Customer retention is one of the most biggest challenges facing any businesses today. Every type of business, from Fortune 500 companies to mom and pop storefronts, in every kind of niche, depends on and profits from the ability to make and keep customers, clients or patients for as long as possible.
Why? Quite simply, because marketing for new customers, clients or patients is incredibly challenging and expensive.
As you no doubt know, generating qualified leads, building a recognized brand and getting patients to trust you with their initial purchase is no easy task. Without the ability to retain those hard-won patients, your initial investment in time and resources is lost.
However, by keeping those patients from leaving your practice out the proverbial backdoor maximizes your initial marketing investment and most importantly, it builds momentum as you work to grow your practice.
Why Does All This Matter?
As a business owner, for many marketing becomes a personal challenge. After all, when your name’s on the front of the building and when you’re investing your time, energy and money into drawing patients through the door, every result from your efforts can feel like you’re the one being judged. What many practice owners fail to realize however, is that the most important part of marketing actually comes AFTER the first sale. This is when the focus switches from getting someone through the door to keeping them coming back again and again and again.
Here are three reasons why patient retention can be one of THE MOST important parts of your strategic marketing plan:
1) The Monetary Value of Repeat Patients
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it’s up to seven times more expensive to attract a new patient (or customer) than it is to simply retain an existing one. By working to increase patient loyalty, many practices quickly realize the monetary value in including some type of retention strategy in their marketing efforts.
As you might suspect, a positive relationship with your patients is one of the most cost-effective strategies for growth that any business could have. Remember, your patients are just people and people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust, and in many cases, this likeability can even more influential than the cost of a product or service.
2) It Encourages Word-of-Mouth
Beyond the obvious monetary value created by repeat patients, there are considerable social benefits as well, developing brand advocates and referrals being two of those.
Once a patient become loyal to your brand, they’re much more likely to come back to you and recommend their family members and friends to your practice. These referrals by themselves are a powerful reason to emphasize patient retention in your marketing efforts.
With consumer feedback gaining more and more sway over buying decisions, having a healthy following of loyal patients that are willing to share their experience with their own circle of influence can have a dramatic effect on your ability to grow and compete.
3) The Social Value of Repeat Patients
In addition to the word-of-mouth referrals that result from consciously focusing on increasing patient retention, social proof is another valuable result. Social proof can have a significant impact on your ability to attract new patients to your practice because of the trust, credibility and confidence it can convey.
Anytime a prospective patient is considering their dental care options, by seeing patients that have been a part of your practice for several years, that trust, confidence and credibility is immediately transferred and can help that patient feel immediate comfort even before setting foot into your practice. Having assets like ‘Before and After’ pictures, case studies, testimonials, both written and on video, can be powerful tools in helping convert and convince potential patients to choose you.
Ultimately, focusing efforts on increasing patient retention just makes good business sense. Not only does it provide long term monetary value, it also creates considerable social proof and encourages word-of-mouth referrals.
If patient retention is NOT already a part of your current marketing efforts, we can help. If you’d like improve your current efforts to retain existing patients, but aren’t sure where to start, we can help.
We offer a FREE no-obligation breakthrough strategy session to discuss your practice and how you can create a strategic marketing plan that will create growth right now and well into the future. Simply CLICK HERE to apply.