For most dentists marketing is all about “the new patient”. However our existing patients actually have more potential value and should not be neglected.
Existing patients already have a relationship with us. 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.
One of the easiest ways to “market” to existing patients 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.
Your office web page needs to be far more than an electronic yellow pages ad solely designed to 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.
Not only do existing patients accept more care they cost the office less to acquire. Researchers tell us that it costs five to ten times more to create a new patient than to retain an existing one. And just a 5% increase in retention can increase profitability by 75%.