A business rule of thumb says that attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one. This statistic suggests that dental practices should be refocusing their efforts to put more emphasis on keeping their current patients coming back on a regular basis.
In working with dental offices over the years in many different capacities, I have seen hundreds of patients that once were new to the practice not coming back. Most of which had a good experience with the practice and know how great the doctor and team are, but have just forgotten to make an appointment. My experience shows that when these patients are contacted many will return.
The office team typically has every intention of contacting them, but continuing care follow-up can easily be brushed aside when there are so many other tasks to complete. A proactive patient reactivation program is critical to making sure your practice isn’t losing the patients with whom you have already established a relationship.
An effective program includes a set schedule and multiple forms of communication, including phone calls, postcards, letters and email. Some patients will be more receptive to certain types of communications, and utilizing multiple contact methods will keep you top-of-mind and increase the likelihood that they will schedule their next appointment. This type of program not only helps ensure patients return to the dental practice, but also makes it easier to fill last minute openings in the schedule.
Having a formal program in place with specific time scheduled for it each week will ensure that continuing care is made a priority. This type of program is also something that can be easily outsourced to a dental office virtual assistant, so your office team can focus on patient care. The result will be keeping the patients active in your practice that you worked so hard to get in the first place.