever really seem to care whether I’m a member of APS, ACPA, AAPi, or whatever splinter group pops up next.
What most potential clients seem to want is someone that actually has availability to see them. The trouble is that because these societies are representing their own, their listings are similarly limited. The outcome is that clients are left jumping all over the shop.
Again it’s the client missing out.
When you go onto Google it makes sense that you’re going to have to put up with paid search listings at the top. We know and expect this, but most potential clients are probably not aware that a lot of the directories charge for listings, or even charge extra to jump to the top.
Again, this might serve a particular psychologist from a marketing perspective, but it doesn’t seem to be meeting the needs of the public. And if there’s one thing us psychologists should understand it’s unmet needs!
Because a lot of the directories are just listings of paid members they tend to be very static. A member creates their profile when they join and then leaves it sitting there. Sometimes for years. Nice from an SEO perspective, but that psychologist might have not been taking on new clients for years if they’ve been established for a long time.
Again this leaves clients to make random phone calls with the hopes of landing someone that’s free.
Available Psychologists is aiming to step in and fill the gap left by current directories. We’re hoping that our psychologist directory makes everyone’s life a little bit easier and allows potential clients to get the help they need at the pace they’d expect.