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Retaining Current Clients

By: Tracy L. Drumm
Posted: January 28, 2010, from the November 2009 issue of
Gift and birthday cards

Brochures and takeaway information allow you to stay at the top of patients' minds.

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To further the impact of the card for a minimal expense, you can have custom birthday cards created with matching credit card-style gift cards that can be tailored to promote your practice. Typically, the birthday gift card program averages four appointments for every 10 cards mailed, a significant contribution to any practice.

Don’t sell, educate

Ensure that every person on your staff is able to educate patients about each treatment you offer, and also give your staff measurable goals for increasing the number of services each patient is receiving. Set a goal for your retention captain to educate and convert at least two patients a week to have a filler treatment. That individual can reach out to current Botox, laser and skin care patients. Based on the average profit from a filler treatment,* if your retention captain can successfully convert just two patients a week, that will be an additional $35,000 in yearly revenue for your practice.
*Data based on an average profit of $373 per filler treatment, calculated from statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Aesthetic sushi menu. How frustrating it is when a patient who has been coming to you for five years says, “Dr. Jones, I had no idea you offered laser hair removal.” This common annoyance can be easily remedied with an aesthetic sushi menu.

Because patients are typically inundated with forms, consents and other literature when they arrive at your office, this simple half-sheet of paper is designed to provide patients with a quick and engaging visual snapshot of the variety of services offered. When patients are brought back to treatment rooms, they are given a pencil and sushi-style check-off menus that direct them to “Please check any topic you would like to learn more about.” By removing this information from the intake form and adding a picture next to each treatment, it takes away the formality and engages the patients. Menus can be produced very inexpensively by creating a Microsoft Word document and simply printing it on a color printer.

Focus on current clients

The bottom line for getting busy on a bottom dollar budget is to work with what you have. Focus your efforts and your funds on the clients who are most likely to return. It is more important now than it was even a year ago to constantly be reaching out to your patients, engaging them with the practice and educating them about how you can make their lives better. Remember, in this competitive market, if you are not speaking to your patients, someone else is.