When it’s all said and done, professionals across virtually all industries want to establish a loyal consumer base–it’s the name of the game and the catalyst for success. In the world of dental care, consumers (patients in this case) can be very fleeting with their time and money. Patients are actively pursuing what is better and what will provide them with the best services at the best rate available. With that, the patient drop-off rate can be overwhelmingly high. Today we are going to talk about how you can better keep your patients. Patient retention is primarily rooted in marketing strategy, so buffering up on communications skills is an excellent place to start.
According to The Harvard Business Review, it can be 5 to 25 times more expensive to obtain a new patient than to retain an existing one. The probability of providing for a current patient is about 60-70% likely, versus a staggering low 5-20% for a new one. How can you keep your existing patients active? We suggest boosting your patient retention methods with better and more frequent communication. Below you will find some opportunities to expand your communication methods.
For starters, about 70% of people take their business elsewhere in the health and dental industry because they perceive feelings of indifference from their providers like they aren’t wanted there. It is incredibly essential to make your patients feel special and cared for, beyond their treatments. Be attentive with their needs and concerns, and use an automated system to reach out to them and notify them of upcoming appointments, overdue visits, etc. Patients also respond very favorably to access to personal medical records, so marketing an engagement center would be extremely beneficial. It would set your practice apart from others. All in all, use technology to maintain communication at all times.
Convenience sells. Spread your practice across different social channels, catered toward your patients’ online habits and whereabouts, but also consolidate your data to one central location with a user-friendly interface as a place to seek information right at their fingertips. Engage in research to identify which channels your patients use most often, as well as what kinds of campaigns they might relate to. Ensure that these social channels are all integrated seamlessly and provide transparency to what your practice is about and what it offers.
Patient journey maps are a handy tool when it comes to constructing a marketing plan for retention. These are essentially roadmaps that provide insight into patients’ interactions with a particular health organization. For example, how their first visit went and how relationships have been established both in-person and digitally. These are touchpoints that help marketers improve the customer experience, and identify gaps that can be repaired. These maps foster loyalty and lead to more positive experiences for patients.
Lastly, because of patients’ frequency on the Internet, seeking feedback from them is incredibly important. They refer to Google for testimonials and trust current patient reviews to make healthcare decisions. So after receiving positive feedback, share it via the Internet. Patients will feel more secure about their decision to stay with your practice.
Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company found that when retention rates increase by even 5%, profits can grow anywhere from 25 to 95%. While marketing is essential, at the end of the day, it is overall most important to focus on communication, making each and every patient feel special and appreciated.
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