The cost of acquiring one new patient is estimated to be $280. Generating ten new patients a month or 120 per year will cost you, on average, $33,600. It costs five to ten times more to create a new patient than to retain an existing one.
For most dentists marketing is all about “the new patient”. However your existing patients have no acquisition costs and actually have more potential value. They should not be neglected.
Existing patients already have a relationship with you. They already have a level of trust that makes it easier for them to say yes to proposed treatment. Research indicates that 80% of future revenue will come from 20% of our existing patient base.
There are several ways you can use technology to “market” to existing patients and increase patient loyalty.
One of the easiest ways is to simply stay in touch. You can do this with e-mail, blogs or social media. Show you care with simple birthday greetings or a follow up survey after treatment.
First impressions are incredibly powerful. However a patient’s first impression does not come when they walk in the door for their appointment, it comes when they Google your name. When looking for a dentist, patients look at your website, social media and online reviews all of which influence their first impression. Manage your online reputation.
Use your practice website to support existing patients. Your office web page needs to be far more than an electronic yellow pages ad designed to merely attract new patients. A good practice web page should feature interactive functionality that supports existing patients. This should include online bill pay, online forms and online appointment requests.
Many patients of record are inactive, that is they have not been in for treatment in over eighteen months, however most of these patients almost certainly still think of you as their dentist. Reactivated patients accept more treatment, faster than new patients. All they need is a contact and encouragement to come in for care. Set up a reactivation program and contact inactive patients on a regular basis. Just a 5% increase in retention can increase profitability by 75%.
Finally happy, loyal patients are more likely to refer, providing you with valuable word of mouth marketing that generates new patients without any added expense.
Practice Website: TNT Dental
Reactivation: Action Run