You may think that getting patients into your cosmetic practice is half the battle, but it’s not that simple. A healthy practice is supported not just by new patients , but often moreso by returning patients. Here are some tips for cosmetic surgeons to turn single-visit patients into loyal repeat customers.
Patients are incredibly sensitive about their appearance and want a surgeon who is balanced and skilled. You have to know how to listen and support the patient’s desires, within reason. It is your responsibility to make sure your patients have realistic expectations so you can fulfill them. Erring on the side of conservatism and fully explaining to patients what you can realistically accomplish can help to prevent them from expecting outcomes you can’t (or shouldn’t) deliver.
You’re an expert, so prove it. Go ahead and brag on your website about all the procedures on your service menu and optimize your SEO so potential patients can find you. If you haven’t already added a before-and-after gallery to your website and social media pages, do so. The adage of “a picture paints a thousand words” definitely applies to the world of cosmetic surgery.
Offer loyalty programs not just to existing patients but as part of a new patient consultation. This extends to referral programs too. If your patient is happy with her results, entice her with a referral program where a booked referral can offer her a free or largely discounted treatment or product line choice.
Impress upon first-time patients that the old school practices of waiting until you need a facelift or other procedure to get one is outdated. Modern day protocols have younger patients starting their anti-aging protocols before aging is visible to maintain a youthful, healthy appearance with frequent, “smaller” procedures, so there’s never a post-procedure “shock.”
In addition to traditional social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, establish yourself on a medical website such as RealSelf, where patients and potential patients can Q & A with medical professionals and view before-and-after images. This outlet provides you with a chance to show off your skillset and talent. You’ll be on an open forum with other experts and patients will be comparing and contrasting your answers with theirs so remember to be approachable and explain as much as is allowed.
There’s never a guarantee that one-time patients will return, but if you build a relationship based on trust and expertise, without pushing them into procedures they might not be ready for, there’s a good chance you’re on your way to having long-term relationships with them.