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Advanced patient communication skills - Part III: The importance of identifying and rewarding your VIP patients

Article-Advanced patient communication skills - Part III: The importance of identifying and rewarding your VIP patients

Advanced patient communication skills - Part III: The importance of identifying and rewarding your VIP patients

Having worked with medical aesthetic and cosmetic practices across the country, we have learned that many practices believe that its most profitable patient is the one who comes in for a single large surgery. But in reality, this is not the case.

The most important patient in your practice is the one who you’ve built a rapport with, who comes in, time and time again, ready and willing to accept your guidance. They refer friends, family, neighbors (and neighbors’ friends and family) and they grow with your practice.

That’s why it is important that you treat these patients like the VIP Patients they are!

The VIP treatment

  • Cut down on their wait time in your reception area as much as possible! Although this should be the case for every patient, this rings especially true with your VIP Patients, who will be sure to sing your praises, both in person and online.
  • Help them help YOU. Provide your VIP patients with “Refer a Friend” material that they can give to friends and family. A simple business card-sized piece that they can carry in their wallet is helpful, and allows for the recipient to receive a special “friends and family” price for a service or product. However, be sure to thank your current patient in a way that doesn’t violate anti-kickback laws (many states have laws which disallow “any form of compensation in like and/or in kind” for the referral of a patient). Instead, enter them into a quarterly drawing versus receiving a certain percentage off for each referral.
  • Evaluate your VIP Patient’s current additional concerns with each individual visit. Often, practices assume a patient who’s been coming to your office for years will proactively ask your team if they have questions about thin lips, enlarged pores or dark undereye circles. However, that is not always the case, and a lot can change in a patient’s aesthetic appearance in a year. Remember that your patient may not realize your practice can treat their current concern(s), which could mean opportunities for you are being left on the table.
  • Offer your patient a free skincare consultation with each visit. Again, this should be done with every single patient. Ask your patient about their current routine – what are they using in the morning and evening? Are they using a sunscreen daily? Have they (or are they about to) run out of their eye cream? Encourage your patient to bring in their current skincare products to their next appointment, so you can review ways they can improve their customized regimen. This will provide a happier patient, and result in more retail skincare sales for your practice.
  • Put their favorite skincare products on auto ship. Or, at the very least, put their favorite items aside when they come into the practice. Make life as easy as possible for your VIP Patient… and as profitable as possible for your practice as well.
  • When you are having an event, call your VIP Patients personally. We all get busy from time to time and email invites get lost in our inboxes. The same goes for your favorite patients. Don’t assume they are simply unable to come to your event; take the time to have one of your team members personally place a phone call to invite them, and to let them know that you’d love to see them. And invite them to bring a friend!
  • Record their testimonial about how much they love your practice, the amazing results they’ve seen from your treatments and what keeps them coming back for more. Nothing speaks louder to new patients than seeing another patient talk about a practice they are considering! Of course, make sure you have a signed release stating that you can use the testimonial.

About the Authors

Practice Management, best business practices, marketing, strategyMara Shorr, B.S., CAC 
Ms. Shorr serves as a partner, as well as the vice president of marketing and business development for Shorr Solutions, assisting medical practices with the operational, financial and administrative health of their business. She is a Certified Aesthetic Consultant and program advisor, utilizing her knowledge and experience to help clients achieve their full potential. A national speaker and writer, she can be contacted at [email protected].

Practice Management, best business practices, marketing, strategyJay A. Shorr B.A., M.B.M.-C., CAC
Mr. Shorr is the founder and managing partner of Shorr Solutions. He is also a professional motivational speaker, an advisor to the Certified Aesthetic Consultant program and a certified medical business manager from Florida Atlantic University. He can be reached at [email protected].

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