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Implement Business-building Techniques

By: Steven H. Dayan, MD; Tracy L. Drumm; and Terri A. Wojak
Posted: June 29, 2012, from the July 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Esthetic treatment rooms should be warm and inviting; this is a nice change from a sterile medical room.

Esthetic treatment rooms should be warm and inviting; this is a nice change from a sterile medical room.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to incorporate successful business-building techniques into your skin care facility. Competition with other businesses—as well as competition for the dollars in your clients’ pockets—is at an all-time high, and if you aren’t taking steps to retain existing clients with top-notch customer service and marketing practices, you might just get left behind. Following is advice about how to build and maintain your facility from medical spa professionals, including a physician, esthetician and marketing director.

Physician’s point of view: Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS

Because cosmetic procedures fall into a unique segment of medicine with elective patient care, cosmetic medical practices must also adhere to the guidelines warranted by the retail world. This concept of bridging together retail and medical services leads professionals into uncharted waters called “retail-icine.” Respecting the physician’s Hippocratic Oath, this new paradigm focuses on doing what is best for the patient first and foremost, and then tailoring the rest of the cosmetic experience to mirror the laws of consumerism. By blending these two worlds, current patients become the heartbeat of the practice and provide the greatest opportunity for growth. This is one of the key reasons that physicians in cosmetic medicine employ estheticians. Estheticians can be the niche needed to allow the cosmetic physicians to remain medical providers, while enabling their patients to receive the ultimate cosmetic experiences.

Investing time, marketing budget and energy into your existing patient base is one of the most profitable strategies available. According to W. Earl Sasser, chair of the program for leadership development at Harvard Business School, selling to a current client has a conversion probability of 1 in 2, while marketing to a new client has a mere 1 in 16 chance of resulting in a purchase. The fact is, if you are looking for a way to increase the profits of a practice and keep the phones ringing, you should look no further than your current patients.

Esthetician’s point of view: Terri A. Wojak

Estheticians working in a medical setting have a very high standard to uphold. They must be well-informed on all medical procedures offered by the physician in order to provide complementing skin care services within their scope of practice. Most importantly, estheticians need to understand that everything done in cosmetic medicine and esthetics is about making clients feel better about themselves. While most facial treatments provide a relaxing experience and an immediate pick-me-up for the skin, cosmetic medical procedures can involve healing time. Of course, medical procedures ultimately result in improved self-esteem. The combining of these treatments makes your office a one-stop shop, giving clients the best of both worlds. Regardless of the treatment being provided, it is of the utmost importance that clients leave the facility feeling relaxed and better about themselves.

Think outside the box; set and execute goals that will make your practice the best. The ability to read and understand people is the key to operating effectively in your profession. When you clearly understand your clients’ needs and anticipate them, you put yourself in a better position to increase your profits through client retention and satisfaction. Keep in mind, first-time clients can be easily overwhelmed by a busy spa. Take a few minutes to introduce yourself and offer a brief tour of the facility to boost their comfort level. Focus on becoming a reliable resource and a role model for your clients. Make it a goal to earn and maintain their trust and loyalty by comforting them and providing the best service based on their concerns and desires.