In the healthcare industry, many businesses place their focus on getting more patients in the door instead of strategizing to retain their existing patients.
According to Invesp, a conversion rate optimization company, 44% of companies focus more heavily on customer acquisition, while only 18% of companies concentrate more heavily on retention as a part of their growth strategy. Invesp additionally reported that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by as much as 25-95%.
Increasing spend on acquiring patients your business is unable to keep is a wasted investment and a quick way to drain your budget!
Patient retention can drive greater ROI and is less expensive to your practice than attracting new visitors. Read on to learn how (and why) you should increase patient loyalty and retention so your marketing dollars don't go to waste!
Keeping an established patient is less expensive than acquiring a new patient
Did you know that Invesp also reported that acquiring a new customer is as much as 5x more expensive than retaining an existing customer?
Think about the costs of acquiring a new patient and the marketing your practice uses. Your PAC, or Patient Acquisition Costs, are determined by your business' investment in tactics like print advertising, digital marketing, direct mail, radio, and other mediums to increase brand recognition and get patients in the door.
While these are all important initiatives, they are not exactly cheap. And, this money is wasted if a business has poor retention rates.
The least expensive way to fill appointment slots is to ensure that your established patients continue to return to your practice.
Happy patients are loyal patients, and loyal patients refer you business
With more healthcare options available to your patients than ever before, an unhappy or neutral patient can simply take their business elsewhere. Your practice needs to build patient advocates by promoting good experiences.
A few simple ways to make your patients happier with their overall visit are to:
- Increase efficiency: no one likes spending their day in a waiting room or processing information. If patients are spending 15 minutes or more in your waiting room, that's far too long. Utilizing patient check-in solutions that reduce wait time can help improve your office efficiency and reduce patient complaints.
Reduce errors: Common registration errors include incorrect demographic information, addresses, and insurance information - errors can frustrate patients and cost your business money.
Improve communication: Front-desk staff overwhelmed by check-in lines or phone calls are unable to meaningfully engage with patients, making for a less personal experience.
Invest in technologies that put you ahead of the curve: Expand your toolbox by investing in technologies that make your staff better at their jobs and patients' visits more enjoyable!
When your patients are happy, they'll recommend your practice to friends and family. They could refer decades worth of business to you, which is a critical reason to keep established patients satisfied.
Better patient experiences start in the waiting room
According to the Ninth Annual Vitals Wait Time Report, one in five patients have sought new providers after a long wait time experience. You can reduce patient churn and increase your bottom line by streamlining your patient check-in.
Some great ways to ensure your patients are able to check-in for appointments with ease include:
- Enabling patients to check in for their appointments before they come into the office.
- Reducing the time spent on filling in patient paperwork.
- Allowing patients to automate payments and pay outstanding invoices privately.
- Automate front-office tasks where you can, giving your staff more time to meaningfully engage with patients.
Utilizing check-in kiosks and encouraging the use of mobile solutions for patient check-in are great places to start improving your practice's waiting room experience. By reducing errors, improving efficiency, and facilitating better communication in your front-office, you can better retain your current patient base.
It's time to wow your patients and turn them into advocates for your practice!