Finding new patients is a critical component of growing a healthy dental practice, but some habits our industry has developed to get new patients in the door are downright unhealthy. Number one on the list is new patient specials—a dental industry addiction! Yes, your practice will bring in new patients through specials and promotions, but just as quickly as these patients walk in the door to take advantage of your offer, they walk out, and you never see them again.
New Patient Specials: What’s the Appeal?
New patient specials attract the wrong type of patients, and don’t deliver quality, long-term results, yet they remain a major tactic within the business of dentistry. Why? On the outside, new patient specials seem like a great idea. They bring in new patients and practices can provide care without an insurance middleman. The promos are controlled in-house, and practices set the price points and take home 100% of the fees paid by the patients.
But there is a major downside. There is no incentive for these patients to come back. Patients that are attracted to these promos are more interested in getting a deal than maintaining good oral health. You may be successful in attracting new patients who come in for a deeply discounted cleaning, X-ray and check-up, but after their initial visit most of these patients will never come back. In fact, according to McKenzie Management, a dental practice management consulting firm, seven out of 10 new patients never return to a practice.
Stop the Revolving Door with a Dental Membership Plan
Promoting specials for one-and-done appointments is not a long-term solution for your practice. Instead, you need a solution that will promote return visits and patient loyalty. Forward-thinking dentists who have implemented subscription-based dental membership plans are proving there is a better way to attract new patients and convert those patients to lifelong patrons of your practice.
Think of dental membership plans as you do other subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Patients pay a monthly or annual fee to you, and in return you’ll provide preventative care and discounts off other treatment. Your practice is 100% in control of your plan, setting the subscription price, fee schedule and treatment protocol—without any interference of a middleman insurance company. Patient payments are made directly to your dental practice, eliminating the burdens of third-party payment delays, claim denials and paperwork.
Patients can sign up for your membership plan on the same day as their visit and tap into the benefits without any waiting period. Your patients will benefit from a discount for that visit, as they would with a new patient special, but there is incentive for them to return. In fact, based on data from practices on the Kleer Platform, membership plan patients visit the dentist two to three times more often than uninsured patients, and they accept 50 to 100% more treatment.
With a membership plan in place, your patients can get dental care at a discounted rate for the duration of their relationship with you. Instead of acquiring new patients who only visit once, you’ll attract patients who will commit to your practice, visit more often and accept more care.
Kleer is Your Solution
Kleer’s mission is to liberate dental care by empowering you to provide simple, affordable and transparent care directly to patients. It’s time to leave behind the revolving door of traditional new patient specials and step into a world where your practice and your patients can thrive.