Doctors often overlook patient retention strategies, and tend to focus more on bringing in new patients rather than retaining the ones they already have. While patient retention might not be as easy as collecting new ones, it’s not difficult to set up effective patient retention strategies that can work wonders. This article will outline top patient retention strategies that you can implement today to keep patients returning to your practice with regularity and enthusiasm.
One of the best patient retention strategies is to provide exceptional customer service. Whether dentistry or general health clinic, providing excellent customer service can help build loyalty with patients and keep them coming back for their next visit no matter what type of practice you run. For example, if a patient is new to your practice and you know they’ll need an x-ray done before getting a complete exam on their teeth, send an appointment reminder that reminds them when they should come in (even if it’s later than their scheduled time). This helps ease any confusion and reduces unnecessary no-shows that might have happened without being reminded.
A professional website is one of many ways to engage patients, so if you don’t have one already, start there. Put real information on your website and include it in your social media profiles. You’ll want people to know who you are, what services you offer, what payment methods you accept, your location and hours of operation, who should be seeing you for which ailments and at which stage in life (you know that kids under 12 need different care than teenagers), and any other pertinent details. A well-designed website can help potential patients gain confidence in their decision to see you, increasing referrals from current patients as well!
When your patient retention strategy is centered around patient referrals, or whenever your website is a vital tool for building new relationships, you need to make sure it’s easy to find and use. Today, patients rely on search engines (think Google) to see you more than ever before. If someone can’t quickly locate your information when they search for services like yours, there’s a good chance they’ll look elsewhere.
Having a great listing is crucial for patient retention. Not only will it provide direct traffic to your practice, but studies have shown that patients are more likely to select you if they find your listing on the search engines before anything else. Having an updated and optimized business listing can bring patients through your door in droves with little additional effort on your part.
Giving patients convenient payment options can mean more visits. Providing discounts for paying in cash and accepting credit cards is an incentive that can boost patient retention. More than half of patients prefer to make payments over a period of time versus having to pay everything at once upfront. And 14% say they’d be more likely to purchase more products and services from your business if you offer payment plans. There are also specific medical procedures that benefit from pre-payment plans for both parties: If you can offer these kinds of plans, it means less risk to your practice or business.