Note: This is the 5th article in the Cosmetic Patient Progression Lifecycle series. If you missed previous articles, you can click here to access!
During the course of this series, we’ve discerned that the absolute easiest way to fine-tune practice processes and enhance patient engagement is by compartmentalizing the patient journey with your practice into buckets, or stages, and then define key elements within each stage that can be used to propel the patient toward the path of making a buying decision with you.
In marketing terms, this is known as your funnel.
Your goal is to attract, engage and support patients at each stage in your funnel. Your messaging at each stage will be different as the practice/patient relationship evolves.
There are seven primary stages in the Cosmetic Patient Progression Lifecycle: Discovery, Initiation, Action, Strategy, Commitment, Implementation, & Community. This article focuses on the 5th stage ~ Commitment.
At this stage, the patient has scheduled a procedure or surgery with your office which is great! However, this does not mean the patient will complete surgery and, as mentioned in the Initiate Stage, they will need continued nurturing during this time.
It is at this stage the aesthetic patient begins demonstrating more patient behaviors than consumer behaviors. This is when the reality begins to kick in.
Friends and family may question their judgment: “What if something happens to you? What will happen to your kids? This is elective surgery for goodness sake!”
Or the patient may see a magazine while waiting in line at the grocery store with the headline screaming: “Plastic Surgery Gone Bad!” and showing horrific images of famous movie stars with bad plastic surgery outcomes.
This is the time for the practice to be proactive. This is the time to adopt a “You’ve got this ~ and we’ve got you!!” approach. Remind the patient of the reason they came to see you in the first place, and how you are going to help them. Help them to stay focused on the end result. Be their cheerleader.
Ideas to nurture the relationship at this time include:
- Send a handwritten note thanking them for trusting in you to be their surgeon and let them know they are in good hands. Schedule a prep call or office visit, beyond the pre-operative visit, to ensure the patient has everything they need, but may not realize they will need, post-surgery (garments, meds, gauze, tape, cold packs, nursing service, transportation, childcare, animal care, pre-prepared meals, special clothing, etc).
- Consider a post-procedure gift bag with a few items the patient will need in the days or weeks following their procedure. This could include gauze, tape, cold packs, cans of Chicken Noodle Soup, or a practice branded and comfortable t-shirt.
- Provide the patient with a Pre- & Post-Procedure Checklist.
- Invite caretakers to participate in the pre-op visit and provide them with a special checklist and a personalized “What to Expect” letter to provide reassurance & confidence in their caretaker role.
- Call the patient the day before their procedure. Let them know you will be going to bed early that evening and will be looking forward to seeing them in the morning.
These are just a few excellent ways to further establish your practice as an industry leader, and ensure lifelong relationships with prospective patients.
How well does your staff handle initial phone calls from prospective patients? There’s an art to the 1st phone call ~ a strategic process proven to drive patient acquisition, retention, & advocacy.
Click here and type “Free TSS” in the Contact box. Your practice will be secret shopped by phone within 2 business days. You will then be provided with a complimentary 30-minute call to review findings and receive strategic & proven recommendations.
Be on the lookout for next week’s post when we take a dive into Stage 6 ~ Implementation.
To your success!