9 Tips to
Dazzle and Retain
top patients are your most important patients in your
practice, and it’s important that you keep and hang onto them
as long as possible.
It’s much more cost-effective in most business models to
retain repeat or high-value patients than it is to find new
Here are nine tips you can use to dazzle and delight your top
Know who they are by name.
Do you know which patients generated the highest sales for you
last year? If not, let us run a Sales by Patient Summary
sorted by descending revenue for you to be sure. Your top
patients will be listed on the first lines of this report.
These are the patients you should be contacting or staying in
touch with, having lunch with periodically, or doing a few
extra things for.
Know who sent the most business to you.
Do you track referrals? If not, you may want to consider
adding a field to your accounting system if there’s room. At
the least, you can use the report generated above and add a
column to it labeled referral source. Drop in the person’s
name that referred the patient to you. Once you’ve completed
the field, you can re-sort it to total up the dollar value of
each referral source.
You should be in monthly contact with these folks, just as if
they were your top patients and even if they’re not a patient
at all. Make a plan to lunch with these individuals and/or do
something extra for them periodically to let them know you
appreciate their referrals.
Ask patients how they would like to be contacted.
Do your patients prefer to be contacted via email? Phone?
Text? In person? If a patient hates being called on their cell
phone, wouldn’t you want to know?
Everyone is different, so find out by asking, and make a note
in their file. Also find out how often they’d like an update.
Some worriers might want to know daily, others prefer a short
monthly email. The best time to do this is during patient
onboarding or at the time of the first appointment.
Find out what patients need from you.
At the end of each appointment, ask your patient two things:
a. How could we have served you better?
b. What else can we do for you?
Then empty your mind and really listen. Take copious notes,
don’t defend yourself, and thank your patient. Think about
what they said, and implement what makes sense.
Provide a patient service contact and great support.
Does your patient know who to call when they need to talk with
someone in your practice? If the patient has a follow up
question on their procedure or appointment, let them know what
to do ahead of time so they won’t feel lost.
This will make the patient feel at home and will have them
coming back because of your great support experience.
Practice "consumption marketing"
Consumption marketing is helping the patient fully consume
their purchase from you. The more likely they are to get
benefits from your procedure, cleaning or cosmetic dentistry,
the more likely they are to come back for more.
Help patients use your products and services to their fullest
by creating a consumption marketing program that includes tips
sheets, educational aids, how-to videos, instructional blog
posts, and the like.
Develop multiple relationships.
If your patients are from large families, organizations or
companies, strengthen those ties by meeting multiple people
within their different circles of influence. If one patient
leaves, it won’t be such a crisis to your account if you know
multiple people in their network.
Say thanks promptly.
Send a thank you note to a new patient or referral source
within a week of their appointment or referral. Acknowledge
their action quickly and generously so that you make a great
Create and implement a patient retention plan.
Be proactive about patient retention by planning touch points
throughout the year and systematizing the contact process with
your top patients. This can be as simple as taking your top 12
patients out to lunch, one each month, or as complex as
planning some kind of touch point – a newsletter, email, or
thank you note – once a month for each of your top patients
and referral sources.
Try any of these nine tips to dazzle your top patients and
boost your patient retention for stronger sales.
Remember you can call our offices if you have any
questions about these or any other accounting, tax,
financial planning or insurance related issues, at
Regards, Don DeHaven, CPA
Principal DeHaven and Company, Inc.