If you don’t already have a patient retention plan in place, you could be losing patients already to another practice!
It’s imperative you have strategies in place to help keep your patients happy and healthy… and make it easy for them to communicate with you when it’s most convenient to them.
If you’ve ever taken a basic business course, you’ve probably heard the age-old advice that it’s a lot easier and more cost-effective to keep your current patients happy and coming back to you than it is to dig up new business.
In fact, many businesses and practices follow the popular 80/20 rule – you get 80 percent of your revenues from 20 percent of your patients.
And if you’re keeping your current patients happy, chances are that you are benefitting from some great word-of-mouth referrals from them too!
This part is critical to helping you not only keep your current practice healthy, but to your growth and future revenue potential as well!
If you don’t have a patient acquisition or retention plan in place, it’s critical that you start taking steps to attracting and keeping your aesthetic patient clientele.
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While this may sound like an acquisition strategy rather than a retention strategy, your ability to retain your patients down the road relies on their interaction with you and your staff at every turn.
How the phone is answered is critical to the success of your practice, espeically if you are in a highly competitive market – like aesthetic medicine.
First off, always make sure there is someone scheduled to answer your phone during regular business hours. If you just let your calls go to voicemail, your potential patient will just dial the next practice on their search results.
Anyone charged with answering patient inquiries needs to be trained on how your calls should be answered, what questions they need to ask and knowing that the end goal is to get the caller booked in for a free consultation – never tell a patient over the phone what they need.
Asking open-ended questions is a great way to build rapport with people and learn about their needs. Never ask questions that can be answered as simple yes or no answers.
Some examples of questions you can ask are:
Where did you hear about that procedure?
Is there anything about that procedure that is unclear or confusing to you?
Yes, we’ve done thousands of those procedures; is there a specific question you have relating to that procedure?
Make every effort to personalize your communication with each patient as much as you can.
This includes knowing how they would prefer you to follow up with them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sending an appointment reminder, communicating a new service available to them or asking for valuable feedback about their recent treatment or procedure.
Knowing how each patient likes to be communicated with and tailoring your approach in each case to them can go a long way in making your patients feel like you’re listening and that you care about them.
You can either use your in-house staff to track this if you already have a system in place, or try a service like PatientPop that can help you manage your patient communications and preferences.
For every patient, it’s important to keep on-going communication with them.
It’s not enough to just have likes on your Facebook page or people following you on Instagram.
Building out your email list with current and prospective patients is one of the most powerful and effective ways to keep growing your practice – so whenever you can, make sure you’re getting an email address for everyone walking through your front door or phoning your practice!
Email campaigns don’t have to be complicated. You could send out weekly or monthly skin care tips, advice on leading a healthier lifestyle, patient testimonials, announcements for new products or procedures you have available, or anything else you think your patients will find helpful.
The most important part is that you are sending something to them on a regular schedule. And it should be a schedule you can stick to easily.
Even once a quarter with a newsletter can help you grow your practice.
One easy tool that we recommend for managing your email lists is Constant Contact. It’s easy to maintain different lists and segments with this service.
These days, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to publish their feelings and opinions about a recent interaction on the internet.
With online reviews with sites like Facebook, Yelp and Google so readily accessible, you want to ensure you’re following up with your patients about their experience before they’ve even had a chance to think about posting a review – whether positive or negative.
Follow up by phone, text or email… but make sure you’re asking your patients for their feedback in a timely. Whether it’s constructive or otherwise.
Even sending a patient satisfaction survey after every visit can help you solicit valuable feedback.
Use this feedback to improve your patient experience and it will naturally help you create and sustain a patient base.
You can also then immediately address any concerns that may come up. And make changes where necessary to avoid any problems down the road.
Caring about patients will keep them from leaving you for another practice.
Many healthcare providers hear the word automation and immediately think of something robotic, de-personalized. They think it will weaken their connection with their patients, not strengthen it.
And while this can be true if you completely step out of the communication process and think an automated system will just do it all for you, automation, when applied correctly, can actually strengthen your relationship with your patients while also enhancing their experience with your practice and your staff.
Like you, your patients also lead busy lives. They could have more on their plates than you can guess.
Scheduling small reminders to help them be proactive about their care will set you apart from other practices and show your commitment to keeping your patients happy and healthy.
Have a system in place that automatically sends reminders to book an annual checkup or to remind patients about an upcoming appointment.
PatientPop is your all-in-one practice growth platform that’s HIPAA-compliant, delivers measurable improvements, and is proven to grow your practice.
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