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3 Creative Ways To Boost Existing Patient Referrals

Dec 3rd, 2021

This morning, I read an article on Forbes magazine and saw these interesting stats…

“Acquiring a new customer can costfive times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%. 

The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.”

So don’t spend 5 times more attracting new patients, nurture the existing ones!

In this podcast, I’m going to show you 3 creative ways to nurture them and improve the patient’s referral.

Thank you for checking it out.!💕

Show Notes: 

Discovery call booking link:
https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/discovery-call-booking/

Hi, I'm Huyen
Our work (and this site) is devoted to sharing ideas, tools and resources that will help you automate, grow and scale your practice.

huyen

Learn More

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

According to Forbes magazine, Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%. And the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.

So, don't spend 5 times more attracting new patients, nurture the existing ones.

Hi there, it’s Huyen here and welcome to OMD TV & Podcast show, the place to be to grow and scale your practice.

You can see now the importance of nurturing existing patients and in this video episode, I’m going to show you 3 creative ways to nurture them  to improve your patient referral.

Now the first way is to…

1. Host Patient Appreciation Events

You know there is a saying that I’ve heard a number of times in patient/client experience enhancement training events …“Keep in mind that people forget the words you say to them, but they will remember how you have made them feel.”

As a rule, people tend to appreciate sentiment. We make memories and look back on them fondly, and many folks love having knick-knacks and keepsakes to remind them of happy occasions. To ensure that  your patients never forget you or your practice, consider offering activities that send partygoers home with a tangible memory.

You can host an event at your practice to bring in existing patients, along with their friends and family who will be your potential referrals. Here are a few event ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Patient appreciation day
  • Open house
  • Seminar or discussion on a popular topic like mummy makeover, weight loss, skin care, new hot procedure etc.

Don't forget to advertise the event well in advance, feature it on your website, email your existing patients, and share the event (with a really good graphic of course) on social media, or even promote it using social media paid advertising.

You can offer food, drinks, prizes, discounts, whatever you can think of to get people to show up and bring a friend, co-worker, or family member. You could even have promotional items like hats and tee-shirts available. Don't forget a hat or tee shirt is also a form of advertising. Make it enjoyable, and you can bring in dozens of referrals with little work and a lot of fun.

I’ve seen some cosmetic clinics who really stepped up their game by organising a patient magic night with professional photographers for large scale patient photoshoots which is to give patients opportunity to have fun and appreciate their own bodies.

You can also encourage attendees to use their own smartphones and upload their favorite shots to Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, along with your event’s hashtag. And if Snapchat is in your social media repertoire, you can also get your own custom filter that any partygoer can use when taking “snaps” at your event.

Other examples of special promotions that you can feature on the Patient Appreciation Event;

$𝟏𝟎,𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐢𝐧 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬

Enter for your chance to win! The more you spend the more raffle entries you will receive! Winners will be randomly selected.

𝐏𝐫𝐞-𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 & 𝐒𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝟐𝟎%

𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫 $𝟏𝟎𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝟐𝟓%

𝟏𝟎 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐱 𝐨𝐫 Fillers

Refer a new patient and each will receive a credit for 10 units of Botox or Fillers with minimum purchase required of $500.

To redeem the event promotions, the patients needs to reply with their phone number or call the clinic by a certain date.

Now moving on to the 2nd idea to improve your existing patient referral, which is hosting a…

2. Dinner With Doc Event Or Patient Seminar

This is another type of experience you can create for your existing patients on a regular basis, such as monthly. We believe that your existing patients are the best advocates to promote your practices, you can create a smaller scale, intimate dinner hosting around 30 patients and their friends or family members. And at these events, you can feature seminars speaking about most common questions or let the patients learn about the latest treatment or technology.

You might think that this might cost you a lot of money to host this sort of event, but it is actually not. Some of our clients have done this on a regular basis and the cost per patient for dinner and location is around the $100 mark.

Florida, USA based facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Ross A. Clevens who owns Clevens Face and Body Specialists said his cosmetic practice hosts two to three patient seminars a month. Generally, 50 to 80 people attend, for a luncheon or dinner gathering at a local restaurant, hotel, country club, bistro or museum.

It may sound like a big investment for you, but wait — Dr Clevens reports that an average of 40% of the attendees book practice consults, and revenues from the patient seminars are 10 to 15 times what they cost.

Dr Clevens also mentioned that patient seminars are an ideal avenue for attracting new patients to the practice and reinforcing relationships with existing patients, who often attend as well.

There are other benefits, according to Dr Clevens, who has three locations along Florida’s coastline. Among those, patient seminars are an opportunity for guests to have face-to-face experiences with the doctors and staff.

The seminars create a level of comfort and familiarity. People buy relationships,” Dr Clevens says.

At the end of the presentation and toward the end of lunch or dinner, Dr Clevens says patient care coordinators walk around the room, and speak with every attendee and ask if they would like to book a consultation with the doctor.

So to keep in touch with all attendees, including those who don’t book at the event, Dr Clevens’ staff captures each attendee’s name, address, email and a quick survey of cosmetic procedure interests. Then, soon after the seminar, the staff calls everyone who attended, thanking them and asking if they’d like to book a consult, and if they haven’t already.

Finally, everybody is added to the email list for further nurturing.

If you want to learn more about 5 Dos and don’ts For Patient Seminars, that’s another video coming up, I’ll leave the link in the show note and notify you when it comes out.

Now let’s talk about the final creative way…

3. Create a Loyalty Membership Club

While loyalty programs once only seemed appropriate for grocery stores, coffee shops, hotel chains, and airlines, they’re now actually showing up in health care (and have been for a few years already). And this is not suitable for all kinds of medical practices, but if the nature of your services allows the patient to come back and continuously use your services and refer to their friends, you should definitely consider having a loyalty program for your patients.

And don’t think that this is just another loyalty program. It is a Patient Attraction, Conversion and Retention Program. This is a system to get and keep more patients.

There’s a lot of competition out there so you need to do something to differentiate yourself from other practices. Your patients will love to collect the points and it will be fun for them , right? It also changes the conversation from discounting to building value and getting patients excited about collecting points.

Instead of calling “points” you actually can come up with a different name for this to make it more fun.

Basically, your patients receive 1 point for every dollar they spend. That gets them excited to collect additional points for other services when they, for example:

  • Going to all scheduled sessions and completing their plans of care
  • Showing up to all appointments on time
  • Completing their home-exercise programs
  • Reading or consuming specific content related to their condition
  • Attending complimentary educational seminars or webinars
  • Refer their friends
  • Leave a review on Google
  • Share you on social media
  • Approve their photos for your gallery or case study
  • Give you a video testimonial

You also need to check with your country’s medical board to see if this campaign is possible for you.

To recap, you need to have a rigorous process in nurturing existing patients and improve the existing patients referral rate. You also need to measure the percentage of the existing patient referrals as well; Closely. I’ve talked to a lot of practices and they generally don’t have a clear number. As your patient life time value is whatever you think the patient will pay for your services or products over the average course of time PLUS additional percentage value that an average patient generally refers, for example, if your patients spend an average of $5,000 and if your existing patient referral rate is 30%, then the total life time value of a patient should be $6,500 not $5,000.

By implementing the 3 creative ways that I mentioned above you will see the existing patient referral rate improve immediately.

If you want us to help you improve the existing patient referral rate for your clinics using the above creative ways, we’d like to invite you to take the next step which is to book a 15 min discovery call with us so we can learn more about you and to see how we can help you.

Thank you very much for listening and hope to talk to you in our discovery call soon.

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