If you’ve ever wondered how you can improve your profits, turn first to your current patient base. In fact, Harvard Business Review cites one study that reports a 25%-95% increase in profits is achievable from simply focusing on your business’ retention rates, depending on your industry. Even on the low end, a focus on patient retention pays off, particularly when you consider that one patient acquisition can cost up to 25 times more than retaining one. Consider adapting one of the following eight business tips to better retain your current medical aesthetics and MedSpa clients.
Encourage patients to book their next treatment or follow-up appointment before they leave to ensure they come back. For treatments that may not be part of a complete treatment plan, consider offering a small discount if patients book their next appointment on the spot. Alternatively, if a discount is not feasible for your business, a free sample of a new skin care product you introduced to your clinic or MedSpa may offer the added incentive.
For patients who don’t book their next appointment in-clinic, check to see if there are any improvements that may be made to increase ease of communication for them. Busy patients aren’t likely to keep calling you back, so make it easier for them to book appointments online or, alternatively, offer an online chat option if your staff feels overwhelmed with calls. In fact, online systems are an easy way to communicate with patients when you have a small staff. Of course, phone calls are inevitable and much more likely when patients find the time to call in between work and meetings. Ensure that your clinic has at least one available staff member to answer phones and respond to messages during this time. Making it easy for patients to reach someone at your clinic in that first point of contact shows them that you respect their time and business, making them much more likely to keep returning.
Show your patients that you and your staff are invested in their outcomes. Ensure that you follow up with them after their appointment to check if they need any support or information. Sometimes, they may feel self-conscious about contacting your clinic about a concern, fearing they might look silly, even if you do encourage them to contact your clinic or patient care coordinator about anything at all. Having your clinic proactively reach out allows you to confirm their next appointment, book a follow-up if needed, and assuage any concerns. Patients will also appreciate the added effort on your end and feel as though their business is valued.
While treatment outcomes are important to patients, the experience surrounding each session can certainly color their overall opinion of your clinic and whether they would return. Clinical education is important, but you should also be investing your time and effort in your clinic’s physical appearance and growing your staff’s commnication and customer service skills. Your clinic’s outer appearance, waiting room, and treatment room layouts matter. Ensure that your business’ aesthetic is warm, inviting, and comfortable. Staff should appear genuinely friendly and invested in your patients’ outcomes and be willing to go the extra step to get them answers if they don’t have them readily available. Finally, share retail product knowledge with staff, in order to help them better inform patients. These extra efforts leave a positive impression on them, making them more likely to return.
If your clinic has a website, social media presence, or email marketing service provider, there is valuable information at your fingertips. Access data on your website to see what pages are being clicked on the most to get a better idea of patient behavior and interests. You could also observe which social media posts are getting the most engagement. Using this information, you can establish a more informed marketing strategy that appeals to your current patient base to entice them to return. This strategy could offer clients a monetary reward for referring a friend for a treatment or perhaps a special discount code that they can share with their networks. You can track your most engaged patients using unique codes and reward them for loyalty, encouraging future visits and potential referrals.
Wait times are impactful. Clinics that are able to stick to their schedule or perhaps even invite patients into treatment rooms earlier than their scheduled appointments are more likely to have a higher retention rate because their ability to manage time shows respect for their patients’ busy schedules. Even five minutes can be enough to dissuade a frustrated patient from returning. Showing respect for your clients’ time simply comes down to taking a closer look at your scheduling. While you may allot 30-minute intervals for a particular treatment, introduce a time cushion of 15 minutes to allow for potential late arrivals, for patients who may have more questions, or for the ability to lengthen a treatment session if needed. This extra time also ensures the patient doesn’t feel rushed out.
Flexing your office hours from a strict Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five kind of schedule can improve the patient experience and ensure your clients return to you. Extended hours on Thursdays or Fridays, usual hours on Saturdays, or allocating a few hours to consultations on Sunday mornings, for example, can help to deliver services to patients whose schedules may fluctuate. A more open schedule also improves client retention, as you’re better able to accommodate a their schedule if their circumstances change, making it possible to continue attending your clinic rather than searching for a competitor.
It’s possible that your patient retention rate is low because your clinic lacks an attractive service that encourages them to return. In these cases, consider adding a new service or retail offering that can freshen up your clinic. For example, patients having completed a non-invasive skin resurfacing treatment plan in your clinic may be interested in other treatments that bring them closer to their aesthetic goals. Alternatively, you may offer Venus Glow™ dermal rejuvenation treatments or Venus Skin™ retail skin care that draws patients back into your clinic whenever they run out of their favorite products. These would encourage them to visit your clinic more often, giving you and your staff increased opportunities to maintain and strengthen the patient-provider relationship and ensure they always the best experience.
Interested in learning more about how you could improve your patient retention rate with Venus Concept? Contact an expert using the button below and get customized recommendations for your clinic.