It’s a fact that most dentists concentrate their efforts towards getting new patients but whether this is a commendable brand of marketing is still subject to debate. The fact is that it costs more to gain a new patient than it is to keep an existing one. For this sole reason, savvy dentists are shifting gears and concentrating on making their existing patients happy. And since the economy is in a rut, this seems like an all-around practical idea.
There are numerous ways that dentists can gain their patient’s loyalty and one of the more popular ones is by giving discounts. There are pros and cons to this. While discounts may be helpful in luring new patients and reactivating dormant ones, discounts do not heavily contribute to exacting patient loyalty. This is because you’re keeping your patients interested in something which is artificial because you’re lowering your rates. When you normalize your rates, there’s a chance that your patients might go for a dentist with lower rates.
So how do you foster loyalty? If you examine the psyche of consumers, all that they really want is to feel appreciated and valued. Dentists can take a cue from this to make their repeat patients feel special. While you should always put your best foot forward, giving your long-time patients exclusive benefits will help you retain their support. These benefits can come in the following forms:
Dental website access. You can give your loyal patients special access to your dental site which will allow them to unlock features only reserved for them. You might be wary about allowing site visitors to schedule appointments through an online booking service, but you can grant an exception for your loyal patients. You can cook up various other features which you can grant to your valued patients.
Special newsletters. While the age of direct mail marketing is waning, but for patients who come to you for expensive procedures and treatments, the costs of printing and mailing a monthly or a quarterly newsletter shouldn’t be that much of a problem. You can fashion this newsletter into some kind of a health magazine which your patients will relish reading.
Dedicated phone line. Your patients will feel extra special when they know that they do not have to hold when they call your office. And this will also allow your front desk workers the ability to interact much more freely with your loyal patients building rapport with them.