How do you feel when someone unexpected remembers your birthday?
What if you were that unexpected person who pulled through in the clutch and remembered someone’s birthday? And what if you could wish that someone a happy birthday from 20 miles away? What if you could do that for 1,000 people all at once?
Keeping your existing patients engaged and involved with your practice has never been less expensive, less time consuming, and more meaningful. Reaching out to a patient when it matters will increase patient satisfaction, which will increase patient loyalty and will inevitably increase your revenues. Patient engagement has already done exactly that in every other business space, and it’s now doing the same in health care.
I know what you’re going to say. The fact that all these automated messages are being sent out by a cloud software system make them so impersonal!
That’s a valid theory, but I’ll tell you that we recently sent out a bunch of birthday messages for a new practice, and here’s what one of the patients wrote back: “This is unbelievable, I’m so very grateful for this, thank you all and God bless you for thinking about my birthday!” Someone else wrote, “This is a wonderful gift, I really appreciate it, thanks a lot!” These are patients for life, and I don’t have to explain the monetary value they represent.
You can do so much more than birthday wishes.
Send out holiday greetings at the right time of year, a get well message after a complicated procedure, or anything creative you can think of! (Just make sure you don’t overdo it and end up in the spam folder.)
So jump on the engagement bandwagon and surprise your patients. After all, they’re the most valuable asset your practice has, so why not take care of them as best as you can? See how you can make your patients feel warm and fuzzy in no time, with Patient Communicator’s all-in-one automated messaging system.
So how do you go out of your way to make your patients feel special?
Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art system especially designed for health care practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.
About the author: Sheryl is the Technical Support Manager at Patient Communicator, a simple but feature rich platform that helps medical and dental practices of all kinds to better communicate with their patients. She loves solving problems, putting out fires and helping her clients apply best practices to ensure optimal results. Learn more about Sheryl and Patient Communicator here.
“It takes five times more money to attract a new patient, than it does to hold on to an existing one.”
There’s a lot to be said (and done) about the importance of attracting new patients to your practice. Every practice, whether large or small, needs to have a consistent inflow of new patients in order to maintain growth rates over time. But as the old saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. And you’ll find study after study showing that investing in customer retention should take precedence over any other growth-related activity. Feed that bird in the hand, and it will generate more income for you than the two birds stuck in the bush.
Consider the following facts about companies that focus on customer retention:
- They make more money: Boosting customer retention rates by just 5% can increase revenues anywhere from 25% to 95%
- They sell more: The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% vs 5-20% for new customers
- They grow faster: Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more compared to new customers
Practically speaking, all of this means that the customer you have sitting in your chair right now is more likely than anyone else to bring their family members in for their checkups. They’re also more likely to shell out the extra $500 for the fancier braces, or to try out the new cosmetic surgery you’ve been promoting.
There’s one more important thing about your existing customers, maybe the most important. A recent poll by Invesp determined that a whopping 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a place of business. Not only that, but, 72% of people said that positive online reviews make them trust the business more, and 88% of people said they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customers making a purchase based on positive online reviews are also likely to spend 31% more than the average new customer.
I don’t have to spell it out for you, but I will anyway. By investing in your existing customers and soliciting their reviews, they are creating a positive reputation for your practice that actually draws in new customers. I don’t think there’s an old saying about the bird in the hand helping to attract the two in the bush for you, but maybe there should be.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if you’re running an established practice with thousands of patients listed in your PMS, or if you’re fresh out of dental school. Either way, having an effective strategy for keeping your patients active and engaged is the essential ingredient to ensure the long term success of your practice.
Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks and months. We’ll spend some time discussing some of the most important ingredients your practice must have in order to keep your patients coming back.
If you can’t wait, you can check out the tools available from Patient Communicator, to help get you started on keeping your patients happy.
Till next time,
Meir Goodman, CEO