Everybody knows that good oral health comes from three regular routines: brushing, flossing and scheduling a dental cleaning every six months. While many people brush and floss daily, how many patients really stick to the last, and arguably the most important, step of the routine? It is important for your practice to identify, engage and reactivate your inactive patients to keep them from falling through the cracks.
Active VS. Inactive Patients
A regular, routine patient is a healthy patient. These patients stick to the biannual rule of thumb, or at least make it to a yearly well check. Inactive patients are those who haven’t been to their provider in at least two years, according to the American Dental Association. This is bad for the patients’ health, but your organization can suffer too if too many patients don’t come back regularly. Provider Tech has reported that the average lifetime value of a patient is between $12,000 and $15,000, so even a single patient is an asset to your organization.
How to engage with inactive patients
It is important to understand that a patient’s decision to discontinue their time with your practice probably has nothing to do with you. Patients are prone to drift away or move on for a variety of reasons. However, there are certain strategies to apply to keep them and win them back.
Keep it personal
Communication is key. Not only should you be in touch with your patients between their visits, but extending quality communication is a crucial reminder of why they choose you and your practice in the first place. Reaching out to inactive patients with a personalized message to show them that they are more than just a number in your database could be the first step in their return. Refreshing their memory about their treatment goal could also be a good strategic opportunity to remind them of why they started receiving your care.
Remember that they’re not unreachable
It’s common practice to delete inactive users from your database when they’ve been MIA, but this doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. Many dental offices have seen great advantage to building a system, often automated, that keeps in touch with inactive patients and keeps them in the loop about their practices.
Consider offering loyalty programs
Everyone loves a good deal. Dental discount plans have been increasing in popularity as they are designed to provide savings on a variety of dental services and treatments. Offering this membership-based program is likely to spark the interest of active and inactive patients alike, as they can typically save anywhere from 10-60 percent on dental care. Membership plans have proven to increase treatment plan acceptance, revenue and patient loyalty.
Interested in how dental discount plans can help your practice’s patient retention? Launch Loyalty is prepared to help create a custom, in-house plan that will keep them committed to you.