Active patient retention. It's a must for survival and growth

If you are finding it hard to attract new patients cost effectively and many practices are, it’s even more crucial that dental practices have patient retention initiatives and systems in place. Reactivation or recall are terms often used to describe encouraging patients back in for an appointment.

Before doing any reactivation with your patient list it’s important to understand how many patients you have on your books and which of these segments they fall into.

Divide your patient list into 1. patients (they have come in for treatment in the last say 12 months), 2. dormants (they last had an appointment between 13 – 24 months ago – maybe because they haven’t got round to booking an appointment or money is a bit tight or they simply haven’t been reminded!) and 3. lapsed patients (24 months + ago and your practice is now well and truly off their radar, they may have defected to another practice for all treatments or they have simply not been to any dentist in that time).

A few insights from our experience:

1. What you send, email, text or say to your patients should be different according to which segment they are in.

2. Contacting your dormants with meaningful updates (on new treatments, new practice news, a simple appointment reminder, a birthday card, a voucher or whatever it takes to gain an appointment) will definitely bring patients in.

3. Don’t give up on lapsed patients. Test trying to win them back and by test I mean, take a sample, say 50 or 100, and contact them

4. Measure your reactivation activity and what works best

5. Contact your patients regularly. Maintain and build your relationship with them. After all, a happy patient is an advocate and a source of referrals for your practice

6. Last but not least, patients coming from your own patient list are always the lowest cost source of fee income for a dental practice

For a review of your patient management policies and procedures, contact us