Most businesses strive to keep their customers. In fact, there are lots of professions where having one loyal customer is better than having 5 clients who just bought once.
Why is that?
Because every customer has a lifetime value.
The lifetime value of a dental patient is especially important when it comes to dental practices. Every dental procedure is usually costly. So, getting one client is awesome, but it is even better if this person comes back several times.
Dental lifetime patient value represents all the revenues your dental office will receive from one patient. Given that most dental patients stay with one professional for the whole duration of their life, this sum will accumulate really quickly. Unlike some other businesses, dental practices get amazing returns from one patient, given that this person will return several times for additional procedures.
In that sense, we shouldn’t value a patient based on one procedure, but instead several of them.
Unfortunately, lifetime value is a variable; it is really hard to say how long a person will stay with you.
Because of that, there are certain benefits and flaws to this equation:
In theory, if an average patient is worth $1,000, this helps you manage marketing campaigns and other expenses. For example, if you need $1,100 to acquire a new patient, you should rethink the dental marketing strategy. On the other hand, if a patient “costs” $900, this is actually a good price given how much they will give you in the long run.
While the lifetime value of a dental patient is a great approximation, there are situations where you will lose several clients at once. This isn’t a big issue in the long-run, but it can hinder your current plans. It can especially be problematic if you need to buy a new piece of equipment or if there is some other big purchase ahead of you.
There are lots of dentists who don’t invest in marketing. They live off word-of-mouth marketing and prefer the status quo. But, most people will change their home city at least once during their lifetime. This means that you cannot fully count on your current patients. It is even worse if you consider the fact that most dental offices live off several patients making them more risk-prone.
As I already mentioned, there are certain variables that we need to account for. But, in the long-run, the average costs for acquiring a patient will even out. This is why, despite some minor variables, you can predict how much money you will earn at the end of the year. Having that in mind, the patient’s lifetime value can be a great tool for expansion. It provides a solid constant that you can count on no matter what.
As previously mentioned, if you can determine the average patient’s lifetime value, it is much easier to predict your company’s marketing budget. Keep in mind that you will have to perform at least one marketing campaign to determine how many patients you can acquire and at what price. By calculating lifetime value afterward, you can determine how beneficial this campaign was.
Most new dentists are concerned about their patient count. Some of them don’t have a full grasp of the patient’s lifetime value, believing that a person will stay only for a few procedures. In practice, some of the clients will return for at least several procedures. The majority of them, however, we become lifelong customers. If you understand and calculate the average lifetime value of a patient, it is something that can put your mind at ease. You know how many people you can count on, which will allow you to focus on your day-to-day job.
The lifetime value of a patient also works if you’re close to retiring. For example, if you have just several years before you’re done with the business, you probably don’t want to invest too much in dental marketing. Instead, you can rely on a patient’s lifetime value to get you through the line with profits.
The most troublesome thing with patients’ lifetime value is the fact it is hard to calculate. Yes, there is a solid formulate that can be used, but we can only predict trends. It is not an exact science as we cannot force people to stay with us. Still, with the following formula, you can get a good approximation of how much a patient is worth to you.
Here are some of the most important factors you need to consider:
When you figure out these 3 factors, you’re ready to calculate the formula:
As you can see, it is quite easy getting to this number. All you have to do is multiply all these values, and you will get an average patient’s lifetime worth.
Again, I need to emphasize is that the hardest thing to know is when a patient is going to leave you. This is especially true if you’re a relatively new dentist with limited experience with clients. At first, perhaps you should consult with older colleges and get some information from them.
Lifetime patient’s value is focused on averages, so even if there are certain fluctuations, you shouldn’t be too preoccupied with them. You need to remain confident no matter what and trust the numbers.
Lastly, keep in mind that fees and frequency are not always linear; as patients get older, they will require additional care. Thus, keep in mind that these fees tend to go up over time.
How to maximize the lifetime value of a patient?
Like everything else, there are ways you can improve these numbers. It usually comes down to your treatment of patient:
The first impression usually deters patients. Losing a person after the first treatment is the worst thing that can happen to you. These guys are meant to fuel your profits over time. It gets even worse when you consider how much money you need to spend on marketing in order to attract them.
You wouldn’t believe how many people fear their doctors and dentists. In fact, more than 50% of individuals have some sort of anxiety prior to treatment. This is why you need to place extra focus on cleanliness. A dirty or uninviting practice is one of the first things that you need to address.
From your secretary to the dentist, every person within the practice needs to provide great service. Everyday grind can be really tough, but with enough focus, you can achieve a lot. Make sure to sleep and eat well, and to bring that good energy to work.
You can send emails and postcards to your patients. You can show extra care or provide them with some dental supplies. Make sure to learn their names and treat them as guests. Small things go a long way in retaining them. Given the previously mentioned anxieties, it is vital for patients to feel at home at your dental practice.
The lifetime value of a dental patient value is a great tool. But we also shouldn’t take it for granted.
Another thing that can indirectly help you with patients’ lifetime value is digital marketing. Basically, you should just increase your initial conversion, so even if your average lifetime patients’ value is a bit lower, you can still manage by having more patients at your disposal.
That being said, we are one of the best dental marketing companies focusing on US dental practices. We know a lot about this market and, more importantly, patients.
If you give us a chance, we are certain that we can increase the overall number of patients you are getting. We specialize in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMM (Social Media Marketing). If you need help with one of these, make sure to give us a call!
02 January 2020
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Dentie Leads is a dental marketing company that serves dental clinics across the USA. We help dentists grow and their practice by providing high-quality dental leads on autopilot. We have over a decade of experience in dental SEO, Facebook ads for dentists, email marketing, and content writing.
DENTIE LEADS LTD
Address: 196 Woodside Drive, Orange Park
United States Of America
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