What’s Working for Your Business? 6 Ways Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment is Increasing Revenue

Posted on in Membership

By Lalaina Rabary, VGM Marketing

In an ever-changing health care environment, Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment is experiencing an increase in revenue. Serving 2,400 patients per month in eight locations, Liberty drew my curiosity to know how are they doing it.

I spoke with Kristin Porrez, retail sales manager at the Minnesota-based company to find out. Here’s what she had to say.

The employees of Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment, including Retail Sales Manager Kristin Porrez (back row, standing, fifth from the right), welcome their customers
A happy little customer enjoys one of Liberty’s bear mascots.

To what do you attribute your revenue growth?

  • A fun atmosphere that patients enjoy.

    “We love to have fun here! A couple of years ago, we decorated our CPAP masks and attached figurines to them and called them ‘CPAP ClipArt.’ We decorate walkers with bicycle horns, and customers love it. Also, every office has a five-foot bear we use for product demonstrations and displays. We create a lighthearted spirit when patients and caregivers walk through our doors.”

  • Not winning the CPAP bid

    “When the last round of bids was announced, we didn’t win the CPAP bid. Initially, we were worried, but as a result, our CPAP business grew. We work with younger populations who aren’t Medicare age and with doctors so they understand who they can send to our store and who they can’t.”

  • A strong focus on customer service

    “Liberty Oxygen opened on Feb 14, 2002, after our owner left his job as a sales representative, because he saw a need for more patient education and better customer service. That is why Liberty Oxygen hasn’t implemented an automated phone system. When customers call, they will speak with a real person. We follow-up with our patients to ensure their equipment is meeting their needs and to answer any questions. This is done personally by a Liberty employee who knows the patient’s history. Liberty employees enjoy ongoing training from vendor reps and various outside sources, keeping them knowledgeable in an ever-changing market.”

  • Providing staff with incentives

    “We offer a wide variety of incentive programs and contests for our staff. In June, I provided each staff member with a retail goal. If they reached their goal, they were awarded with a free lunch at a restaurant of their choosing. They enjoyed the friendly competition and seeing their progress. As a result, we exceeded our retail goals. We also have a Red, White and Blue day, where any employee can win $50 and a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – a contest where staff share what their day off would look like. The winner receives a free day off. We have many other contests and programs.”

  • CPAP clinics

    “Liberty Oxygen puts on bi-annual CPAP clinics, bringing 30 or more patients into each store. During the clinics, patients can get free pressure checks and cleaning of their CPAP machines. A representative from one of our CPAP manufacturers brings the newest machines and we re-educate patients on how to care for their CPAP.”

  • Engaging with our community regularly by giving back

    “Giving back to our community is very important to us. In July, we put on the Show Us Your Crown Contest where people enter our office wearing a Liberty crown and have a picture taken. Winners are selected, awarded with prizes and for every participating organization/department, Liberty donates $10 to the American Lung Association. This led to stronger relationships with community members, organizations and referral sources.”

    What advice do you have for other VGM members?

  • “Take a look at different areas of the business that you aren’t currently doing. Don’t stay stagnant!
  • “Get out of your comfort zone and try new things even if you don’t think they will work.
  • “Focus on the design of your store. Don’t look like a warehouse.
  • “Have a positive attitude. I have been at Liberty for 10 years in October and my favorite part of my job is getting up early and coming to work every day. I really enjoy finding new and fun products that are helpful the patients.”

Curious to learn more and swap HME best practices with Kristin? Email her at [email protected]