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The Benefits of Improving Patient Retention

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Many medical practices are now focusing on patient retention and acquisition for good reasons. This is because it can be more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain a current one. This is the reason why any medical practice needs to make patient retention their top priority. Ideally, it can be great for every patient to stay with your firm for many years, but most of them usually come for at least two visits and stop showing up. 

Regardless of the location and specialty of your practice, you will need to develop and grow the patient base to be successful. You see, repeat business is important if you need to have long-term success. This post explains the benefits of improving patient retention. 

Repeat business 

Loyal patients usually come back to your medical practice to purchase your products or services compared to new patients. Several studies suggest that existing customers are 50% more likely to buy new products than new ones. By now you may be wondering how you can motivate the current clients to do repeat business with your practice. Well, there are various factors that assist medical practices to have customer loyalty and bring repeat business.

Your medical practice needs to give a good first impression. When you offer services for the first time, make sure that everything is done properly including remembering your patient’s first name and welcome greeting. This can create confidence and trust between your new patient and you. It can also assist to create loyalty and even bring repeat business in the future.

It’s also important to stay in touch with new patients by using their preferred way of communication. Your new patients need to know that you are easily accessible and available to handle their health problems. Of course, you don’t need to employ someone in-house to handle this – a virtual medical receptionist, for example, can handle many of the daily administrative tasks that involve using the phone and talking to patients, who are still getting the benefit of talking to a real human.

You can also start a loyalty program. Therefore, every time your patients visit the practice, you can give them incentives or loyalty points. Also, you can allow the patients to accumulate the points and then redeem them for a free consultation or service. Contact life science management consulting to see how you practice can improve patient acquisition and retention. 

Long-term patients

Loyal patients may already have a good relationship with your practice, and they tend to trust you more than new patients. Long-term patients are likely going to spend more money for every visit than new patients who are using your service for the first time. 

This is due to this trust that is developed over the years as it makes them more confident to use recommendations and many other valuable services. The increased trust and confidence offers you a great opportunity to up-sell services and products. This can assist in increasing sales volume with little effort in getting new patients.

Reduced marketing costs

Reduced marketing costs is another major benefit of patient retention. You can put all the efforts to get the online presence and even do all the social media marketing. However, many people are usually influenced by referrals from their family and friends. As you may be aware, word-of-mouth is perhaps the cheapest though the most effective marketing tool. 

This is because it can help you to increase brand awareness, attract potential patients, and engage patients. Loyal patients may talk about your medical practice, which is a crucial element in word-of-mouth marketing. Simply put, there is a good chance that your loyal patients can talk about your practice in public, refer their families and friends, share positive feedback, share or like your social media posts.

Long-term patients can be easier and even more profitable to serve. This is due to their familiarity with your service and products, enabling them to solve many of their issues themselves or by utilizing the online knowledge base. 

Even better, long-term patients may assist to address problems that other patients are facing. But to achieve this, you must create an online community for your patients to share their experiences, solutions, and problems. Along the way, you can decide to introduce more patients to be part of this community. Also, you can consider offering loyalty points to the patients who successfully solve other problems. 

Online communities are a good idea because new patients can find solutions to health problems from other patients. As a result, patient loyalty tends to increase because existing patients receive incentives for offering successful solutions to other patients.

Forecasting accuracy

Forecasting usually plays a huge role in planning and running a medical practice. It can assist you to get an overview of future revenue and expenses. By having the accurate forecast, it can help you to calculate expenditure, discounts, growth rate, and plan for other contingencies. But if there is lack of an accurate forecast, it can be hard to plan for your medical practice’s investments and potential investment opportunities. 

Therefore, long-term patients can offer valuable information about service and product pricing, the average patient volume,and assist you to build your unique selling point as a medical practitioner. Hence, you need more loyal patients to get a more accurate forecast.

Enhanced brand image

The perception of your patients about the services and products you provide is called the brand image. A positive brand image can help you to get new customers, increase profitability, reduce marketing cost, sell more, and attract great business partnerships. Keep in mind that the brand image of the medical practice is perhaps one of the crucial assets you have. It will show to your patients what they may expect from the medical practice when it comes to the services and products. But building a good brand image is a time-consuming and expensive process.  

You must note that brand image and patient loyalty are connected. You need to have good patient loyalty to improve the brand image. After all, a strong brand image is always important because it can help you to retain and attract more patients. 

Patients that are happy with your medical practice are more likely to refer your services to their friends and families and even use social media to spread the word. In most cases, patients that are pleased with the level of your services can assist to bring in more business.