According to Mckinsey and Company, outperformers organize their business around personalization. Rather than focusing solely on short-term wins, they look for long-term growth drivers and emphasize customer lifetime value.
Personalization keeps patients engaged with your practice, and while an attrition rate of 20% may seem normal for dental practices — it's one of the highest in healthcare. Some attrition is natural — patients leave a practice for various reasons. Regardless, it should be a wake-up call that patient retention is critical to your practice's success and, in many cases, is more important than acquiring new patients.
In today's dental climate, dental teams must put their efforts toward getting more value from current patients, delivering positive care experiences, and providing more dental care choices.
A great framework to think about personalization is in three key stages:
- Start with business drivers.
- Lean into moments that matter.
- Take a journey-based approach.
Here are some best practices to consider as you nurture existing patient relationships so your practice can bypass attracting new ones.
Leverage data and analytics
Embracing data and analytics to identify personalization opportunities throughout the patient journey allows practices to determine where the most value lies. For instance, data can show variances in patient behavior based on how they access care (i.e., PPO, fee-for-service, membership plan, discount plan, etc.), which types of messages and incentives resonate with patients, or reveal opportunities to expand your offerings to cater to patient needs. Aligning your objectives with customer-centric KPIs helps establish clear targets and outcomes to drive these efforts effectively.
Adopt an agile operating model
Personalization requires a collaborative approach. Create cross-functional teams with expertise from different areas, such as marketing, clinical patient care, treatment coordination, and operations. Each team member can contribute unique insights and skills to implement personalized strategies. Embrace an agile operating model that allows your team to gather patient insights and continuously improve patient experiences. By working together, you can create tailored and meaningful interactions with your patients, fostering lasting relationships and driving the success of your dental practice.
Moments that matter:
Be patient-centric and provide remarkable customer service
Being patient-centric means making it easy and convenient for patients to visit and interact with you. According to a study from The American Journal of Managed Care, patient dissatisfaction and long wait times negatively affect provider perceptions and quality of care. Also, 96% of customer complaints are related to customer service rather than patient health care. So, if you want your practice to be truly patient-centric, every patient's dental care must be a top priority, in and out of the office. This means wowing patients in several ways, including emotionally, professionally, and medically.
Make patients feel well-served and optimistic about their experiences
The ultimate goal is to create happy, healthy, and loyal patients. Patients who feel a personal connection with your practice are your champions. They're more likely to rave about the wonderful experiences they've had with your team and your unparalleled expertise. They are the audience who will spread the word about you, write positive online reviews, and help boost your reputation. They're invaluable.
A journey-based approach:
Keep your patients on a schedule
One of the most important aspects of running a successful practice is to keep the appointment schedule full. A crucial aspect of running a successful practice involves balancing regular hygiene visits, checkups, and treatment procedures. However, research shows uninsured patients tend to be less compliant with preventive care visits and treatment acceptance, completing only a fraction of the procedures compared to insured patients.
Enter membership plans — a game-changer in personalized patient care. By offering direct coverage to uninsured patients, you provide them with a tailored solution that aligns with their needs and preferences. These patients are motivated to get their money's worth by utilizing the plan for preventive care, cleanings, and other treatment services. Practices keep all subscription fees and 100% of the procedure revenue, making patients with membership plans two to three times more valuable than both uninsured and insured patients.
Maximize value with personalization
Historically, dentists have placed a heavy emphasis on patient acquisition efforts, but this is an endless and costly grind. Personalization holds immense value for dental practices and DSOs, offering a pathway to long-term growth and increased customer lifetime value.
If you want to embrace membership plans as part of your personalization strategy, look no further than Kleer's advanced cloud-based software. To learn more, request your demo today!