We are often get asked during a consultation “How do I attract more patients?” It is the worry of every business owner, and everyone is looking for the secret to a permanent flow of affluent patients with money to burn and thirst for all aesthetic services.
The truth is there is no one way. It is an approach to business and the brand that you build that will organically grow your business over time. Some simple but consistent tweaks to your approach to your customer base can create strong foundations to customer retention and growth.
- Be Open for Business
It takes 2 years for a patient to consider having an aesthetic treatment and only 2 minutes to loose that opportunity of a new customer. By the time they reach your clinic, they will have done their research. To be at the top of the list your hard work on marketing and visibility has paid off and you have done really well to connect in this competitive field, so it is essential to be open for business. Are you able to answer every phone call? Do you have ability for the customer to interact with you via an online media? A phone In 2016 the standard was to ensure that a phone call should be returned within 24hrs, and an email or web enquiry no later than 48hrs. However, in this modern era of immediacy, even these stats are too slow. It is believed that phone calls must be returned within 2 hours and email or web enquiry within 3 hours. If a response is not given the consumer will move to the next google listing. If you are not available when the customer tries to connect they will move onto their 2nd choice.
- Drop Price deals or low price offersQuick wins are never permanent ones and so your focus should be on long term success rather than short term wins. Dropping your prices immediately erodes your profitability and creates a false expectation in your customer group, who will wait for offers rather than book regularly. You will attract deal hoppers rather than customers who are bought into you, your brand and your services
- Customer Service is King
Have you ever audited your customer service from website to telephone, consultation to treatment. The customer experience should at every stage make them feel individual, important and like they are your most special customer. Whilst your customer is in your environment they are yours for the time they spend. Heightened interaction will bind them to your business and make them feel part of your elite. Every customer that leaves the clinic should leave glowing and having been spoilt with service. They will take that warmth and tell every person they see that day about their experience with you. This is one of the key elements to retention, referral and recruitment.
- Referral Schemes
Setting up a referral scheme that is worth while to both you and your patients needs to be mutually beneficial. It is a balance of making it attractive enough to incentivise your customers, whilst not eroding your profitability too much. % discount schemes directly impact your profit margin and do not always resonate with the customer. £££s off shout louder, and although they have the same impact on profit but always connect better with your customers. Offering discounts to other services will introduce new services to the customer, but if these are not ones that would be considered then it is a lost driver. Knowing your customer group and their drivers is key.Take time to work out your profitability and what impact this will have. If it attracts 10 new clients it is worth a small reduction in short term profit. Monitor and audit all new schemes so that you know exactly what is driving new business and where to invest further.
- Be Visible and Communicate
Every business is different, works within a different customer group and demographic. Know your target customer base and be present in their world. Whether this is via key social media sites or conventional marketing, know where your customers go to find their information and create a marketing plan that will interact with them on a consistent and regular basis.