Attracting new patients vs. retaining existing patients—which is more important? Well, there’s a time for focusing on both.
For example, in a brand-new office, the entire focus is on bringing in new patients. Meanwhile, a well-established practice may be able to focus mainly on retention, allowing referrals to take care of the rest.
In general, it’s easier and more cost-efficient to retain existing patients than to attract a new one.
After all, in the place of expensive marketing efforts, the major aspect of retention is simply providing excellent care—and you already do that. However, you shouldn’t assume that great care alone will keep patients coming back for more.
To improve your retention rates, it’s important to go the extra mile to improve the overall patient experience, communicate effectively, and offer extra benefits that help your practice stand out.
In the following sections, we’ll review the best strategies for improving patient retention at your chiropractic office.
Provide an Exceptional Patient Care Experience
First and foremost, patient retention is a product of exceptional care. Along with high-quality diagnosis and treatment, great care involves continuously updating your knowledge and techniques to offer highly personalized and effective treatment plans.
In addition to the time spent in treatment rooms, the entire patient experience should be thoughtfully designed. A comfortable and welcoming environment includes a friendly staff and a pleasant waiting room. Each of the areas discussed in the sections below offers opportunities for improving the overall patient experience at your practice.
Implement Effective Communication Strategies
Your patients are busy people who are constantly shuffling their priorities. Without reminders, even an appreciative patient may allow chiropractic care to slip away from their scheduling routine.
To effectively keep in touch with patients, leverage multiple communication channels, including phone, text, and email. Don’t overdo it, but provide plenty of timely updates and appointment reminders and stay consistent in your messaging while encouraging patients to maintain their commitment to treatment.
Foster Patient Relationships Through Active Engagement
To build a stronger sense of commitment among your patients, take extra steps that help them feel valued. You may choose to implement a patient loyalty program that offers discounted pricing for long-term patients. Or, you can hold special events such as workshops that bring patients together and foster a sense of community.
Create an Educational Content Hub
To provide even more opportunities to improve retention rates via patient engagement, create an educational content hub. This may consist of a blog, a video series, or webinars with special guests and Q&A sessions. You can post content on your website and send email updates to subscribers.
Educational content serves several purposes. Your articles or videos provide useful information to patients while also positioning yourself as an industry expert. Additionally, your content can be used to highlight patient success stories and testimonials, helping to inspire loyalty among your existing patients.
You can also use your content to offer extra value to existing patients. For example, you may offer paid content that’s free for your patients. Or, you can run promotions such as including coupon codes in your videos or offering raffle links in your articles.
Streamline Appointment Scheduling and Follow-ups
If you want patients to keep booking appointments, make sure it’s easy for them to do so. In addition to setting as many follow-ups as possible before patients step out of the office, provide a user-friendly online appointment booking platform. Additionally, use an automated reminder system to make sure that patients have easy access to their appointment info.
Meanwhile, you may choose to implement a structured follow-up system for tracking patient progress. This may include structured interviews to check on progress after a certain number of appointments, or providing educational info or offers at scheduled time intervals.
Address Patients’ Financial Concerns
For many patients, cost is the biggest deterrent to keeping up with care.
Take the following steps to address cost concerns:
- Offer transparent pricing and payment options
- Establish payment plans or appointment packages for long-term treatment
- Offer occasional promotions or discounts to incentivize return visits
When discussing financial concerns with patients, always aim for a respectful, compassionate, and solutions-oriented approach.
Solicit Patient Feedback and Respond to Concerns
You want to be responsive to patient concerns, but do you have a system in place for collecting feedback?
You can solicit feedback with structured questions after appointments or through a portal on your website. Always communicate to patients that their concerns have been heard and be willing to adjust your practices based on the feedback you receive.
Get More Insights for Retaining Your Patients and Growing Your Practice
At Aligned Mentoring for Chiropractors, we serve ambitious chiropractors with expert coaching and guidance. Contact AMC today to schedule your no-pressure consultation.