“If your retention is poor then nothing else matters.”
- Brian Balfour,
Founder/CEO of Reforge, former VP Growth at HubSpot
It’s much more expensive to attract new patients than to keep existing ones. That means retaining patients is essential to the success of every healthcare practice, whether you’re a dentist, GP or chiropractor.
So, how do you encourage patients to visit you, not just once but regularly over many years because you’ve become their go-to healthcare provider?
It won’t happen accidentally. Nurturing any relationship requires some effort – but it’s worth it. Here are 10 simple yet effective retention strategies that you can implement to keep your appointment book full.
1. Educate and empower your patients
The more informed your patients are about their health and treatment options, the more likely they are to trust you and follow your recommendations.
Strategies here include:
- Sharing educational materials
- Hosting seminars
- Regularly updating your website with relevant information
- Encouraging one-to-one discussions with your patients.
2. Provide personalised care
Take the time to get to know your patients and their individual needs then tailor your treatment plans and services accordingly. Personalised care shows patients that you value them, understand their health needs and that you’re committed to their well-being.
3. Communicate proactively
Stay in touch with your patients between appointments. Send them email or text reminders about upcoming appointments, share relevant health tips, and keep them updated on any practice changes. This helps to keep your practice top-of-mind and builds patient engagement.
4. Seek feedback regularly
Ask for feedback from your patients regularly. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or suggestion boxes. Listen to your patients’ concerns and take steps to address them. This shows patients that you value their input and are committed to providing the best possible care.
5. Know who your ideal clients are
Who are your ideal clients? Depending on your practice, it might be a very broad cross-section of the local community or it might be a more tightly defined group such as retirees, women or neurodiverse kids.
When you know and understand your clients, you can:
- Provide services that specifically meet their needs
- Make their appointment visits more inviting and welcoming
- Communicate with them better.
6. Make it easy for patients to book appointments
Convenience is a major factor in patient retention. So make it easy for patients to book an appointment. Offering online bookings or a practice app means patients can book at their convenience, rather than having to wait to call your admin desk during business hours.
7. Create a welcoming environment
The atmosphere of your practice can have a big impact on patient satisfaction so it’s worth investing in clean, comfortable and inviting facilities. Make the place feel less clinical with some plants, comfy chairs and entertainment options. You may even consider amenities like wifi and refreshments.
8. Invest in your staff
Provide your staff with regular training to ensure you lead the way in both customer service and clinical care. Well-trained staff are better able to provide your patients with the high-quality care and attention that they deserve.
9. Get involved in the community
Sponsor local health fairs, events, and outreach programs. This is a great way to raise awareness of your practice and to connect with potential patients.
10. Be transparent about pricing
Transparency builds patient trust and reduces surprises. Clearly communicate your costs, payment options, and billing processes upfront.
How can Splice Marketing help?
By implementing these simple retention strategies, you can foster meaningful patient relationships, boost referrals, and enhance your reputation as a trusted healthcare provider.
Splice Marketing has helped many healthcare practices to attract and retain patients to create a thriving business. If you’d welcome our help, please book your free 30-minute consultation session.
- WARC, Effective Band Growth, https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/opinion/effective-brand-growth-acquisition-or-retention/4216, [Accessed 1 December 2023]
- Forbes, Friction in the customer experience, https://www.forbes.com/sites/soniathompson/2023/10/26/friction-in-the-customer-experience-makes-it-harder-for-brands-to-convert-divers-customers/?sh=2dede4de7ac7, [Accessed 1 December 2023]