If you run a medical practice, you know there are plenty of areas to spend money. A practice that is profitable is continually investing in staff, equipment, technology, management software, marketing and a lengthy list of other things that are necessary to effectively growing the business. But have you ever considered the return on each of your investments? Importantly, do you know what initiatives are generating the greatest return in the shortest amount of time – a year, 5 years, or more?
If you aren’t carefully managing and measuring ROI you could have diminishing returns in areas where you are overspending and missing out on potential opportunities. Here are 2 key investments that will maximize your practice dollars.
1. Invest in Existing Clients
Chances are your practice is like the vast majority of medical practices spending about 90% of their marketing resources to attract NEW patients. With so much focus on trying to generate more leads, practices may be missing the power of the loyal client who is right in front of them.
Repeat clients are the building blocks to bigger profits. According to Entrepreneur.com, businesses with a 40% repeat customer base generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10% repeat customer base.
In the case of medical practices, patients are faced with a big decision that is expensive and involves their health. It can take a lot of time, effort and resources to get them to move forward with a procedure. But when that patient walks away from your practice satisfied with the results and the experience they had, they become the best asset to your practice for two key reasons:
- Repeat Business at a Much Lower Cost: Because existing clients have already run the litmus test on you and your practice, they are likely less sensitive to price and more willing to provide repeat business.
- Follow-Up Appointments: One of the most cost-effective ways to maximize your investment into your practice is booking patient follow ups. Certain procedures require ongoing follow-up appointments with patients. Yet many practices don’t invest in the staffing or business processes to capitalize on patients who are due or overdue for appointments. Boomerang powered by Brevium is OptiCall’s patient retention program that systematically identifies inactive insurance-based patients within your practice management system, and our highly qualified team of phone counselors then personally calls them to schedule their next appointment. This can be incredibly effective for ophthalmology, dermatology, and OB-GYN practices. Results in our latest Boomerang study showed the average practice spent $18,000 on the program in 2017, and by the end of the year had generated $300,000 in revenue. That’s an average of 1666x return on investment in one year.
- Referrals: Data from our recent Medical Marketing Outlook shows over 50% of booked appointments are due to word of mouth referrals, with about 1/3 of those from patients. Happy clients become your best advocates and are key for spreading the word about you. Social media, email, and pay-per-click, are great. But a client who shares their experience with others are the best marketing channel for your business (at essentially no cost).
2. Invest in Your Staff
Hiring the right staff is one of the most valuable assets, but also the greatest cost. Having enough staff who are qualified in providing an exceptional patient experience and building client relationships is the only way investing in existing clients will have any payoff. You need to ensure patients are attended to in the office, all phone calls are being answered, and an effective follow-up plan is in place or else your business could actually lose money.
As a general rule, staff should not exceed 20% of revenue. For practices that aren’t able to afford full time staff, outsourcing certain services can be a less expensive option that can alleviate the need to hire additional people. Practices find they can hire less staff and provide greater attention to clients in the office by outsourcing calls. In fact, practices that outsource elective medical calls for procedures such as LASIK, plastic surgery, or dental implants to OptiCall’s First Contact phone answering program, see an average of 10-15% increase in overall revenue.
Investing in the right areas of your business can help ensure you’re taking advantage of the best returns. To learn more about how we can help maximize your ROI, contact us.