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Dental clinics: increase your marketing payoff by retaining patients

Supplier: Optima Healthcare Group
28 August, 2014

Is your marketing delivering decent upfront results, with no back-end bang for your buck?

You're not alone. In fact, healthcare interior design specialist Optima Healthcare often hears horror stories of out-of-control marketing budgets resulting in upfront results – that all go down the drain when clients don't return.

Every time you need to attract a new client, you spend money on magnetic marketing, plus your staff has to spend time speaking to that new patient on the phone, enrolling that new patient in your practice, setting up new dental billing files, collecting documentation and covering new patient medical and insurance questions.

The result? Every time you enrol a new patient, you are dramatically increasing your labour costs. If your staff and workflow is reasonably efficient, you quickly recoup that labour cost when that patient returns, because that initial enrolment is complete – and your staff need do little more than click the mouse a few times before your client is resting in your waiting area.

Let's see how the numbers make sense: (approximate figures)

Patients initial visit registration: 30 minutes of staff time at $20 per hour = $10 per new patient

Patients return visit registration: 5 minutes of staff time at $20 per hour = $1.65 per returning patient

After marketing is considered, you're looking at a cost upwards of $200 to attract each new patient, and just $1.65 to retain a patient. If you need 100 new patients, you'll need to spend $20,000.

And if you're not retaining those 100 patients, you'll need to keep spending that same $20,000 again and again and again.

This begs the question – why aren't you retaining more patients? When polled most patients will say, "the dentist/staff was wonderful, but the practice was outdated/dirty/old/grungy". Your patients attribute the style, branding and updated appearance of your practice with cleanliness.

If they don't believe it's clean, it doesn't matter how nice you are or how nice their teeth look – they won't be back.

In fact, research shows that you could design the most effective marketing campaign in the world, all to lose the impact after just one visit to your practice.

If you'd rather spend $1.65 retaining a client, instead of spending $20,000 over and over again attracting new clients perhaps it is to time consider talking with a clinic fit-out and design expert.