On average, dental practices spend 10 times more to recruit new patients than on retaining existing patients. That’s why retention is so important.
Recently, a new company purchased the cable company I had been with for many years. With the previous company, when a promotion I was on ended, there was another plan available that would keep me paying about the same rate. I was happy because I was able to keep within my budget. I felt like they valued me as a customer, and I was loyal in return.
When my bill increased $70 per month with the new cable company, I called to see what packages were available for existing customers. They told me there weren’t any and my best option was to cancel my service and, after a month, return as a new customer to receive, for a limited time, a new customer rate. I did cancel my service, but I did not return as a new customer.
Are you doing all you can to ensure you are retaining your existing patients? I left the only cable provider in my area because they showed me how little they valued me. But how many dental offices are in your area?
In consulting with practices, I have seen some who, even in the current economic climate, manage to instill enough patient trust and loyalty that their patients not only comply with treatment recommendations but spend their hard-earned dollars to get the treatment completed.
What are these offices doing differently?
- They are present when speaking with a patient.
- They listen and pay attention to the patient’s spoken and unspoken concerns so they can be addressed.
- They make sure they understand their patient’s priorities and are helping them reach their goals.
- They remember important events. (For easy reference add notes in the Family File Patient Notes area regarding their family, illnesses, likes, dislikes, etc.)
- They make direct patient contact. (Use Dentrix features like the List Manager, Treatment Manager, Unscheduled Treatment Plan Report, and Continuing Care List.)
- They are concerned with their patient’s comfort.
- They do follow-up calls after treatment.
Patients who are treated more like family and that they are valued and respected are more likely to keep their appointments, complete treatment, pay on time and refer new patients.
If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in learning more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where these, and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas are taught to you and your team by one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches.
By Alicia Owens, Henry Schein One Practice Consultant