When I think back to a time in my career when I had to hustle the most, grind like crazy and work 80 hour weeks (#neveragain) it was when I was SO focused on gaining new clients that I wasn’t providing the best possible service to my existing clients.
And my business (not to mention my sanity, health, personal life) suffered for it.
In the beginning, no matter what business you’re in, you need to clients and patients to survive and grow.
That’s the reality…and that takes work.
But in the midst of all that hustle, we can sometimes forget about the easiest, fastest and most predictable source of income.
The patient right in front of you.
Here’s the coles notes version of exactly why you can’t forget about servicing your existing clients and focusing on patient retention:
1. Save Money: retaining clients and patients costs 5-10x less than it does to gain a new person (that savings translates to instant income for you)
2. More Predictable: 60-70% of existing patients/clients are likely to book with you vs. only 5-20% of new people, making your bookings and income more predictable with existing patients.
3. More Income: improving retention rates by as little as 5% can increase your net income up to 75%
4. More Time: there is virtually no additional work to retain a patient/client beyond what you’re currently doing (and often less)…giving you more time to work with patients OR (crazy idea) actually have a life
5. More Enjoyably: to work with people you already know and easier to create a sense of community (which also keeps people coming back)
Are you starting to see the importance of keeping your existing patients coming back?
And the amazing thing is, most people are not looking for you to hand them fluffy slippers and cucumber water (although who doesn’t love fluffy slippers and cucumber water?!).
They just want to feel valued and like they’re finding the answer to their problems.
Almost 70% of people who take their business elsewhere do so because they feel there is an attitude of indifference. Their practitioner did not care.
Improving your retention and building a loyal community of happy patients/clients is obviously crucial to your personal and professional success (see points 1-5 above if you’re still wondering why).
So how do you operate in a way that keeps your patients/clients happily coming back?
You deliver an unbeatable experience.
One where they feel you understand their unique needs.
One they couldn’t get anywhere else.
One that feels like a no brainer option.
And one they WANT to keep experiencing.
In my Booked Up Blueprint Program, I help my clients implement my Triple E Formula… the exact formula that helps practitioners provide that unbeatable experience to increase their retention between 5-25% and as much as double their income with virtually no extra work.
The Triple E Formula is based on 3 things: you make it easy, effective and enjoyable for them.
Here’s what I mean:
You make it EASY: People these days are busy and have a lot on the go. Even though their health and their current pain points are important, they don’t always make them a priority (as I’m sure you see all the time). They want to but it’s not always practical.
When you make it easy for them to book, see, find, pay you and remember to keep coming back they not only appreciate how easy you’re making life for them but they feel valued.
This means you make the whole process from first seeing you all the way to the end of their appointment or treatment plan, is seamless and straightforward. I like to use automation for much of this with online booking, payment and reminders.
This also means that if a patient has questions, needs education, wants to understand what’s going on in their body, you make it easy for them. You go above and beyond to provide clarity, use plain language and get them the information they need. You’re seeing them or emailing them anyway…simply make it easy and clear for them to understand exactly what’s going on.
You make it EFFECTIVE: The whole reason someone is coming to you in the first place is because they have a problem and they believe you can help them solve it.
And they WILL keep coming back as long as those expectations are met.
You get them results.
This may not always mean exactly the results they initially thought. It’s all about making sure communication is open and expectations are clear. The biggest reason I hear that people stop seeing practitioners is that they didn’t know if they were done or if they should come back.
Clearly communicating a treatment plan to move your patient/client from their current problem state to a solution state (whatever that solution may be) gets them better results because they understand the process (and that it may not happen in 1-2 sessions) and they have clear expectations.
They also know that they are going to need to keep coming back to get those results…and so, miraculously, they do.
You make it ENJOYABLE: Has there ever been a gym, coffee shop, yoga studio, store of some kind that you’ll go out of your way to go to because you feel great when you go? I still travel twice the distance to go to my favourite yoga studio because I feel like part of the community…they all know my name, it’s like seeing friends. It’s fun. And it’s that sense of community and enjoyment that keeps people coming back.
Remember how I said 70% of people leave because they feel no one cares. They are no apart of anything bigger.
Creating a community can mean a lot of things but at the heart of it, it’s making people feel included, welcome and like you WANT them to be there. Not like it’s a chore for you to be seeing them.
This sentiment extends to everyone within your clinic (and especially front desk staff). Make people feel welcome as soon as they walk in, speak to them like friends and make sure they feel included.
My favourite way to do this is with an online or email community. Some might call this a newsletter but I find if you think of it instead as building a community, you extend a lot more value and personality than a basic newsletter or recent promotions (which no one really wants).
Build engagement and loyalty through online or in-person challenges, monthly series and by offering more value than they can get elsewhere.
All this creates that enjoyable experience people will travel for.
You’re probably noticing, offering an unbeatable experience and retaining patients is often less about DOING more things and more about BEING the type of practitioner people are dying to work with.
If you feel like you MUST implement my Triple E formula so you can increase your revenue 75% with virtually no additional work then save your spot on the waitlist of my Booked Up Blueprint Program.
Next time enrollment opens you’ll be first to be notified (and get early bird pricing and bonuses).
As always, if you have any questions about this, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Sources: Invesp Survey | Harvard Business School | Bain & Company