Increase engagement with your patients with a dental patient loyalty program. They really work!
What Is a Dental Patient Loyalty Program?
A dental patient loyalty program is an offering put into place to keep dental patients coming back to your dental practice and get more dental patients in the process.
Loyalty programs often include an in-house discount plan and additional marketing materials for that plan to offer your patients. Below, find out how these programs work, why dental offices like loyalty programs and how you can start your own plan.
How Do Dental Loyalty Programs Work?
Dental loyalty programs can work a few different ways:
- To encourage dental patients to return for follow-up visits, you can offer incentives to patients, like a free toothbrush, 10% off their next appointment or reward cards they can redeem at your dental office for merchandise.
- An in-office discount plan that lowers the cost of dental treatments and procedures for the plan’s members as a way to increase treatment acceptance rates and patient loyalty. Patients will keep coming back to a dental practice that offers such affordable prices with their membership plans. Not to mention, as the word spreads about your affordable prices, you will get more dental patients coming to your practice!
The second option listed above is what this post will focus on as it is the best way to ensure patient loyalty to your dental practice.
Once you have created an in-office discount plan, you can start advertising it to new patients, and existing ones. Some dentists do this when they present their recommended treatment plan to patients following an oral exam and cleaning. This helps show them how much they can save by signing up for your plan and keeps patients from walking out the door never to return.
When new patients come to your office, particularly if they do not have dental coverage, providing a plan option that will save them money on treatment is a win-win for everyone involved. You won’t lose a potential patient and will be able to earn money on the treatment done, while the patient gets the dental care he/she needs at a more affordable price.
Once a patient has signed up for your plan, they can start saving immediately on their dental work. You will give the new member an ID number and they will have access to a full list of discounts for different procedures at your dental office. At their visit, apply these discounts to their bill and they will pay the discounted rate for service to you. You won’t need to fill out any paperwork or wait on reimbursement from an insurance company. Some dentists require all payment upfront, while others allow patients to sign up for a payment plan to pay off their bill in installments.
What Does This Look Like For…
- Offers discounted dental prices to plan members
- Accepts payment at patient’s visit (doesn’t have to wait to be reimbursed)
- Receives a portion of dental plan membership fee each month/year
- Assured patients will continue coming back to dental practice so they can keep saving with their plan
- Gets new patients coming to your office and purchasing a plan to use
- Pays a monthly or annual membership fee
- Visits dentist and pays discounted prices at the dentist for service/treatment immediately following dental appointment
- No limits to how often patient can use the plan
But how can my practice earn enough money with these membership plans?
Patients like discount plans. With the use of these plans, patients may actually end up coming back to your office more often because they know they are getting a good deal on their dental care. They’ll want to get more needed treatment done since they can get it at an affordable price.
Think of it similar to businesses like Amazon and Shutterfly. They offer amazing deals on their products (and sometimes free shipping, as well). You would think these businesses would lose out because of the amazing deals they give, but people actually end up spending more because they are getting great deals or don’t have to worry about shipping cost so they feel like they can spend more on the products. These loyalty programs really work! A dental plan is similar, only what they’re paying for can benefit their overall health and dental health.
Why Do Dental Offices Like Dental Patient Loyalty Programs?
There are several reasons dentists like offering dental patient loyalty programs:
- Fewer instances of turning away uninsured patients.
- No insurance claims to file. Just accept the discounted rate of service.
- No waiting. Patients can use the plan immediately!
- They really work! Patients keep coming back and new patients begin visiting.
How Can I Start My Own Patient Loyalty Program for My Dental Practice?
- Create or sign up for a discount dental plan that is geared toward your practice and patients.
- Make sure this plan is 100% compliant according to your state’s regulations.
- Develop a secure server where you can handle and manage patient information and payments.
- Designate individuals in your office to handle calls regarding these patient plans.
- Produce marketing materials (once again, needs to be compliant with state regulations) you can give to patients in-office to promote your plan.
- Watch as customers sign up for your plan and become loyal customers who keep coming back to your practice for prices they can afford.
Sound like a lot of work for your office amidst all of your other dental responsibilities? Let us help. Sign up with us for a Launch Loyalty plan today. We offer all of the above services to dental practices. Customize a plan for your office on our website and let us handle the rest!
What other questions do you have about dental patient loyalty programs? Share them with us in the comment section below.