I started my practice in 1998, and I have to confess I have more files of inactive patients in my clinic than I do of active patients.
That’s actually a good thing though, here me out...
The truth of the matter is your inactive patients are a renewable and bountiful resource and you should not let them slip through your fingers
Inactive patients are one of the easiest ways to keep your practice growing because:
- You have already invested time in getting to know them
- 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 who has come to you for care in the past.
So what’s an acupuncturist to do?
You can read about five easy patient reactivation tips here:
You have invested a lot of time and energy into attracting your patients. I believe it’s in our best interest as practitioners to stay familiarized with those who already know you, then to constantly try to find and attract new patients.
So where do your patients go?
They slipped through the cracks for one reason or another. Perhaps they began to feel better or became busy with work or family life and decided acupuncture was no longer needed to facilitate their wellness.
Maybe they moved to a new location. Or, maybe you simply fell out of their awareness.
Regardless, patients who have fallen out-of-care are often forgotten and can easily be reactivated.
This is a great opportunity to bring health and wellness back to your inactive patients lives.
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 if a new health issue arises.
Open up those dusty file cabinets, dig into the database and get in touch with your inactivate patients and get them back on your schedule!
Here are a few ideas you can easily do to reactivate patients and increase your patient visit average!
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.
Seasonal reminders - 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 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 call. I have found it’s okay to leave a message. Your patients who most likely have been caught up in a busy life will truly appreciate a personal phone call from you the check-in.
- Send a letter - Go through your inactive file each week and pick five patients who you have not seen in some time 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 a few minutes to gather your thoughts, then write a personalized note, address and stamp it and place it in outgoing mail.
Keep your communications interesting, relevant, current and as valuable as possible.
Michael Port has a great book out called "Book Yourself Solid." If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. He suggests six basic strategies for content to keep your patients informed.
Use information that:
- Is about our industry, in our case acupuncture
- Educates about tips, strategies and techniques
- Informs from other sources
- Offers a product or service
- Is a simple keep in touch
- Is a special announcement
To better your results, follow up your initial communication with a phone call a week or so later. You'll generate more reactivations and your practice will begin to grow!
A simple call can help your practice grow!
Here are a few things you could say:
There are many ways to make the call that can get your patients from the inactive status to active status once again. Get creative and you’ll fill your schedule.
In some cases, you may even hear your patients say...
“I've been thinking about coming back for care and want to schedule!”
Your patients will most likely be happy to have received the motivating call.
As Garrison Keeler says, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch"
Below are two letters you can download, revise and use in your practice. Enjoy!
We'll talk soon,
Jeffrey Grossman, EAMP
"Fill your schedule by checking in with patients regularly to remind them of your care"