New customers are 5 x more expensive than existing customers

“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