06 Jul The Four Big Reasons Your New Patient Didn’t Come Back
Are patients constantly slipping through the cracks?
Are your patients failing to follow your treatment plan, cancelling and disappearing never to be seen again?
Why is this happening?
Well, It’s all about retention.
In my experience helping over 1,000 practices reach their business growth goals, the biggest problem I see is retention.
In fact, plugging the holes in your retention system can add 50% to your bottom line.
Address your retention woes and you’ll be able to stop some of the issues that I’ve seen so many practices struggle with in the past.
Issues like patients claiming that they “didn’t get the help they need” or having practitioners with inconsistent, patchy books… these all relate to problems with retention.
Let’s get this clear – YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED MORE PATIENTS.
If you don’t fix your retention issues first, you’ll actually just be WASTING your money on marketing.
It’s like when you think about fitness… “you can’t outrun a bad diet”, well you can’t out market poor retention!
With a water-tight retention structure you’ll help patients achieve their goals faster and keep your books full year-round.
Do it right and I guarantee you’ll be maximising your bottom line without having to spend a cent on marketing.
But before you go blaming your staff for these retention problems, ask yourself this question.
Do I have the right procedures in place?
To help you master the patient journey, I’m going to cover the four biggest practice killers when it comes to retention and what you can do to fix them TODAY!
Mistake 1: Not Leading the Consult
Have you ever had patients come in telling you what’s wrong with them? Demanding a discount? Or just being plain disrespectful to your expertise?
The answer to any of these questions should be a hard… NO!
You need to remain the authority in their treatment journey.
Be clear on that, have your staff, and your whole workplace clear on that – you’re the experts!
Patients need to know and respect this.
Use strong posture, tone, and positioning to lead the conversation.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen practitioners fall into the trap of being too friendly.
The client is less likely respect or listen to you if you’re too chummy with them and forget why you’re both really there.
They need to respect your authority as an expert to understand their treatment journey and get the help they need.
Doing anything other than that would just be putting yourself in the friend-zone… WHO wants to be in there!?
Control the consultation, give out strict treatment plans, and book them in for the WHOLE session course that you recommend.
You know what’s best – show it! There’s no need to hold back on your expertise.
Mistake 2: Not having a clearly defined treatment plan
You can’t know where you’re going without a plan.
You NEED to have specific patient treatment procedures in place. It’s that simple.
Each and every patient should receive the gold standard in patient care and a clear treatment plan THEY understand.
Show the patient what the issue is, how you can fix it, and what the next steps to recovery are.
Lead them through their treatment journey.
Then, give them a hard copy of their plan.
If they don’t have it, they won’t use it.
Remember you’re the patients trusted advisor, not their financial advisor, so devise a treatment plan that is best for them, and you, long-term – NOT a cheap underdone program that won’t deliver the results they need because you’re too afraid to book them in.
This system should cover locking in re-bookings and follow-ups which will actually help them reach their goals the fastest.
I know you think you have something in place. A method that works. But if it isn’t on paper and instilled in ALL of your team, it isn’t performing like it could be…
Script it, teach it, track it, and test it.
The system might be in your head, but let’s get it on paper!
A program that’s understood, practiced and followed will leave as little up to chance as possible.
You’re just stacking the cards in your favour.
Mistake 3: Uncertain accountability in your team
There’s no I in TEAM. All your staff members must be accountable – Every single one of them.
Each practitioner, receptionist and most of all, YOU need to trust, use and swear by the systems you are putting in place.
A few weeds ruin the perfect garden.
To have a scaleable system the whole team needs to be on board.
That’s why your systems need to be written down.
Have a specific phone call script, consult structure, booking system and follow up protocol.
Have it all step-by-step as a ready resource that staff can read, use and rely on with each patient.
This will create a disciplined, smart and effective workplace culture.
A team of experts ready to lead patients through a detailed and controlled treatment journey is what we want!
Mistake 4: No Handover Process
When your practitioner hands the patient over to reception before they leave is the job done?
Not even close!
The handover process is the final exclamation point in winning them over. The assurance that your patient will be hanging around.
Your Front of Staff need to be told each patient’s treatment plan, put it on file and repeat it to the patient.
When they do this booking in follow up sessions it will further grow the patient’s confidence that this is THE place to be to get the help they need.
Use scripts to make sure this is running smoothly, role play scenarios, and train your staff to handle objections, comfort patient issues and BOOK-IN.
Then, audit and track your team’s re-booking skills. You NEED to be sure that your team is maximising the patient experience and that they are doing all they can to keep them engaged throughout their journey.
Your air-tight retention relies on systematic procedures being executed by your WHOLE team.
Rock solid retention systems are the hallmark of a thriving practice, grow your business by systematically serving your patients and giving them the ultimate treatment journey.
To get an even better idea on how to lock-down the ultimate structure that will deliver elite treatment plans to loyal patients check out more of my proven frameworks in this latest FREE masterclass.