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Retaining Current Clients

By: Tracy L. Drumm
Posted: January 28, 2010, from the November 2009 issue of
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Brochures and takeaway information allow you to stay at the top of patients' minds.

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Abstract: Retaining current clients is an effective and efficient way of staying afloat in a down economy.

In an industry where the cost of one filler treatment can easily cover a car payment, many physicians find themselves wondering how to retain clients during an economic downturn. During the past 10 years, nonsurgical procedures have exploded by an astonishing growth rate of 754%, according to a 2007 report from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). At a time when the consumers responsible for this growth have committed to living on a tighter budget, you must develop and employ strategies to keep your phones ringing and your syringes filling.

The easiest way to get and stay busy without exhausting your funds is to reach out to those who already know you and have used your services because it is more expensive to gain a new client than it is to retain one. That means to most efficiently spend your time and money, look no further than your database of current patients, past patients and new patient inquiries.

Speak often

Simply put, if you do not speak, you will not be heard. It is your job to remind patients to come to you, and you must remind them more than once. Although clearly medicine is not a retail business, at times it can be helpful to think of your aesthetic patient as a consumer. There are several simple ways to speak to your patients, and they include options for every budget.

Designate a retention captain. Designate one person in your office to become the retention captain in charge of patient outreach. Have that person provide reminder calls to patients when they need their next injection or laser treatment. This simple tactic borrowed from the dental industry is seldom utilized in aesthetic practices, and is a surprisingly effective way to stay current in someone’s calendar and budget.