4 Ways To Ensure Patient Retention

Productive Practice Mindset

Case acceptance is about how well you are taking patients from their current state of dental health to the next level. If you struggle with case acceptance in new patients, consider this idea: returning patients are better able to accept future treatment, in greater amounts, than new patients. Increased case acceptance is therefore related to patient retention. Here are some ways to ensure that your patients stick around:

Focus on keeping a patient for a long time with a gradual approach:

  • Take everything one step at a time. Do one procedure, followed by another, then another and eventually all the procedures will be done.
  • Avoid leaning into your patients for full mouth rehab from the start (outside of extreme circumstances). Patients may feel bullied if you are heavy handed. When you focus on getting your patients on the appointment books today for everything, often times they are going to push back.

Be strategic in your presentation:

  • Depending on your patient, if you determine a multiple-visit treatment plan, it may be best to only present the next appointment to them. This helps to not run away skittish patients. You can address the next issue after the patient has already come back.
  • For example, if a patient has an overwhelming situation where everything is a mess, explain a plan for initial procedures/visits and explain that after the initial issues are treated, you’ll reevaluate to see what’s next.

Consider the “zeros”:

  • The biggest challenge to case average is the patients who won’t do anything. If you could raise the amount each of those patients spend to even $100 it would be a huge transformation in your overall case average.
  • If you’re not connected with what that patient wants and you show them more than what they’re ready to hear/accept, for five new patients, four of them will not come back.
  • So follow the the Greg Stanley mantra: tell them what they need, give them what they want and be happy.

Take the long view:

  • Know that you can have 100% case acceptance. It may take five years but that’s OK.