There’s a goldmine in your clinic.More than likely you have invested a lot of time and energy into getting your current patients. You probably even spend time thinking about all of the patients you don’t see anymore or have slipped through the cracks. And with good reason, those patients that have somehow fallen through the cracks are a goldmine.
Why you may ask? It’s because they have already taken the initial step of coming to you and are already well acquainted with your practice. In turn, you have spent time getting to know them and building a relationship. It would be a waste of time, energy and money to let them slip away into a dusty inactive file.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep in regular contact with all past and present patients. The more your patients receive information from you or your clinic, the more likely they are to reschedule and remember you when a new health issue comes up.
Here are a few ways to activate your inactive patients:
Send a newsletter
A seasonal newsletter is a great way to reactivate the inactive patients. Four times a year, you have an opportunity to disseminate information about you, your practice, acupuncture, or anything else your heart desires. Use seasonal newsletters as a soapbox for your practice.
Four, or five times a year (depending upon how you look at it, Indian Summer or not), you have an opportunity to remind your inactive patients that it’s time to come in for a seasonal tune-up. One great way to do this is with our seasonal bookmarks.
Give them a call
Each week, pick up the phone and give five inactive patients a phone call. I have found it’s okay to leave a message. The patients who really like you, but have been caught up in a busy life will truly appreciate a personal phone call.
Send a letter
Go through your inactive files each week and pick five patients you have not seen in awhile and send them a letter. It is always nice to receive a handwritten letter. This practice is not common in this day and age with access to high-speed wireless internet. It only takes five minutes at most to write, address and stamp a personalized letter.
Sending out reminders regularly will give you the chance to successfully reactivate seemingly lost patients. They’ll thank you for remembering them and for wanting to keep them in tip-top shape and you’ll thank them for the continued business - a classic win- win scenario.
Remind yourself that your inactive patients are a renewable and bountiful resource. Don’t let them slip through your fingers! Inactive patients are one of the easiest ways to grow your practice because you have already:
- Invested time in getting to know them and they you;
- Spent time and marketing costs to get them into your clinic;
Explained what it is you do and how you can help them.
There is no easier patient to acquire than the one that has come to you in the past.
Open up the dusty file cabinet, dig into the database, and send those inactive patients a letter!
Offer them a free exam, invite them to an open house or patient appreciation event, or send them some patients educational materials from our store.
For maximum results, follow up the letter with a phone call about a week later. (see below)
Here is a super simple call you can do right now!
Calling patients you have not seen in awhile can book out your schedule for weeks, if not months in advance. A little reactivation call can get patients you have not seen in a while back on the books.
Open up your file box and sift through the patients you have not seen in the past two months, then call them first. Then find the ones you have not seen in over three months, plus. The most recent ones will have a better response to get back in to see you.
Give them a call, and you don’t have to be pushy.
Here’s a few things you can say:
“Hello [patient’s name], I’ve been thinking about you lately and haven’t seen you in a while. I was wondering how your [health concern] is going?”
“Hello [patient’s name], I want to let you know I will be hosting a (plan an event and ask them to come and bring a friend. Give them the specifics).”
“Hello [patient’s name], I just learned a really cool technique I thought you would love to know about. I’m thrilled about it and so are my current patients. I’m calling because I thought you could benefit from it. Can I get you to come in to (experience it, try it out, etc)?”
“Hello [patient’s name] I realized it's your birthday. Happy birthday! I would like to invite you in for a XXXX (come up with a good birthday incentive. It can be some free herbs, a massage, stress treatment, etc.)”
I think you get the idea. There are many ways to make the call that can get your patients from the inactive status to active status once again.
All it takes is one call. If you make just one call per day, your practice will see some positive growth. It’s a given! Further, many of my clients respond saying “I have been thinking about coming back in for care!”, and are happy to have received the motivating call.
You’ll generate more reactivations and your practice will be busier than ever!
Your past clients are a goldmine! Don’t let the gold rush drift away.