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Do you want to fill your appointment books? Then, let us discuss the opportunity right under your nose which is, Reactivating Past Clients.
Past clients already, know, like and trust you, so they are more likely to return for your services. You can use your time, money and effort more effectively, often with more immediate results when you focus on the people already in your community or database.
What do you mean Reactivate?
Any client who does not have future appointments booked needs to be nurtured as much as the clients who do. Effective recall and reactivation processes enable your clinic to maintain those relationships and are vital for the ongoing health of your client, and your business.
Why is Reactivation important?
- Perceived indifference is a killer. 68% of clients ‘leave’ because they perceive that it doesn’t matter to you if they return or not. It’s important to show how much you care by nurturing them with regular contact after each appointment, especially if they don’t have any future appointments booked.
- You are the trusted advisor in your client’s health, and you have the opportunity to recommend the best management plan for a clear outcome. If client’s don’t maintain their future appointments, your effectiveness as a health professional is reduced.
- You need a safety net to ensure clients are carefully nurtured through their journey and that they don’t experience a lapse of care, ensuring the highest likelihood of success.
- It’s much easier and cheaper to provide optimum care outcomes for your existing clients than it is to find a new client. You’ve already established rapport, likeability, and trust, and good systems around recalls and reactivation enable you to find new and better ways to serve the needs of your clients.
How can I Reactivate clients?
These processes apply to clients who have no future appointment booked. At various intervals, they will need to be contacted, and you can choose the frequency.
Don’t worry if you feel you are nagging clients. People are generally busy, and will more likely appreciate your attention to follow up. You can always ask for forgiveness if a client is feeling hassled.
If a client cancels and is unable to reschedule right away you might offer to place them on a recall list, offering to contact them in 2 weeks, or perhaps 2 months, depending on the situation.
Example recall schedule:
- 2-week recall (phone call or SMS)
- 2-month recall (Phone call, SMS or email)
If you attempt to contact, or if the recall is unsuccessful, then your safety net is the Reactivation Schedule, where the client is contacted at regular intervals with information, special offers, or personal notes inviting them to return to the clinic.
Example Reactivation schedule:
- Reactivation SMS at 3 months
- Reactivation email at 6 months
- Reactivation letter at 12,18 months
- Reactivation letter at 2,3,4 years (include special offer and newsletter)
Method #1 – Email
- Email is a highly leveraged and automated process, enabling you to send a series of broadcasts at the scheduled time.
- Typically 2-3 emails at the time of the recall broadcast are best for exposure because some emails may be missed amongst the client’s inbox/junk/spam or other folders.
- Email is quick, cheap and you can often get analytics on how effective each broadcast has been.
Method #2 – Posted Letter
- Using Letters means we can add a personal feel to our communication with an added handwritten note or personal signature.
- You also have the opportunity to include marketing material, vouchers, or printed newsletters
- Printing, folding, packing and delivering letters takes time and money, but the advantage is household letterboxes are not as cluttered as email inboxes, and the success rate can be much higher.
- Letters can be slower, with no automated analytics on effectiveness, though they do add a personal touch, and can help keep your database up to date with current home addresses.
Method #3 – Phone Call
- This can be the most effective way connect with your clients, however, it relies on having them answer the phone.
- If you need to leave a message, do so, and then follow up with either of the other methods to ensure the client is engaged (e.g. send an email with a mention of the missed call or voicemail).
- Practitioners who make these calls can get caught delivering consultations over the phone, so our suggestion would be for a trained member of your admin team to deliver these calls. The calls can be framed as a courtesy call to check in on the patient and extend the invitation and to help arrange their next appointment time.
Method #4 – SMS Message
- This is an immediate and effective way to engage with your clients.
- It’s hard to convey tone through a text message, but with the right words you can achieve the desired result.
- Make sure the message has a clear call to action and a simple process to act. Complexity will catch you out when you are only playing with a few characters in the message.
Method #5 – Push Notifications (via mobile app)
- If your clinic has a mobile app, you can engage your clients with a push notification
- Straight to the palm of your client’s hand, this is an interactive way to readily engage your clients.
- You can announce new products and services and invite people to book appointments.
- There are limitations around the number of active app users, so it’s best to use this in conjunction with other methods.
What to do
- Choose your audience
- Database segmentation using your practice management software helps you deliver personalized and specific messages to the individual. This is particularly important when you’re communicating with a large audience all at once.
- Select your Reactivation Frequency
- As a rule of thumb, we suggest starting the reactivation process with any client who has not attended your clinic for at most 6 months and has no future appointment booked. If this is time frame is too short for your particular profession, you can still contact your client to send useful information, and reserve the invitation to book an appointment until the required time.
- Select your Reactivation method
- Choose from the top 5 methods above
- Create your invitation and offer within the Reactivation
- Use a special offer as a low barrier to entry, making it really attractive for them to return for an appointment.
- Advise clients on the new and better ways you can serve their health and body. Tell them of the fantastic new skills or technologies you now have as a result of your continuing professional development and let them know how it can help them. Offer them the latest treatment modalities and access to specialized equipment that you have in your clinic so that they can optimize their health.
- Send the Reactivation message
- Remember to personalize it
- Identify a tracking method
- It’s always useful to be able to track how effective each reactivation campaign is.
- To review results of each broadcast, you should identify a special code or appointment type that you can use to measure the rebooking.
- Measure the impact with Clinic Excellence Indicators such as Rebooking Percentage and Patient Visit Average (PVA).
Making it successful!
- The key is to get clients committing to a regular routine of care… not a once off. The intention is to refine, create or continue the optimal care plan to not only manage, also optimize their health now and into the future. This is best done in the form of a written management plan outlining the next 3 visits/reviews/check up/treatments. There could be 3 weeks or 3 months between the visits, it doesn’t matter, you just need to give the client a plan to work toward.
Reactivations allow you to:
- Follow up client health to maintain it
- Check their progress on their initial complaint that you helped them with
- Check to see if they are still functioning ‘better’ following your help
- Check to see that they are able to move freely, without pain or restriction in other areas of their body so that they do their best to avoid relapse or other problems
- Follow up client health to optimize it
- Help them prepare for an event or activity on their calendar
- Help them perform at a higher level each day so that they can be their best and live their ever improving potential
- Help them reach a milestone or goal so that they experience the abundance of their body
So reactivations are important for client health and for filling your appointment books!
Remember that when you invite clients to accept your offer, that it should be truthful and the terms and conditions should be clearly stated in the advertisement.
Do Reactivations regularly and allow your clinic and clients to thrive.
Until next time, continue to consult with passion and serve with care.
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Opinions expressed by physiogramworld contributors are their own.