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Dr. Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10 percent. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day, which has over 30,000 subscribers. To contact Dr. Levin, visit www.levingroup.com or email email@example.com.
When it comes to losing patients, don't wait, reactivate!
There’s a saying that’s often used when it comes customers and clients: “Out of sight, out of mind.” It sounds harsh, but it’s true. When someone hasn’t seen or heard from you in awhile, they can forget you and move on. In the past, the loss of patients could be easily overcome by a higher influx of new patients.
But in order for today’s dental practices to remain strong, they need to retain a higher level of their patient base. When patients become overdue or inactive don’t write them off as lost - implement a reactivation system.
The reactivation system
Any patient who has not been to the practice within 18 months is considered an inactive patient. This designation has true meaning. When a practice goes through a valuation process for a potential sale, inactive patients do not count as part of the practice or contribute to its value.
An inactive patient also has a conceptual meaning. In a sense, the practice is reaching the point where the patient may never come back. If the average lifetime value of a dental patient is in the range of $12,000-$15,000, then the loss of even one patient is a serious event. In addition, patient losses are compounded by the fact that they can also be accompanied by the loss of their family members, resulting in two or more inactive patients.
This is why a reactivation system is so important. The first stage is the ongoing effort to prevent active patients from becoming inactive. Always demonstrate caring and compassion, keep all patients scheduled by having a multi-step program to contact overdue patients and motivate patients to be active in their preventive care.
The second stage involves the action taken the moment it is confirmed that a patient is inactive. It’s not as simple as sending an email or a text and having the patient suddenly call the practice and reactivate. It is a practice system that relies on relationships and outreach. Take the following steps to reactivate inactive patients:
Some patients become inactive and remain that way due to a variety of reasons (e.g., moving, insurance changes, etc.) you can’t control. However, there are a large number of patients who have just dropped out of regular preventive care and need to be motivated to reengage with the practice. You can’t afford to forget them or allow them to forget you. The above steps will help bring many inactive patients back to active status.