Why It’s Important To Control Retention
At Patient News, we’ve seen the shift from a primary focus on patient retention tactics to an almost complete focus on new patient acquisition (this is a top priority). However, one should not be at the expense of the other.
- 91% of consumers are more likely to stay with brands who recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
- 65% of a company’s business comes from previous clients
- 5% boost in retention can increase profit 25% … up to 95%!
When you’re looking at your 2020 strategies, keep both in mind:
Patient Acquisition – Stats always fluctuate based on your patient values and attrition levels … but in general, a practice should average at least 30-35 new patients/doctor/month to keep production steady. For growth, more is needed. If your practice average is less, it will take longer to build growth.
Patient Retention – Just like the way we all choose providers and businesses, perceived indifference is the top reason clients defect. So how, in a business model where you’re not going to see the majority of your patients for several months, do you ensure that patients don’t feel neglected?
Make a “House Call”!
Don’t discount the impact of the good old patient newsletter!
I mean the printed one that is mailed to patient households each quarter. This simple initiative can mean a lot to your patients-of-record. I mean A LOT. 86% of patients will pay more for a better client experience.
One of the biggest trends consumer research is revealing for 2020 is the importance of the customer experience. A patient newsletter campaign will help you retain more patients. We work with consultants that “force” their clients to implement these items BECAUSE THEY WORK!
- 82% of consumers STOP doing business with a company if not satisfied with customer service
Patient newsletters will help you break through the noise. Patients can unsubscribe from email communications. They can change their cell number or block text.
A printed and mailed patient newsletter has 100% reach into patient homes. And it’s unobtrusive. Consumers have the upper hand when it comes to communication. Dentists need to show the value of their service and in a value-added personal way, and a patient newsletter can do that for you – with little effort.
We all know what it is like to collect the mail. Dental newsletters that add value will stand out among the rest and patients will appreciate your efforts. The head-of-household decision-maker wants quality information to make good decisions for their families. A patient newsletter with quality information will also provoke reciprocity, a powerful and deeply ingrained trigger. Sharing quality information with patients via your patient newsletter, is one of the easiest ways to trigger positive reciprocity among patients.
Your patient newsletter, mailed quarterly, provides a human touch. It will help your patients get to know you and your team better when you become regular faces in their homes. They’ll understand that there is someone there with whom they can actually connect when needed. As regular mailings continue to arrive, they’ll begin to understand that you are making an extra effort to show you care, not only when they’re in the office with payment pending, but because you value their business and loyalty.
Customized, high-quality patient newsletters mailed to your patients-of-record assist you in educating patients and, in many cases, this results in higher use of practice services, particularly elective services. A patient newsletter will:
- Increase patient satisfaction
- Increase doctor/team trust
- Improve retention
- Increase elective services
- Increase reactivations and referrals
- Increase production and patient lifetime value.
Ugh … is that another thing I have to do you ask? NO! We know you’re busy – we’re here to help you take care of these things! The team at Patient News will handle it all for you!
Creative design, copywriting, printing, and all production details, custom envelopes with your logo in full color, insertion, affixing stamps (not just an indicia), addressing, and mailing. Not only is your newsletter printed on beautiful 100lb bright-white stock, but we only us FSC-approved paper, so your patients know you’re doing the right thing, but we use white, linen, #10 envelopes that are also FSC-certified. Addresses are checked for accuracy and corrected, duplicates eliminated – if you’re connected to Practice ZEBRATM, you don’t even have to worry about the hassle of pulling your patient list – we do everything!
If you’re doing this yourself and your team is fussing with mailing labels – turn to your Account Success Manager – they’ll make your life so easy.
Our team of writers, editors, and experienced dental marketers will research and create custom articles just for your practice. Spotlight a team member, introduce new technology, or reinforce services you’d like more patients to know about.
Referred patients can also be your best patients. Include a referral campaign with your newsletter and insert (at no charge) a care-to-share card for patients to hand out. Your newsletters serve as that friendly professional forum you need to communicate with patients when they’re not at your practice, so they remember that you’re their dentist and that they don’t need to go anywhere else for treatment.
Circle back to that stat I mentioned about retention rates. 5% retention improvement could increase production by 25% or much much more.
Take a look at your scheduled patient rates. We find this to be one of the most concerning statistics of our clients. If patients are not scheduled to come back, it will be easy for you to fall off your patients’ radar.
Get into Practice ZEBRA and start working on patient scheduling. No amount of reminder programs can make up for not getting your name in patient calendars in the first place. And, if you don’t have 100% of your patient email and cell numbers (and even top practices struggle with this), then no automated reminder will work. It’s back to manual labor and improving internal processes. Your ASM can help.
The easiest decision you can make today... Implementing a print quarterly patient newsletter. In addition to all the retention stats covered above, this also gives you the real estate you need to talk en mass to patients about all the things that are top-of-mind at your team meetings and huddles.
I had two patients last week that didn’t know ___________. Me too, in the past month I bet I’ve talked to ½ dozen who didn’t know that. How can we ensure that all patients are aware we’ve changed _______? I’d like our patients to know we now offer ________. I wish more patients would refer. I had another patient today that didn’t know we accept new patients! The new ________is delivering excellent results with patients, I’d like to help more patients understand the benefits. It’s frustrating that more patients don’t take advantage of this.
Build and strengthen your patient relationships by providing value-added service and great patient care.
- 86% of patients are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
Patients are no longer loyal to price or product. They will stay loyal to dentists due to the experience they have with that office. Take a look at all touchpoints patients have (or don’t have yet) with your practice and see what items to can add to this year’s plan to improve the experience patients have with your practice.
I say the easy choice with Patient News is to launch a dedicated patient newsletter program. And pop a referral card in – on us! Ask your ASM for details.
P.S. If you don’t know what to do with your scheduling stats from Practice ZEBRA, ask your ASM to help.
Launch a patient newsletter