How to Improve Client Retention
So, you’ve done it! You have successfully converted an interested click on your website into a new client at your practice. Congratulations! Each new appointment is a win in our book.
However, you know as well as we do that getting a new client into your practice is only half the battle. Once they have completed their first appointment or purchased their first product from you, how do you get them back into your office?
Client retention is a pain point for many businesses. This can be especially true for those that provide services on an irregular basis, such as veterinarians or dentists.
Luckily, there are reliable client retention strategies you can implement at your practice to increase client loyalty and bring in more revenue from repeat customers. Read on to learn our 7 tips for improving client retention at your practice.
What we’ll cover…
- It’s all about the client!
- Send out recall and appointment reminders
- Show your clients a little love
- Provide educational resources
- Communicate on social media
- Engage with clients on review platforms
- Sprinkle in some personality
1. Prioritize Customer Service
This almost goes without saying, but we thought we would mention it anyway. Exceptional customer service is a fundamental aspect of any successful business. From a friendly demeanor over the phone to a smooth appointment making process, a focus on great customer service should be maintained at every stage of your client’s journey.
To achieve this, you should set specific expectations for yourself and your staff. Is there a particular greeting you prefer that your staff use on the phone? Is there a sequence in which forms need to be completed? Consider what you would value if you were a client at your practice and create processes to fulfill these needs.
A good attitude also goes a long way! Are you likely to visit a restaurant that had a rude server a second time? Probably not. This concept goes for any type of business. Be sure to hire employees that share your enthusiasm for your work and that put your clients first.
2. Schedule Appointment Reminders
Sometimes, your client can go months without needing an appointment with you. Other times, they simply forget that it’s something they need! And we’re sure you’ve had your fair share of no shows or late arrivals.
Remind clients that they are due for an appointment with you through text message or email. To learn which is best, be sure to ask your client at the time they make or leave their first appointment. Communication with clients through their preferred method will generate better results for your client retention strategy.
We know physical mail and email has been a popular way to reach clients in the past, however, many people now prefer text messages. In fact, 78% of consumers cite that text messaging is the fastest way to reach them. Plus, 58% of consumers tend to think of a business more positively when they have text messaging capabilities.
Instead of having your staff individually text each client to let them know an appointment is coming up or are due to return to your office, set up automatic appointment reminders. These will save you and your staff time and ensure your clients are adequately informed.
3. Client Appreciation
Remind your clients that you care by offering incentives to return to your practice. This doesn’t have to be a huge discount or shameless sales pitch, either.
Email clients to let them know when you’ve added a new service or employee at your practice. For example, if you are a sports medicine chiropractor that has hired a masseuse onto your staff, this may be an excellent incentive for a client to make an appointment with you.
However, discounts don’t hurt! Every so often, offer current clients specials to show that you appreciate their patronage at your business. A great deal may be just what they need to call and make a second or even tenth appointment.
4. Provide Valuable Resources
Custom content created for your website, social media, and office is an excellent way to engage with clients and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. When your clients see you as a knowledgeable source of information for a particular field, the next time they need your services they are more likely to think of your practice first.
Create original content that can be posted to your website regularly, such as blogs. Blog marketing is highly effective because it allows you to implement keywords that will help your audience find your web page more easily. To learn how to write a blog post, check out this article. When you do create blog posts, be sure to share them on social media so that your audience doesn’t miss them!
Newsletters sent to your clients’ inboxes can also help keep you at the forefront of their minds. Try sending monthly newsletters that educate your clients on important topics related to your business. Plan out your newsletters by each quarter so you always have up-to-date, relevant content to share.
5. Share on Social Media
77% of Americans are on social media, are you? Social media profiles can keep your audience engaged, help your practice appear on search engine results pages, and increase client retention.
Statistically speaking, it’s likely that most of your clients have a social media profile. So, communicate with them where they are already spending their time online.
Firstly, create a social media schedule for each channel that you use. You may want to adjust your schedule based on which site sees the most engagement with your clients. Repost relevant content and create original content to regularly communicate with your audience.
Also, be sure to respond to comments and messages in a timely manner. Many clients will ask you basic questions about your services through these platforms, giving you an opportunity to encourage a client to return to your practice.
6. Respond to Reviews
When clients leave you feedback, always engage with them. Whether they have stopped to tell web users about a positive experience or want to vent some grievances, it’s important that you make them feel heard and valued.
This also gives you the opportunity to ensure happy clients come back into your practice and to rectify a problem that an unsatisfied client may have had. Offering to fix their issue may be the difference between losing a client and earning another appointment.
Unsure of how to respond to negative reviews? Read this post for tips that can help.
7. Add a Personal Touch
Take advantage of being a small to medium-sized business by making your clients feel special whenever you can. This can be done both inside and outside of the office.
Offer a friendly environment for your clients when they come into your office. Be mindful of the colors you use, the decor on the walls, and the comforts supplied. For example, adding refreshments or charging stations can help your customers feel more comfortable when they are in your waiting room.
Jot down information about your clients that will help you remember them. Do you have a regular that you have friendly conversations with? Make note of their pets’ name, how many kids they have, or their occupation so that you can make more personable conversation next time they visit. When you ask, “how is your son doing at university?” your client will be impressed with how well you remember them!
You can also mark down your clients’ birthdays and send emails or text messages on the date. People love to return to businesses where they feel like their patronage is genuinely valued, so make sure each client knows that they are appreciated.
Client Retention Strategies That Work
Thinking about trying one of these strategies at your office? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook! We would love to hear how you put our tips into practice.
If you are looking for more help to increase client retention, feel free to reach out to us. We offer tools that can automate email reminders, send appointment reminders, and integrate with your existing scheduling software.
In the meantime, happy marketing!
More resources to help you reach your business goals
What is Custom Content and Why is it Important?
How to Use Facebook to Engage With Your Clientele
How to Increase Visit Frequency and Reduce No Shows